Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Wolfgang Petersen|
|Screenplay by||David Benioff|
|Music by||James Horner|
|Edited by||Peter Honess|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|Box office||$497.4 million|
Troy is a 2004 epic historical war drama film directed by Wolfgang Petersen and written by David Benioff. Produced by units in Malta, Mexico and Britain's Shepperton Studios, the film features an ensemble cast led by Brad Pitt, Eric Bana, and Orlando Bloom. It is loosely based on Homer's Iliad in its narration of the entire story of the decade-long Trojan War—condensed into little more than a couple of weeks, rather than just the quarrel between Achilles and Agamemnon in the ninth year. Achilles leads his Myrmidons along with the rest of the Greek army invading the historical city of Troy, defended by Hector's Trojan army. The end of the film (the sack of Troy) is not taken from the Iliad, but rather from Quintus Smyrnaeus's Posthomerica as the Iliad concludes with Hector's death and funeral.
Troy made over $497 million worldwide, temporarily placing it in the #60 spot of top box office hits of all time. It received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Costume Design and was the 8th highest-grossing film of 2004.
A battle between the Greek armies of King Agamemnon of Mycenae and King Triopas of Thessaly is quickly averted when the great warrior Achilles, fighting for Agamemnon, defeats Boagrius, Triopas' champion, in single combat after Achilles was initially absent from the battle. Thessaly joins Agamemnon's loose alliance of all the Greek kingdoms.
Prince Hector of Troy and his younger brother Paris negotiate a peace treaty with Menelaus, King of Sparta. However, Paris is having an affair with Menelaus' wife, Queen Helen, and smuggles her aboard their home-bound vessel, much to Hector's dismay. Upon learning of this, Menelaus meets with Agamemnon, his elder brother, and asks him to help take Troy. Agamemnon agrees, as conquering Troy will give him control of the Aegean Sea. Agamemnon has Odysseus, King of Ithaca, persuade Achilles to join them. Achilles, who strongly dislikes Agamemnon eventually decides to go, after his mother Thetis tells him that though he will die, he will be forever glorified.
In Troy, King Priam is dismayed when Hector and Paris introduce Helen, but welcomes her and decides to prepare for war. The Greeks eventually invade and take the Trojan beach, thanks largely to Achilles and his Myrmidons. Achilles has the temple of Apollo sacked, and had a brief fight with Hector and his army. They claim Briseis — a priestess and the cousin of Paris and Hector — as a prisoner afterwards. He is angered when Agamemnon spitefully takes her from him, and decides that he will not aid Agamemnon in the siege.
The Trojan and Greek armies meet outside the walls of Troy; during a parley, Paris offers to duel Menelaus personally for Helen's hand in exchange for the city being spared. Agamemnon, intending to take the city regardless of the outcome, accepts. Menelaus wounds Paris, causing him to cower at the foot of Hector. When Menelaus attempts to kill Paris despite his victory, he himself is killed by Hector. In the ensuing battle, Hector kills Ajax after a brief duel and many Greek soldiers fall to the Trojan defenses with Achilles and the myrmidons watch from a distance during the battle. On Odysseus' insistence, Agamemnon gives the order to fall back. In the camp after Ajax and Menelaus were cremated, Agamemnon and Odysseus argued on why they lost the battle. He gives Briseis to the Greek soldiers for their amusement, but Achilles saves her from them. Later that night, Briseis sneaks into Achilles' quarters to kill him; instead, she falls for him and they become lovers. Achilles then resolves to leave Troy, much to the dismay of Patroclus, his cousin and protégé.
Despite Hector's objections, Priam orders him to retake the Trojan beach by daybreak and force the Greeks home; the attack unifies the Greeks and the Myrmidons enter the battle. Hector duels a man he believes to be Achilles and kills him, only to discover it was actually his cousin Patroclus. Distraught, both armies agree to stop fighting for the day. Achilles is informed of his cousin's death by Eudorus and vows revenge after striking Eudorus. Wary that Achilles will surely seek Vengeance, Hector shows his wife Andromache a secret tunnel beneath Troy; should he die and the city fall, he instructs her to take their child and any survivors out of the city to Mount Ida.
The next day, Achilles arrives outside Troy and challenges Hector. Hector says his goodbyes to his loved ones, including his wife and son. The two duel outside the gates with Hector putting up a good fight at first, but he is slowly worn down and Achilles lands the killing blow. Achilles then drags his corpse back to the Trojan beach. Priam, in disguise, sneaks into the camp and implores Achilles to return Hector's body for a proper funeral. Ashamed of his actions, Achilles agrees and also states that Hector was the best he had ever fought. He allows Briseis to return to Troy with Priam, promising a twelve-day truce so that Hector's funeral rites may be held in peace. He also orders his men to return home without him after apologizing to Eudorus for striking him.
Agamemnon declares that he will take Troy regardless of the cost. Concerned, Odysseus concocts a plan to infiltrate the city. After seeing a carving of a horse by a Greek soldier, he has the Greeks build a gigantic wooden horse as a peace offering and abandon the Trojan beach, hiding their ships in a nearby cove. Despite objections from Paris who requests for it to be burned down, Priam orders the horse be brought into the city after Archeptolemus views it as a gift intended for calming the gods. A Trojan scout later finds the Greek ships hiding in the cove, but he was quickly shot down as he was about to alert the city. That night, Greeks hiding inside the horse emerge, attacking the sleeping Trojans by surprise and open the city gates for the Greek army, commencing the Sack of Troy. While Andromache and Helen guide the Trojans to safety through the tunnel, Paris gives the Sword of Troy to a young boy named Aeneas, instructing him to protect the Trojans and find them a new home. Agamemnon kills Priam and captures Briseis, who then kills Agamemnon using a concealed knife in her hand. Achilles fights his way through the city and reunites with Briseis after killing the two Greek soldiers. Paris, seeking to avenge his brother, shoots an arrow through Achilles' heel and then several into his body. Achilles extracts all the arrows but the one in his heel. He then bids farewell to Briseis, and watches her flee with Paris before dying.
In the aftermath, Troy is finally taken by the Greeks and a funeral is held for Achilles, where Odysseus personally cremates his body.
- Brad Pitt as Achilles, Greece's greatest warrior and leader of the Myrmidons
- Eric Bana as Hector, Crown Prince of Troy, commander of the Trojan armies and Paris' older brother
- Orlando Bloom as Paris, Prince of Troy and Hector's younger brother
- Diane Kruger as Helen, former Queen of Sparta who became a Princess of Troy
- Brian Cox as Agamemnon, King of the united Greek city-states
- Sean Bean as Odysseus, King of Ithaca
- Brendan Gleeson as Menelaus, King of Sparta and younger brother of Agamemnon
- Rose Byrne as Briseis, priestess of the Trojan Temple of Apollo
- Saffron Burrows as Andromache, Hector's wife and Crown Princess of Troy
- Julie Christie as Thetis, Achilles' mother
- Peter O'Toole as Priam, King of Troy
- Garrett Hedlund as Patroclus, Achilles' younger cousin
- John Shrapnel as Nestor, Agemememnon's advisor
- Nigel Terry as Archeptolemus, the Trojan high priest
- James Cosmo as Glaucus, second-in command of the Trojan armies
- Julian Glover as Triopas, King of Thessaly
- Vincent Regan as Eudorus, Achilles' right-hand man of the Myrmdions
- Trevor Eve as Velior
- Tyler Mane as Ajax
- Nathan Jones as Boagrius, Triopas' champion
The city of Troy was built in the Mediterranean island of Malta at Fort Ricasoli from April to June 2003. Other important scenes were shot in Mellieħa, a small town in the north of Malta, and on the small island of Comino. The outer walls of Troy were built and filmed in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Film production was disrupted for a period after Hurricane Marty affected filming areas. The role of Briseis was initially offered to Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai, but she refused it because she was not comfortable doing the lovemaking scenes that were included. The role eventually went to Rose Byrne.
Brad Pitt years later expressed disappointment with the film saying “I had to do Troy because [...] I pulled out of another movie and then had to do something for the studio. So I was put in Troy. It wasn’t painful, but I realized that the way that movie was being told was not how I wanted it to be. I made my own mistakes in it. What am I trying to say about Troy? I could not get out of the middle of the frame. It was driving me crazy. I’d become spoiled working with David Fincher. It’s no slight on Wolfgang Petersen. Das Boot is one of the all-time great films. But somewhere in it, Troy became a commercial kind of thing. Every shot was like, Here’s the hero! There was no mystery.”
Composer Gabriel Yared originally worked on the score for Troy for over a year, having been hired by the director, Wolfgang Petersen. Tanja Carovska provided vocals on various portions of the music, as she later would on composer James Horner's version of the soundtrack. However, the reactions at test screenings which used an incomplete version of the score were negative, and in less than a day Yared was off the project without a chance to fix or change his music. James Horner composed a replacement score in about four weeks. He used Carovska's vocals again and also included traditional Eastern Mediterranean music and brass instruments. Horner also collaborated with American singer-songwriter Josh Groban and lyricist Cynthia Weil to write an original song for the film's end credits. The product of this collaboration, "Remember" was performed by Groban with additional vocals by Carovska.
The soundtrack for the film was released on May 11, 2004, through Reprise Records.
Troy: Director's Cut was screened at the 57th Berlin International Film Festival on February 17, 2007, and received a limited release in Germany in April 2007. Warner Home Video reportedly spent more than $1 million for the director's cut, which includes "at least 1,000 new cuts" or almost 30 minutes extra footage (with a new running time of 196 minutes). The DVD was released on September 18, 2007, in the US. The score of the film was changed dramatically, with many of the female vocals being cut. An addition to the music is the use of Danny Elfman's theme for Planet of the Apes during the pivotal fight between Hector and Achilles in front of the Gates of Troy. Josh Groban's song was removed from the end credits as well.
Various shots were recut and extended. For instance, the love scene between Helen and Paris was reframed to include more nudity of Diane Kruger. The love scene between Achilles and Briseis is also extended. Only one scene was removed: the scene where Helen tends to the wound of Paris is taken out. The battle scenes were also extended, depicting more violence and gore, including much more of Ajax's bloody rampage on the Trojans during the initial attack by the Greek Army. Perhaps most significant was the sacking of Troy, barely present in the theatrical cut, but shown fully here, depicting the soldiers raping women and murdering babies. Characters were given more time to develop, specifically Priam and Odysseus, the latter being given a humorous introduction scene. More emphasis is given to the internal conflict in Troy between the priests, who believe in omens and signs from the gods to determine the outcome of the war, and military commanders, who believe in practical battle strategies to achieve victory. Lastly, bookend scenes were added: the beginning being a soldier's dog finding its dead master and the end including a sequence where the few surviving Trojans escape to Mount Ida. In one of the commentary sequences, the film's writer, David Benioff, said that when it came to deciding whether to follow The Iliad or to do what was best for the film, they always decided with what was best for the film.
Troy was released on DVD on January 4, 2005. The director's cut was released on Blu-ray and DVD on September 18, 2007. The directors cut is the only edition of the film available on Blu-ray, however the theatrical cut was released on HD-DVD.
When the film was completed, total production costs were approximately $185 million. This made Troy one of the most expensive films produced in modern cinema. It was screened out of competition at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival.
Troy made more than 73% of its revenues outside the United States. Eventually, Troy made over US$497 million worldwide, temporarily placing it in the #60 spot of top box office hits of all time. It was the 8th highest-grossing film of 2004 and currently is in the top 250 highest-grossing films of all time.
Troy was met with mixed reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a rating of 54%, based on 228 reviews, with an average rating of 6.04/10. The site's consensus describes the film as "A brawny, entertaining spectacle, but lacking emotional resonance." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 56 out of 100, based on 43 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
Box office totals
- Budget – $185,000,000
- Marketing cost – $50,000,000
- Opening weekend gross (Domestic) – $46,865,412
- Total domestic grosses – $133,378,256
- Total overseas grosses – $364,031,596
- Total worldwide grosses – $497,409,852
Awards and nominations
|2005||Academy Awards||Best Achievement in Costume Design - Bob Ringwood||Nominated|
|2008||Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films||Best DVD Special Edition Release (Director's Cut: Ultimate Collector's Edition)||Nominated|
|2005||ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards||Top Box Office Films - James Horner||Won|
|2005||Awards of the Japanese Academy||Best Foreign Film||Nominated|
|2004||Golden Schmoes Awards||Biggest Disappointment of the Year||Nominated|
|2004||Golden Schmoes Awards||Best Action Sequence of the Year (Hector vs Achilles)||Nominated|
|2004||Golden Trailer Awards||Best Music||Nominated|
|2004||Golden Trailer Awards||Summer 2004 Blockbuster (For "Greatest War")||Nominated|
|2005||Harry Awards||Film Which Most Contributed to the Public Understanding and Appreciation of History||Nominated|
|2004||Irish Film and Television Awards||Best Supporting Actor in Film/TV - Peter O'Toole||Won|
|2005||London Critics Circle Film Awards||British Supporting Actor of the Year - Brian Cox||Nominated|
|2005||Motion Picture Sound Editors||Best Sound Editing in Foreign Features||Nominated|
|2005||MTV Movie Awards||Best Male Performance - Brad Pitt||Nominated|
|2005||MTV Movie Awards||Best Fight - Brad Pitt, Eric Bana||Nominated|
|2004||Stinkers Bad Movie Awards||Worst Actor - Brad Pitt||Nominated|
|2004||Stinkers Bad Movie Awards||Most Annoying Fake Accent (Male) - Brad Pitt||Nominated|
|2004||Teen Choice Awards||Choice Movie Actor: Action - Brad Pitt||Won|
|2004||Teen Choice Awards||Choice Movie: Action||Nominated|
|2004||Teen Choice Awards||Choice Movie Actor: Action - Orlando Bloom||Nominated|
|2004||Teen Choice Awards||Choice Movie: Fight/Action Sequence||Nominated|
|2004||Teen Choice Awards||Choice Movie: Breakout Actor - Garrett Hedlund||Nominated|
|2005||Visual Effects Society Awards||Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Motion Picture||Nominated|
|2004||World Soundtrack Awards||Best Original Song Written for Film ("Remember Me")||Nominated|
|2005||World Stunt Awards||Best Fight||Nominated|
|2005||World Stunt Awards||Best Stunt Coordinator and/or 2nd Unit Director - Simon Crane||Nominated|
- Epic film
- Greek mythology in popular culture
- List of book-based war films (wars before 1775)
- List of films based on poems
- List of historical period drama films
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- Marchese, David (December 9, 2019). "Brad Pitt on the Kind of Leading Man He Doesn't Want to Be". New York Times Magazine.
- "The Score of Troy - A Mystery Unveiled: by Gabriel Yared". TheScreamOnline.com. Retrieved 2010-05-30.
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- Other criticism arose with the depiction of the movie missing key elements and characters that were key components in Homer's The Iliad."Troy". Metacritic.
- Ebert, Roger. "Troy movie review & film summary (2004) | Roger Ebert". www.rogerebert.com.
- Petersen, Daniel (2006). Troja: Embedded im Troianischen Krieg (Troy: Embedded in the Trojan War). HörGut! Verlag. ISBN 3-938230-99-1.
- Winkler, Martin M. (2006). Troy: From Homer's Iliad to Hollywood Epic. Blackwell Publishing. ISBN 1-4051-3183-7.
- Proch, Celina/Kleu, Michael (2013). Models of Maculinities in Troy: Achilles, Hector and Their Female Partners, in: A.-B. Renger/J. Solomon (ed.): Ancient Worlds in Film and Television. Gender and Politics, Brill, pp. 175–193, ISBN 9789004183209.
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