Troy (film)

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Theatrical release poster
Directed byWolfgang Petersen
Screenplay byDavid Benioff
Based onIliad
by Homer
Produced by
CinematographyRoger Pratt
Edited byPeter Honess
Music byJames Horner
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release date
  • May 13, 2004 (2004-05-13) (Cannes)
  • May 14, 2004 (2004-05-14) (United States)
Running time
163 minutes
  • United States
  • United Kingdom
  • Malta
Budget$175–185 million[1][2]
Box office$497.4 million [1]

Troy is a 2004 epic historical war 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[3] 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, making it the 60th highest-grossing film of all-time at that point. It received a nomination for Best Costume Design at the 77th Academy Awards and was the eighth highest-grossing film of 2004.[4]


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, easily defeats Boagrius, Triopas' champion, in single combat after Achilles was initially absent from the battle. Thessaly joins Agamemnon's loose alliance comprising all of the Greek kingdoms.

Prince Hector of Troy and his younger brother Paris negotiate peace 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 destroy Troy and retrieve his wife. 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 even 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 has a brief confrontation with Hector. He claims Briseis, a priestess and the cousin of Paris and Hector, as a prisoner afterward. However, Agamemnon spitefully takes Briseis from Achilles, and Achilles decides he will not further aid Agamemnon in the siege.

The next day, 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 is killed by Hector. Agamemnon then leads an attack on the Trojan army which is outnumbered two to one. The armies collide violently with many falling on both sides. Hector spots and kills Ajax after a brief but fierce duel, and many Greek soldiers fall to the Trojan archers and infantrymen with Achilles and the Myrmidons watching the battle from a distance. On Odysseus' insistence, Agamemnon gives the order to fall back. After Ajax and Menelaus are cremated in the Greek camp, Agamemnon and Odysseus argue about why they lost the battle. Agamemnon 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 to return home. The trojans attack at night shooting fire arrows in front of the Greek camp while rolling large hay balls towards the camp. The attack wakes the Greeks who assemble before the camp. Achilles rallies the Greeks and the Myrmidons charge the Trojan army along with the rest of the Greeks. Hector cuts down many greeks and duels a man that he believes to be Achilles and kills him, only to discover that it was actually 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 him. Wary that Achilles will surely seek vengeance, Hector shows his wife Andromache a secret tunnel beneath Troy; should he die and the city falls, 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. Knowing death would await him, Hector says his goodbyes to his loved ones, including his wife and son. The two duel outside the gates and initially appear evenly matched, but Hector is slowly worn down until Achilles throws a spearhead into Hector's shoulder, before stabbing him in the heart with his sword. 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 that he had ever fought. He allows Briseis to return to Troy with Priam, promising a 12-day truce so that Hector's funeral rites may be held in peace. He then apologizes to Eudorus for hurting him and orders him to take their men back home without 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 to 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 is quickly shot before he could alert the city. That night, the Greeks hiding inside the horse emerge including Achilles, attacking the sleeping Trojans, 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. As the Greek army penetrates the upper city, Glaucus leads the remaining defenders in a valiant last stand. The defenders outside the palace put up a heroic resistance, but they are no match for the numbers of the Greeks. When the palace gates are breached, the few Trojan soldiers left kill many Greeks but are ultimately overwhelmed and slain while Paris escapes at the urging of Glaucus who gives his life for the prince by dueling Odysseus who kills him. Agamemnon finds and kills Priam by impaling him with a spear. He later tries to capture Briseis, who then kills Agamemnon by stabbing him in the neck with a concealed knife. Achilles fights his way through the city and reunites with Briseis after rescuing her from Agamemnon's two Greek soldiers. Paris, seeking to avenge his brother, shoots an arrow through Achilles' heel and then several into his body. Achilles takes out 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. Odysseus personally cremates his body while the surviving Trojans flee to Mount Ida.



The city of Troy was built in the Mediterranean island of Malta at Fort Ricasoli from April to June 2003.[5] 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.[6] Film production was disrupted for a period after Hurricane Marty affected filming areas.[7] The role of Briseis was initially offered to Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai, but she turned it down 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.”[8]


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.[9] 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 me", was performed by Groban with additional vocals by Carovska.

The soundtrack for the film was released on May 11, 2004, through Reprise Records.

Director's cut[edit]

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.

There are frequent differences between The Iliad and Troy, most notably relating to the final fates of Paris, Helen, Agamemnon, Achilles and Menelaus. 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.

Home media[edit]

Troy was released on DVD on January 4, 2005.[10] The director's cut was released on Blu-ray and DVD on September 18, 2007.[11][12] The directors cut is the only edition of the film available on Blu-ray, however the theatrical cut was released on HD-DVD.


Box office[edit]

Troy grossed $133.4 million in the United States and Canada, and $364 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $497.4 million.[1] When the film was completed, total production costs were approximately $185 million, making Troy one of the most expensive films produced at that time. It was screened out of competition at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival.[13]

The film made $46.9 million in its opening weekend, topping the box office, then $23.9 million in its second weekend falling to second.[1]

Critical reception[edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes, Troy holds an approval rating of 54% based on 229 reviews, with an average rating of 6.00/10. The site's critics consensus reads, "A brawny, entertaining spectacle, but lacking emotional resonance."[14] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 56 out of 100, based on 43 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[15] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B" on an A+ to F scale.[16]

Roger Ebert rated the film two out of four stars, saying "Pitt is modern, nuanced, introspective; he brings complexity to a role where it is not required."[17] IGN critics Christopher Monfette and Cindy White praised the Director's cut as superior to the early version, evaluating it with eight stars out of ten.[18]


Year Award Category Result
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

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Troy (2004)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2009-12-02.
  2. ^ ""Troy" a mediocre epic - Oct 10, 2005". October 10, 2005.
  3. ^ Haase, Christine (2007). When Heimat Meets Hollywood: German Filmmakers and America, 1985-2005. Camden House. p. 90. ISBN 978-1571132796.
  4. ^ "2004 Worldwide Grosses". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved September 8, 2009.
  5. ^ Flynn, Gillian (May 2004). "MEN AND MYTHS". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2012-02-20.
  6. ^ "Troy - Malta Movie Map". Archived from the original on 2004-02-07. Retrieved 2010-05-30.
  7. ^ Bowen, Kitt (September 29, 2003). "News, Sept. 29: Arrests on Set of Brad Pitt Film, 50 Cent Buys Mike Tyson's Mansion, "Wonder Woman" Gets Screen Treatment". Retrieved 15 December 2012.
  8. ^ Marchese, David (December 9, 2019). "Brad Pitt on the Kind of Leading Man He Doesn't Want to Be". New York Times Magazine.
  9. ^ "The Score of Troy - A Mystery Unveiled: by Gabriel Yared". Retrieved 2010-05-30.
  10. ^ Petersen, Wolfgang (2005-01-04), Troy, Warner Home Video, retrieved 2018-01-03
  11. ^ Petersen, Wolfgang (2007-09-18), Troy: Director's Cut, Warner Brothers, retrieved 2018-01-03
  12. ^ Troy, Warner Home Video, 2007-09-18, retrieved 2018-01-03
  13. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Troy". Retrieved 2009-12-05.
  14. ^ "Troy Movie Reviews, Pictures". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2019-07-19.
  15. ^ "TroyReviews". Metacritic.
  16. ^ "Find CinemaScore" (Type "Troy" in the search box). CinemaScore. Retrieved November 13, 2020.
  17. ^ Ebert, Roger. "Troy movie review & film summary (2004)". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved October 17, 2021.
  18. ^ Monfette, Christopher; White, Cindy (September 10, 2007). "Troy (Director's Cut) DVD Review". IGN. Retrieved October 17, 2021.

Further reading[edit]

  • 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.

External links[edit]