|Written by||based on
Homer's epic poem
|Directed by||Franco Rossi|
|Country of origin||
|No. of episodes||4-8|
|Executive producer(s)||Vittorio Bonicelli|
|Producer(s)||Dino de Laurentiis|
|Running time||446 min.
(110 min. cut edition)
|Original airing||24. march 1968 (RAI)|
L'Odissea was an Italian TV miniseries broadcast on RAI (Italian state TV) in 1968 and based on Homer's Odyssey. An Italian, Yugoslavian, German and French (Radiodiffusion-Télévision Française) coproduction, it was directed by Franco Rossi, Piero Schivazappa and Mario Bava; the cast included Bekim Fehmiu as Ulysses and Irene Papas as Penelope, Samson Burke as the Cyclops, as well as Barbara Bach and Gerard Herter (of Caltiki fame). There were 8 episodes.
Each episode was preceded by an introduction in which poet Giuseppe Ungaretti read some verses of the original poem. The adaptation was quite faithful, apart from the absence of the passage of the strait of Messina and the encounter with Scylla and Charybdis.
Special effects were designed by Mario Bava (who, in particular, directed the episode of Polyphemus) and Carlo Rambaldi. The show ran on television in Europe between 1968 and 1970, and a theatrical version was released to European theatres as well. The film was also dubbed into English.
The television series, however, was dubbed into English and ran on the TVO network in Ontario, Canada in the late 1970s.
After the Trojan War, Odysseus for last ten years is despaired in the Mediterranean Sea. In the island of Ithaca the wife Penelope has his palace overrun by suitors who try in every way to woo her, so that she can find for herself a new husband. Odysseus, however, is not dead: he is captive of the nymph Calypso, who after an intervention of the gods, lets Odysseus go away. The hero sets sail with new companions for the sea, but is shipwrecked in an island, and he is welcomed by the princess Nausicaa, daughter of King Alcinous. The king welcomes Odysseus, and asks him who he is and who he fought businesses. This is then begins in which Odysseus tell his odyssey after the Trojan War.