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Alexander the Great (1956), with Richard Burton | William Shatner's Alexander | Proposed Baz Luhrmann / Leonardo DiCaprio movie | Other proposed movies | Xenanalia | Other

Alexander the Great (1956), with Richard Burton

Amazon. Alexander the Great (1960), with Richard Burton, directed by Robert Rossen. Also available in VHS and and VHS Widescreen format (no DVD yet). Opinions differ sharply on this film. Some like its fine acting and epic feel. Historical enthusiasts, however, dislike its compression and wholesale reworking of historical facts.

"Classic Alexander?" by Eugene N. Borza, from the Alexander on Archaeology (magazine) gateway. Borza (In the Shadow of Olympus, etc.) sees the flaws, even describing the second half as "missed without loss." The first half, however, is touted as a decent study of Macedonian court intruigue. This is certainly a sunny way to see it. When a movie stars out okay but gets then craters, I generally hate it all the more for teasing me. De gustibus... I side with Borza's wife, "So tedious. How can conquering the world be so tedious?"

Digitally Obsessed review. Hits director Robert Rossen.

"The most frustrating element of Alexander the Great isn't that it's a bad picture, because it contains proficient acting, cinematography, production design, and scoring throughout (though nothing is extraordinary). It's that none of this amounts to much and this is largely due to Robert Rossen."

Another negative review by Christopher Null.

"God help Oliver Stone if his upcoming Alexander is really a remake of 1956's Alexander the Great, as this film's press notes state."

New York Times review by Hal Erikson.

"Alexander the Great conquered no new worlds at the box-office, perhaps because Richard Burton, brilliant though he was, hadn't yet attained "saleability".

IMDb: Alexander the Great (1956). Cast, crew, etc., with user comments. Scene-by-scene summary and review by Nick Wellman. Wellman disparages historical problems, but the movie sucks on so many different levels.

Capsule Review of Alexander the Greatby Dave Kehr for the Chicago Reader

William Shatner's Alexander

Interview with Shatner, identifying it as a pilot. Shatner remembers riding horses without saddles, but not Adam West.

IMDb: Alexander the Great (1968). 90-minute film starring William Shatner, Adam West and Joseph Cotton! No, I've never seen it.

Funny negative review from the Shock Cinema (Steven Puchalski).

"This is interminable stuff with all the pomp and spectacle of a Sunday School Bible movie, and the only fun you can wring out of it nowadays is a quick round of "Spot the Ham". Of course, Shatner wins hands down, proving once again that the severe lack of talent he displayed on T.J. Hooker was no fluke."

E! Online Fact Sheet .

Proposed Baz Luhrmann / Leonardo DiCaprio movie

This apparently-dead Alexander movie project was to be directed by Baz Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge) and starring Leonardo DiCaprio, produced by Dino De Laurentiis and based on Valerio Manfredi's three-book novelization. Nicole Kidman was to be Olypmias, a better chronological fit[1].

Toronto Sun: "Luhrmann's Alexander Is Defeated" by Bruce Kirkland (October 28, 2004). Kidman says Luhrmann's Alexander flick a no-go.

The Malaysia Star repeats the news (October 29, 2004).

Entertainment Zone has a jumble of updates.

IMDb. Pre-production info, with a puerile and—as far as history goes—ill-informed message board (eg., Alexander's likeness and DiCaprio.

BBC News: "Ridley Scott 'set to conquer Alexander'" (July 2001). Dino De Laurentiis considered Scott (Gladiator) before Luhrmann. Scott planned to find an unknown for Alexander.

BBC News: "Luhrmann signs up for Alexander epic" (July 24, 2002)

BBC News: "DiCaprio film is bomb casualty" (May 22, 2003). Casablanca bombing prompts Dino De Laurentiis to halt preparations.

2001 "Omni Leonardo" report indicates Keith Ledger is in, and Leonardo out.

Other proposed movies

Run-down of proposed Alexander movies and other "swords and sandals" efforts. Did you know Vin Diesel is to slated to play Hannibal? (But wait, Hannibal lead from the rear. He was not an action hero.) Article by Amanda Castleman, Time Out Athens guidebook.

"A Filmmaker Under the Gun" by Stephen Hunter, Washington Post August 27, 2000. Profile of Christopher McQuarrie, director of "Way of the Gun." About a third of the article is on his attempts to get a film made about Alexander the Great. (""All I want to do is make 'Alexander the Great,' " he says sadly.") With the Way of the Gun doing so well, maybe he'll get his wish. Scene-by-scene summary and review of Sikander (1941) by Nick Wellman. Detailed, positive review.

Alexander the Great Wimp gets lost in a Hollywood conspiracy. Discussion of project helmed by Christopher McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects).


Was Alexander the Model for Xena? Close reasoning by Gregory Swenson. When told I was listing his site he replies "Yikes! Thanks for hanging my dinky star in your crystal sphere!" Is this some sort of Xena reference?

Web Archive: Another Xena script ("Fallen Nation") that mentions Alexander frequently. High sexual content (!).

The Buried God, a forthcoming book with some link to Xena.

Asunder. A Xena script by Lizzy/Tendre.


Summary of the 1941 Urdu movie Sikandar by Jonathan Crow, All Movie Guide. Also see IMDb.

In the Footsteps of Xerxes: The Filming of the Persian Wars by Ben Churcher. See information on the video they made.

"Lysippus Created." A documentary on Alexander's sculptor by Nikos Franghias.

LibraryThing: Catalog your books online.
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