Philip, King of Macedonia (Fredric March) is busy conquering all of Greece when his wifebears him a son. There is no love lost between the couple, and the young Alexander (RichardBurton) grows up to be torn between the political machinations of his parents. His prowess inbattle threatens to make his glory overshadow his father’s, and conflict between them leadstemporarily to Alexander’s exile. When Philip is assassinated, Alexander ruthlessly consolidatespower, and then mar…hes on Persia, beginning his conquest of the known world.
This is one talky epic, especially in the first half. There are more battles in the second half,but even these aren’t terribly impressive, and are a rather repetitive melee of clashing swords(some scenes are even more repetitious when the film re-uses its own footage). Burton looksridiculous and appears to know it. His Alexander is a very unsympathetic character, becomingmore and more monstrous as the film progresses. Then again, the master-race teachings of histutor Aristotle could hardly have helped. As history, this is dubious, and as entertainment, it’s farfrom being a highlight of sword & sandal epics. Keep your eyes open for an early appearanceby Peter Cushing.
The sound has been remastered in to 2.0 surround. The main problem with such remixes(surround dialogue) is avoided here. The surround effects, particularly of roaring crowds, arewell placed. The music sounds big, but its age is obvious, largely through a degree of muzziness.There is some distortion on the dialogue, however, and the left-right separations are often forced.The effect in headphones can be particularly distracting.
The picture is very solid, especially for a 1955 film. There is no speckling and hardly anygrain (except for a couple of very rough-looking shots). The colours are very rich, though thereds are sometimes a bit too strong and slightly unstable. The print is in excellent shape, with theexception of the aforementioned shots, and some visible hairs during the opening credits.
Nothing here but the theatrical trailer. The menu is basic.
Who knows if this release is going to be surfing a wave of Alexander-mania that mightaccompany the Oliver Stone film. There is some interest here (some of it morbid), but this isgenerally a weak effort.
Special Features List
- Theatrical Trailer