Richard Burton stars in Alexander the Great, a middling entry in the 1950s CinemaScope epic cycle. The film boasts excellent production values and a fine cast--including Frederic March, Claire Bloom, Harry Andrews, Stanley Baker, Peter Cushing and Michael Hordern--but it rarely comes to life other than as a big fat ancient Greek wedding of the talents of Burton and Bloom. They strike real dramatic sparks together, so much so they would be reunited in Look Back in Anger (1958) and The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1965). The film's failures must be laid at the feet... of writer, director and producer Robert Rossen, who never before or after helmed anything remotely on this scale; his best work would follow with the intimate The Hustler (1961). Rossen simply shows little sensibility for the epic, staging lavish but brief and rather pedestrian battles and somehow drawing from the usually mesmerising Burton a performance lacking the charisma essential to a great military commander. Burton fans can enjoy him at his epic best as Marc Anthony in Cleopatra (1963). On the DVD: Alexander the Great is presented anamorphically enhanced at 2.35:1, although the picture is still obviously cropped at either side of the screen throughout. The print is very variable, in places quite grainy and soft with some serious flickering blotchiness, but otherwise it has strong colours, detail and contrast. The sound is primitive stereo. The only extra is the theatrical trailer, effectively presented in anamorphic 2.35:1. --Gary S. Dalkin [show more]
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Please note this is a region 2 DVD and will require a region 2 or region free DVD player in order to play An epic film that follows the life of Alexander the Great the macedonian king that united all ancient greek tribes and led them against the vast Persian Empire Alexander conquered most of the then known world and created a greek empire that spanned all the way from the Balkans to India
Ancient Greek hero Alexander the Great (Richard Burton) is schooled in the arts by Aristotle (Barry Jones), but has a somewhat less cerebral destiny awaiting him. Following in the footsteps of his father (Fredric March), he uses a combination of military might and political cunning to sweep all his enemies before him, uniting Europe and Asia in the process.