Troy (film)

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Theatrical release poster
Directed byWolfgang Petersen
Produced by
Screenplay byDavid Benioff
Based onIliad
by Homer
Music byJames Horner
CinematographyRoger Pratt
Edited byPeter Honess
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release date
  • May 13, 2004 (2004-05-13) (Cannes)
  • May 14, 2004 (2004-05-14)
Running time
163 minutes
  • United States
  • United Kingdom
  • Malta
Budget$185 million[1][2]
Box office$497.4 million[3]

Troy is a 2004 epic period war film written by David Benioff, directed by Wolfgang Petersen and co-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[4] 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 was the 8th highest-grossing film of 2004.[5]


The film begins with Agamemnon, king of Mycenae, having subdued all the Greek kingdoms except Thessaly. The two sides have summoned armies to meet on the field of battle, but Agamemnon proposes single combat between two champions. The king of Thessaly summons Boagrius, while Agamemnon summons Achilles. Although Achilles is unwilling to fight for Agamemnon, Nestor persuades him to do so, saying he can save hundreds of men by fighting Boagrius. Achilles kills Boagrius and Agamemnon gains dominion over Thessaly.

Meanwhile, in Sparta, Agamemnon's brother Menelaus is entertaining Princes Hector and Paris, emissaries from Troy. Paris and Helen, Menelaus' wife secretly go upstairs, where it is revealed they have been having an affair. Helen expresses fear because Paris and Hector leave the next day, but Paris has a plan to rescue Helen. The two lovers run away, with Paris smuggling Helen on board a vessel bound for Troy. He later shows her to his brother, who thinks of sending her back, but realises that Paris will only follow her. The ship continues to Troy.

Menelaus, having discovered his wife's flight, has approached his brother for help. He convinces Agamemnon to attack Troy, Agamemnon agrees because he sees this as an opportunity to control shipping in the Aegean by destroying the most important city on the coast of Asia Minor. Agamemnon commands the Greek kings to assemble their forces but Nestor notes that Troy has never fallen before and convinces him that they need Achilles.

Odysseus, king of Ithaca, is sent to Phthia to convince Achilles to join Agamemnon. While there, he meets Patroclus, Achilles' cousin and student. Achilles also meets his mother Thetis, who warns him that if he remains he will live a long happy life but will not be remembered. If he goes to Troy, he will find everlasting glory and renown but will die. Wanting to be remembered, Achilles chooses to go to Troy, summoning his Myrmidons, including Patroclus.

Hector, Paris arrive in Troy, where they are greeted by their father, King Priam and their cousin Briseis. Priam is disappointed in Paris' actions but accepts Helen nonetheless. Helen warns Paris that Agamemnon and Menelaus will come for her, but Paris intends to challenge Menelaus to single combat. The combined Greek forces arrive the next day, with the Myrmidons taking the beach of Troy and desecrating the temple to Apollo. During this act of sacrilege, Achilles has Apollo's priests killed and takes Briseis, an acolyte in the temple, as his prisoner.

Agamemnon, hearing of Achilles' prize, takes her for himself, angering Achilles, who forces his troops to stay out of the war. The Greek and Trojan armies assemble outside Troy and Paris challenges Menelaus to single combat during a truce. Although having never been in battle, Paris is confident and uses the sword of Troy, a legendary sword used by Priam and his ancestors. Hector advises Paris to defend himself so that Menelaus will tire himself out, but Menelaus is able to remove Paris' shield and cut his thigh, leaving the Trojan prince to limp to his brother. Menelaus and Agamemnon fail to persuade Hector to leave Paris on the field of battle and Agamemnon claims the truce has been violated. Menelaus is killed by Hector after attempting to kill Paris, who is clinging to the feet of Hector. Agamemnon orders the Greeks to attack but they are pushed back by Trojan soldiers on the ground and archers atop the walls. During this time, Ajax the Greater is slain by Hector. Achilles watches Agamemnon retreat and does not intervene, to the dismay of Patroclus.

The Greek forces retreat to the ships and the Trojan forces are pulled back by Hector, seeig that they are within range of Greek archers. Nestor and Odysseus persuade Agamemnon to make amends with Achilles. Achilles taunts Briseis because of her loyalty to Apollo and Briseis question's Achilles' morals and questions why he wants to be a great warrior. She attempts to kill him during the night, but realises that she loves him and so refrains.

In Troy, Priam has assembled his councilors, who advocate attacking the Greeks while they are disadvantaged. Hector, however, notes that the Myrmidons did not fight, surmising that there is dissension within the Greek army. He believes that fighting them now would unite them. Priam orders an attack at daybreak. The Trojan archers use flaming arrows on the ground, lighting small fires. They then roll large balls of over the hill that the Greeks have built. These then burst into flame when they hit the flame, causing havoc in the Greek camp. Odysseus and Achilles organise a resistance but Hector and the Trojans charge into the camp. During the fight, Achilles is slain by Hector, who removes the helmet of the dying man. It is revealed that Patroclus has dressed as Achilles to inspire the Greeks and lead the Myrmidons. Hector puts Patroclus out of his misery and concludes a truce with Odysseus. Achilles is told of his cousin's death and almost strangles Briseis in his anger.

The next day Hector prepares for battle, despite have been begged by his wife Andromache. The night before, Hector showed Andromache a secret tunnel out of Troy, telling her that if he falls, she must rescue as many Trojans as she can and lead them through the tunnel. Hector realises that Achilles will seek him out personally, to avenge Patroclus.

Achilles, meanwhile, prepares to fight Hector, although Briseis begs him not to fight her cousin as he is a good man. Achilles arrives outside Troy alone, calling out for Hector to face him. Hector farewells Paris, Priam, Andromache and Helen, preparing to meet his fate. Achilles and Hector fight but Hector is eventually brought down by exhaustion. Achilles kills him and drags his body around Troy and back to the Greek camp, as Andromache is consoled by Helen. Achilles returns to his tent and Briseis, upon seeing him, bursts into tears for her cousin.

During that night, Priam approaches the Greek camp in disguise, kisses Achilles' hands and asks for his son's body. Achilles is moved to tears by the old king's pleas and consents to a 12-day truce for Hector's funeral. He even lets Briseis return home with her uncle, commenting that Priam is a far better king than Agamemnon.

Agamemnon is furious at the truce between Achilles and Priam and claims he would rather see all the Greeks die before giving up on his ambition. Odysseus devises a plan to sneak into Troy; the Trojan Horse. During this time, the Myrmidons are ordered to sail back home, with only Achilles remaining. The Trojans accept the horse into the city despite Paris urging his father to burn it. The Greeks in the horse come out after the Trojan celebrations and signal to the Greek army, which pours into Troy.

The Greeks begin to burn Troy, stealing gold and pulling down statues. As Priam watches in horror, he claims the Greeks have no honour just before being killed by Agamemnon. Achilles races through the city to find Briseis and Andromache leads Helen and other refugees through the passage. Paris leaves Helen, promising to meet her again in that life or the afterlife. He gives the sword of Troy to Aeneas and goes to find Briseis.

Briseis, being trapped by Agamemnon, who wishes to enslave her, kills him with a concealed blade while Achilles, finding her, saves her from the Greek guards. Paris sees them both and, despite protests from Briseis, shoots Achilles multiple times, notably in the heel. As Achilles dies, he kisses Briseis, who leaves with Paris through the escape tunnel.

As Odysseus lights Achilles' funeral pyre, he ends the film with the following line;

"If they ever tell my story, let them say I walked with giants. Men rise and fall like the winter wheat, but these names will never die. Let them say I lived in the time of Hector, tamer of horses. Let them say, I lived, in the time of Achilles."



The city of Troy was built in the Mediterranean island of Malta at Fort Ricasoli from April to June 2003.[6] 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.[7] Film production was disrupted for a period after Hurricane Marty affected filming areas.[8] The role of Briseis was initially offered to Bollywood superstar 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.


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" 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.

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, showing 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. 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.

Home media[edit]

Troy was released on DVD on January 4, 2005[10] The Director's cut was released on Blu-Ray & 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.


Commercial performance[edit]

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.[13]

Troy screenings have earned US$133,378,256 in the United States.[14]

Troy made more than 73%[14] of its revenues outside the United States. Eventually, Troy made over US$497 million worldwide,[14] 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.

Critical reception[edit]

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."[15] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 56 out of 100, based on 43 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[16]

Roger Ebert rated the film 2/4 stars. "Pitt is modern, nuanced, introspective; he brings complexity to a role where it is not required."[17]

Box office totals[edit]

  • 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[14]
  • Total worldwide grosses – $497,409,852

Awards and nominations[edit]

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 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. ^ "'Troy' a mediocre epic". 10 October 2005. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  2. ^ Klein, Christina (27 February 2005). "Is 'King Fu Hustle' Un-American?". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  3. ^ Troy (2004). Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2010-12-03.
  4. ^ Haase, Christine (2007). When Heimat Meets Hollywood: German Filmmakers and America, 1985-2005. Camden House. p. 90. ISBN 978-1571132796.
  5. ^ "2004 Worldwide Grosses". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved September 8, 2009.
  6. ^ Flynn, Gillian (May 2004). "MEN AND MYTHS". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2012-02-20.
  7. ^ "Troy - Malta Movie Map". Archived from the original on 2004-02-07. Retrieved 2010-05-30.
  8. ^ 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.
  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, WarnerBrothers, 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. ^ a b c d "Troy (2004)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2009-12-02.
  15. ^ "Troy Movie Reviews, Pictures". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2019-07-19.
  16. ^ 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.
  17. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)

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 (edd.): Ancient Worlds in Film and Television. Gender and Politics, Brill, pp. 175–193, ISBN 9789004183209.

External links[edit]