Customer Reviews: Ulysses (English Subtitled)
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on July 9, 1999
I fully agree with Mr Forsythe from London (Ontario). If like Mr Maitlin, you judge this movie with the special effects of the 1999, the movie is hokey. But the character, dedication and courage of Ulysse has never been so well portrayed as by Kirk Douglas. Sylvana Mangano doesn't do much, but she portrayed only too well why a man will fight 20 years to return to her and their son. Anthony Quinn gives a fine performance as the suitor. The recent version with Armand Assante, while proficient in special effects, doesn't exploit the richness of characters showned in the multi-european film. I have seen this movie in the 1960 and again this year. It is the same emotion and commitment. This is Homer's Odyssey. If you have not seen this movie, get your hand on the vidéo. This is a film I would gladly buy in VideoLaser disc or the new DVD. It is worth the money.
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on July 23, 2009
This film is, in itself, worth 4 or 5 stars, no doubt. This version is deserving of less than 1. This is a mutilated, butchered copy that deserves only the fire. Ulysses is one of the earliest widescreen films made (1l66:1) and deserves to be preserved as such. What you're being offered is a hacked-up "full" screen mess (1.33:1). The term "full" screen is a marketing ploy, a lie to deceive consumers. The FULL screen is whatever the director made in the first place. Until a full widescreen copy of Ulysses appear, avoid this travesty like the plague.
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on April 1, 2006
I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of this classic foreign film. Although the dialogue was dubbed in in English after filming; Kirk Douglas and Anthony Quinn's voices are used for their own parts, so you almost forget this fact while enjoying the action. Both men act up a storm and the woman who plays Penelope is sympathetic and sexy in her duel part as the witch Circe. The special effects are primitive but believable in a campy "Batman" style. The voice of the Cyclops is wonderful and his eye even moves in its socket! The cimamatic tension as Odysseus and his men stomp the grapes in the giant's cave is truly infectious. The color and picture quality of this Korean print is excellent and the sound is good. It's well worth the low price to relive the memories of this classic film which was often shown on television by local UHF stations back in the '70's.
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on August 13, 2004
Yes--absolutely, I agree with other reviews that it is overdubed badly and that the ending reunion of Ulysses and Penelope is a "let's get out of here" finale. And yes, the young Rosanna Podesta is witless as the young princess who discovers the shipwrecked amnesiac wanderer.

However! This is a chance to see Kirk absolutely revel in his emotions, ranging the gamut from comedian (try amusing a man-eating Cyclops yourself, eh?) to a foaming-at-the-mouth grief-stricken sailor (tied to the mast as his ship passes the Island of the Sirens). Better yet, look at the rage in his heart when he confronts the suitors who have pillaged his home in his absence. Three cheers also for a very sexy Penelope--for whatever reasons it took, I would have faced all those monsters and tragedies to get back to her arms and bed too!

A final bonus for Anthony Quinn as the most bold and arrogant of the suitors--his acting was a needed support. Aww, go on and admit it--this film is fun for any middle school teacher who needs to put through the visuals of the Odyssey. Sure beats the lame excuse that Armande Asante did!
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on October 15, 2001
...and that's putting it mildly! Here Kirk is playing the Greek general Ulysses who spends twenty years away from the bosom of his family, ten at the Trojan War and ten on an ill-fated voyage back to Ithaca.
Now, when I first came across my brothers watching this video, I couldn't believe my eyes that Kirk Douglas and Anthony Quinn were in such a cheap-looking movie! Nobody else is an actor or actress of any standing, and the production values are not up to Hollywood standards. Most distressing of all, everyone's dubbed in, including Kirk!
Once I had gotten over all these obstacles, though, I was able to enjoy the movie. Ulysses' adventures are recounted as a flashback as he recuperates from amnesia in a strange kingdom. We see him outwit the Cyclops, go mad from the siren's song, and lose all track of time while being enchanted by Circe. Intersperced with Ulysses' strivings are scenes back at Ithaca, where Penelope has all she can do to hold onto her absent husband's throne from would-be usurpers vying for her hand. A new suitor emerges from the pack, played by Anthony Quinn, and he, like Kirk, plays his role straight despite the film's other limitations. The VERY end, AFTER all the bloodshed in the banquet hall, seems to end abruptly with Kirk and Penelope talking very fast off screen about how they have to make up for lost time. That looks a little, "We have to give the cameras back, so let's end it now."
Still in all, "Ulysses" will entertain you if you let it; it did wonders for me, my brothers, and a two-year-old who wandered into the room and found the Cyclops really exciting.
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on April 28, 2013
no stars for this version.... 3 stars for the actual released movie
this is not the movie that was released....this is a cut down version....where's the movie
theatrical release info
Runtime 1 hr 57 min (117 min)
Aspect Ratio 1.66 : 1
go figure
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on January 15, 2007
According to Homer, Ulysses is king of Ithaca, and father, by his wife, Penelope, of Telemachus...

Homer portrays Ulysses as a man of outstanding wisdom, eloquence, resourcefulness, courage and endurance...

In the Iliad, Ulysses appears as the man best fitted to cope with crises in personal relations among the Greeks and his bravery and skill in fighting were demonstrated repeatedly...

Ulysses wanderings and the recovery of his house and kingdom are the central theme of our film, which also relates how he accomplishes the capture of Troy by means of the wooden horse...

The motion picture, fill in the gaps with flashbacks, describes Ulysses' wanderings between Troy and Ithaca... As a troubled man, Ulysses spends much time at the shore trying to remember his past...

He encounters Polyphemus, the Cyclops, son of Poseidon... He escapes from his cave by getting him drunk and running a ram into his eye...

Shipwrecked, his men gone, his memory lost, he is discovered by a beautiful young princess Nausicca (Rossana Podesta) who immediately falls in love with him... Ulysses defeats the champion wrestler of Phaeacia in a public exhibition, but remains distant trying to recall his past...

He then encounters the Sirens whose songs lure sailors to their death... Plugging the ears of his men with wax, he has himself tied to the mast with ropes so that he can hear their call...

Ulysses reaches the island of the enchantress Circe who casts her spell on him... Taking on the appearance of his wife Penelope, she held him captive and turned his crew into swine, but fails to keep him in her company...

After almost l0 years, Ulysses at last arrived in Ithaca, where his wife, Penelope, and son, Telemachus, had been struggling to maintain their authority during his prolonged absence...

Kirk Douglas plays, with sensitivity, Ulysses, "the man of many turns" who had many opportunities of displaying his talent for ruses and deceptions; but at the same time, his courage and loyalty..

The full-figured Silvana Mangano plays a double role: Penelope, the faithful wife and Circe, the sorceress...

Anthony Quinn is the arrogant Antinous, the most persistent of Penelope's suitors, hanging around the palace with a group of vicious noblemen, trying to persuade the lovely queen that Ulysses is dead and that she should choose one of them as her next husband..

With the elements of an Italian epic adventure tale photographed in Technicolor, the film is quite entertaining in its attempts to translate episodes of Homer's Odyssey...
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on March 11, 2012
This DVD copy is poorly done. The original movie was in glorious color. This DVD was done "on the cheap." Colors are muddy. The sound quality is also poor - the music is distorted in parts. When the movie was originally dubbed into English for US release, it may have satisfied audiences in the 1950s (as it did me when I first saw it back then!), but it is time to re-dub every actor's lines except for Kirk Douglas. Every other voice on the DVD sounds flat and tinny. The voices sound almost the same for all of the male characters.
Step one: Get a good master copy of the film and have the DVD recording rescanned. Then re-dub the dialogue. THEN, put the new Ulysses up for sale. Until then, buyer beware!
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on September 27, 1999
At the sacking of troy, we see Kirk the maniac, as the amnesiac he's the innocent; lashed to the mast Kirk is in agony; making wine for the cyclopes we see a VERY rare comedic side; as the beggar he turns philosophic and near-shakespearan, and the finale shows him as a swashbuckler. The film is not so much a sword/sandle epic as an opportunity for Douglas as the center of the work to strut stuff, exhibiting his skill at varying emotions; if you notice closely, the mood of the scene is not determined by lighting or background (both of which remain more or less static all through the film) but instead by Kirk's presentation. One of his very best performances.
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on February 13, 2014
I'm teaching the classics to a very bright bunch of homeschool kids. We are going to look at how broadly spread the story of Odysseus is and then watch this beautifully filmed and nicely edited story. The Italian it is filmed in would seem to be a negative until you read the very kid friendly subtitles. 1954's modesty is an attractive feature as well. Great find.
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