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Ulysses (1955)

Kirk Douglas , Silvana Mangano , Mario Camerini  |  NR |  DVD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (115 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Kirk Douglas, Silvana Mangano, Anthony Quinn, Rossana Podestà, Jacques Dumesnil
  • Directors: Mario Camerini
  • Writers: Ben Hecht, Ennio De Concini, Franco Brusati, Homer, Hugh Gray
  • Format: Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Fox Lorber
  • DVD Release Date: December 7, 1999
  • Run Time: 94 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (115 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00001ZWBJ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #288,446 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Ulysses" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

This vintage Italian production of Ulysses is best enjoyed as Homeric adventure for kids. While The Odyssey is handled with admirable fidelity, you may suppress a chuckle when Kirk Douglas, as the titular Greek hero, speaks English and Italian, dubbing himself in English! Looking like a Spartacus wannabe, Douglas brings appropriate gravity to his classically mythic exploits. Having sacked Troy, Ulysses and his stalwart crew set sail for Ithaca, only to be delayed for a decade by such epic distractions as a giant Cyclops (a memorable highlight), the madness-inducing Sirens, and the deceptive Circe, who turns men into swine. Meanwhile, Ulysses's loyal wife Penelope (Silvana Mangano) is being wooed by suitors (including Anthony Quinn, fresh from Fellini's La Strada), making Ulysses's homecoming an urgent necessity. Resembling a Ray Harryhausen fantasy without "dynamation," this ambitious film boasts impressive special effects (for its time), and the kind of lavish sets and costumes that were once an Italian specialty. --Jeff Shannon

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
54 of 56 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ulysse's personnality and character. July 9, 1999
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
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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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quality Campy Epic. 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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43 of 48 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars DO NOT BUY THIS RIP-OFF 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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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Kirk Has a Hard Time Getting Home... October 15, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
...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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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Kirk's conquest! August 13, 2004
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
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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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quite Entertaining! 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...
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have classic.
A classic for every collection, a great movie.
Published 7 days ago by Harold Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Gift
It's really hard to find this version in the US and my mom is a big fan. Great price for this classic, she was so happy to receive it for her birthday.
Published 1 month ago by Laura
4.0 out of 5 stars ULYSSES
Published 1 month ago by EZ21491660
5.0 out of 5 stars History never fail
So, if you like history you'll find great satisfaction in this movie that talk about the wander of a Greek warriors and their leader coming back home. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Miladin Aleksic
5.0 out of 5 stars Movies
I watch this movie when I was young. the actor Kirk Douglas is so great in this movie. I like watching his movies
Published 2 months ago by Marilyn Mollison
4.0 out of 5 stars This still amazes me
Hollywood's complete arrogance, 3300 recently made is entertaining, but someone was stupid enough to rewrite history and think they could do a better job. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Patrick W. Cassdale
4.0 out of 5 stars Wow!
Has a lot of Greek mythology.

This movie has withstood the test of time like Spartacus.

I would recommend it.
Published 2 months ago by Happy r/c
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor copy
This is a poor copy, will be returning it. No picture showed, just a blank screen. Was so looking forward to watching this movie. What a disappointment.
Published 2 months ago by Sandra Villano
1.0 out of 5 stars W0W! To think I owned a gorgeous 16mm print of this at one time!
Picture washed out, Muddy - transfer had emulsion lines. Looks like it was a BAD FUJI dupe developed in a bath tub!
Hideous, insulting transfer of this epic movie. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Carlos
5.0 out of 5 stars Fine flick
I haven't seen this in 30+ years, so it was great to see it again. Movie is a classic about a classic. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Alan Nelson
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