Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Wolfgang Petersen|
|Produced by||Wolfgang Petersen
|Written by||David Benioff|
|Music by||James Horner|
|Editing by||Peter Honess|
|Studio||Plan B Entertainment|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|Running time||162 minutes (Theatrical cut)
192 minutes (Director's cut)
United States / Mexico
$177 million (Director's cut)
Troy is a 2004 British-Maltese epic war film written by David Benioff and directed by Wolfgang Petersen. It is based on Homer's Iliad which revolves from the beginning and to the end of the 10 year Trojan War. Achilles leading his Myrmidons along with the rest of the Greek army invading the historical city of Troy, lead by Hector's Trojan army. The ending of the film (the sacking of Troy) is not taken from the Iliad as the ending of the Iliad was based on Hector's death and funeral burial.
The film features an ensemble cast that includes Brad Pitt, Eric Bana, Orlando Bloom, Diane Kruger, Saffron Burrows, Sean Bean, Brian Cox, Brendan Gleeson, Rose Byrne, Vincent Regan, Garrett Hedlund, Tyler Mane, and Peter O'Toole. The film made it into the "Best of Warner Bros - 50 Film Collection (90th Anniversary Collection). It was also nominated for 11 awards. It won 2 at the 2005 ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards which were: Top Box Office Film — James Horner and the 2005 Teen Choice Awards and the Choice Movie Actor – Drama/Action Adventure — Brad Pitt. The Achilles-Hector rivalry was ranked #50 in the 50 Greatest Movie rivalries by Total Film.
Troy made more than 73% of its revenues outside the U.S. Eventually, Troy made over US$497 million worldwide, placing it temporarily in the #60 spot of top box office hits of all time and currently holds #120 spot of the top box office hits of all time.
||This article's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. (February 2013)|
The Trojan Prince Hector and his young brother Paris negotiate a peace treaty with the Spartan King Menelaus. Despite the creation of this fragile armistice, Paris falls for Helen, the wife of Menelaus, and smuggles her aboard the Trojan ship. Hector, having previously warned Paris against provoking Menelaus by committing adultery with Helen, grudgingly concedes to take her back to Troy as Menelaus would by then already know of the betrayal. Infuriated, Menelaus vows to reclaim Helen and rejoin war with Troy. He sails for Mycenae wherein his elder brother Agamemnon is king and commander of all the Achaean (Greek) forces. Agamemnon eagerly agrees to muster the Achaean forces under the pretense of reclaiming Helen for Menelaus, yet his true motivation lies in launching a decisive invasion of the Asiatic city of Troy, his only remaining rival. On the eve of departing to recruit the various Achaean kings to join the war with Troy, King Nestor of Pylos convinces Agamemnon that Achilles, the lord of the Myrmidons, is also essential for the effort, claiming that 'the greatest war needs the greatest warrior.'
Odysseus, king of Ithaca is recruited by Agamemnon's heralds, and for his wisdom and silver tongue he is chosen to visit Phtia to persuade Achilles to fight. Achilles, though unwilling to go to war on behalf of Agamemnon, is tempted enough to seek the counsel of his mother, Thetis, the sea nymph. She tells him that were he to remain in Greece, he would live a long, prosperous life and raise a family - yet his name and renown would be die out over the generations. Were he to join in the war, glory would be his forever, yet it would claim his life. Swayed by thoughts of everlasting fame, he decides to depart for Troy.
Not long after the return of the Trojan embassy to Troy the full Greek fleet set sail. Old King Priam, though dismayed by the presence of Helen in their company, graciously invites her into the Royal Trojan Court.
At dawn, the Greek fleet of one thousand ships appears on the horizon. The Trojans frantically prepare their defenses, muster their men, and bring their population in for protection from the coming onslaught. The Myrmidon ship is the first to land on the beaches of Troy. Despite initially incurring heavy losses from the deadly Trojan archers, Achilles and his Myrmidons push back the numerically superior but disorganized Trojan troops, causing horrendous casualties among the Trojans. Ajax the Greater and his Salamineans arrive shortly after Achilles and make a respectable contribution to the attack. Achilles singularly wipes out a squadron of Trojans garrisoning the Temple of Apollo and commands his troops to loot it. Prince Hector arrives with his Apollonian Guard of cavalrymen and attempt to retake the Temple. The Trojans are ambushed and fare poorly. Hector fights bravely, but strays from the fight to duel the Greek leader who unbeknownst to him is Achilles. Achilles, clearly aware of who is confronting him, refuses to fight Hector because he has no ill will towards the latter.
Briseis, a member of the Trojan royal family and cousin to Hector and Paris, is captured by the Myrmidons and brought to Achilles's pavilion to 'amuse' him. Achilles and Briseis have a contemptuous exchange and Achilles becomes fascinated by her. However, he is abruptly summoned by Agamemnon and their discussion ends. At the court of the high king, Achilles sarcastically expresses awe and respect for Agamemon. The Mycenaean king and the war hero, ever at odds, almost come to blows when the former reveals that he has taken Briseis for himself as a spoil of war. Although Achilles concedes and leaves, he vows to not fight for the Greek cause until Agamemnon returns Briseis.
The next day the overconfident Greek Army of some 50,000 men marches on the city of Troy. At the head of several thousand men guarding the gates of the city from the outside, Hector and Paris meet the retinue of king Agamemnon, Menelaus, Nestor, and Odysseus; and demand that the Greeks leave Troy in peace. Agamemnon refuses and Paris makes a counter-offer of deciding the fate of Helen in a duel to the death with Menelaus. Agamemnon is persuaded to accept this term by Menelaus who assures him that once he has killed Paris, the Greeks can launch their attack regardless.
The untrained Paris is easily beaten by Menelaus, but flees back to Hector. Menelaus pursues but is killed by Hector just as he is about to slay Paris. Enraged, Agamemnon orders for the Greeks to attack. Achilles and his Myrmidons, watching the commencing battle from some nearby ruins, is dismayed by the poor battle plan of the Greeks. The Achaeans lose 10,000 men in short time, under a hail of arrows from the city walls and pursued by Hector's well led forces. Ajax is killed in a duel with Hector, and the Trojans only decide to end their pursuit of the Greeks once they come into range of the Greek archers. The day is a resounding victory for the Trojans and the royal council meets to decide on their next course of action. The High Priest of Apollo tells King Priam that he was given a sign of the great victory that day, and urges the king to go on the offensive. Hector observes that Achilles and the Myrmidons did not fight alongside the Greeks in the battle. If the Trojans were to attack immediately, he reasons, Achilles could be driven back into battle against the Trojans. Despite this advice, Priam orders the Trojan army to attack the Greeks at the beaches.
Concerned for the Greek army, King Nestor asks Agamemnon to return Briseis to Achilles and make peace with the war-hero. Agamemnon concedes but Achilles has by this time already reclaimed her from a group of Mycenaean soldiers preparing to rape her. That night, Briseis attempts to murder Achilles. She changes her mind when he shows no fear in the face of death, and the two make love.
Before dawn, Hector launch a surprise attack against the Greek encampment. The demoralized Greek forces led by Odysseus appear ripe for another ruinous defeat when they see the large Trojan army advancing down towards the beach bivouac. Yet before the forces engage, Achilles and the Myrmidons come to rally the Greeks and balance the terms of the engagement. Hector and Achilles engage in a duel in which it appears that the latter is killed. However, as Hector removes the helm of his opponent, it is revealed to be Patroclus, Achilles's beloved cousin. Hector and Odysseus arrange a cease-fire and the latter remarks to Hector that the Myrmidons were 'going home,' upon which Hector prophetically replies that he doubts anyone will return home after the events of the day. Achilles, who had slept through the battle, is told by Eudorus of his cousin's death. Wearing the hero's armour, Patroclus had fooled the Myrmidons into believing that Achilles was leading them. Furious, Achilles attacks Eudorus and Briseis. Later that night Achilles lights Patroclus's funeral pyre. Hector realizes that Achilles will seek revenge for the death of his cousin, and begins making preparations for his family after his death at the hands of Achilles. He leads his wife, Princess Andromache to a secret path out of the city, telling her to use it if ('when' is implied) the city falls.
The next day, Achilles approaches the gates of Troy by chariot and challenges Hector. After saying his goodbyes to his family, Hector departs by foot through the great city gates and confronts Achilles. The two appear evenly matched, but Hector begins to tire against Achilles's relentless assault. Achilles slays Hector, then ties his body to the back of his chariot, and drags it back to the Greek ships, shocking the Trojans. That night, King Priam (Peter O'Toole) visits the Greek army's camp to convince Achilles to let him retrieve Hector's body. Moved by the king's plea, Achilles agrees, allowing Priam to return his firstborn and heir to enjoy a funeral worthy of his stature. Overcome by the guilt of killing the only good man among the leaders of the Greeks and Trojans, Achilles breaks down and weeps while preparing Hector's body. He gives Priam his word that no Greek will attack Troy for 12 days while the Trojans hold their funeral games. Achilles lets Priam take Briseis back as well and notes that Hector was the best he ever fought.
During the truce, Agamemnon fumes at the loss of an opportunity to attack while the Trojans are vulnerable, despite his generals' reminders that they still do not have a way to breach the city's walls. Realizing that the mad king would see all of his own men slaughtered before he gives up his ambition, Odysseus plans to infiltrate the city by building a huge hollow wooden horse and hiding inside it with Achilles and a handful of the best Greek soldiers. Preparing to join the party of men in the wooden horse, Achilles makes amends with Eudorus and orders him to command the Myrmidons and lead them home. The other Greeks leave the horse at the beach and then depart, hiding their fleet in a nearby cove. Priam trusts his priests when they tell him that the horse is an offering by the fleeing Greeks to Poseidon to guarantee them safe passage across the Aegean Sea, despite the strong misgivings of Paris and Glaucus who would rather prefer to burn the horse there and then. Assuming victory, the Trojans take the horse into the city and celebrate. A Trojan scout finds the Greek ships hiding in the cove, but is killed by their archers before he can alert the city. The band of Greeks led by Achilles and Odysseus come out of the horse at night, and start to kill sleeping Trojan guards; then they unbar and open the gates to the city, allowing the main Greek army to enter. The Greeks commence the Sack of Troy, raping, massacring, and defiling everything in their path. The Trojan army attempts to defend the royal palace, but fails and the Greeks storm in.
While Troy burns, Andromache helps Helen and many others escape from the city through the secret passage which Hector had shown her. Paris hands Aeneas the Sword of Troy, repeating his father's words that the Trojans will have a future as long as the sword is in Trojan hands. After helping the survivors to escape, he heads back into the city to join the defense, but abandons the fight after hearing Briseis calling him. Odysseus kills Glaucus, and Agamemnon kills Priam.
Achilles searches for Briseis, who is being threatened by Agamemnon. She kills Agamemnon with a concealed knife and is saved from his guards by Achilles. While Achilles is helping Briseis to her feet, Paris draws his bow and shoots Achilles several times, the first arrow piercing his heel, before Briseis manages to stay his hand. Achilles, accepting his death as revenge for the death of Hector, urges Briseis to join Paris and escape from the city. Dying, Achilles removes all but the first arrow, but gradually succumbs to his wounds, just as the soldiers arrive to see him die with only the single fatal arrow through his heel. Funeral rituals are performed for Achilles in the ruins of Troy the next day. The film ends with a speech from Odysseus: "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."
In the extended edition, as Achilles is burned on his pyre, the Trojan refugees are seen escaping into the hinterlands of Troas, hinting at the beginning of the Aeneid.
Greeks members, advisers and servants (Mycenae and Sparta)
- Ken Bones as Hippasus, the adviser of Menelaus.
- Brian Cox as Agamemnon, the king of Mycenae. He is the brother of Menelaus.
- Brendan Gleeson as Menelaus, the king of Sparta and husband of Helen. He is the brother of Agamemnon.
- Diane Kruger as Helen, the queen of Sparta and wife of Menelaus. She is the lover of Paris. (Voice of Helen in the French and German dubbed versions)
- John Shrapnel as Nestor, the adviser of Agamemnon.
- Siri Svegler as Polydora, a Spartan entertainer.
- Julie Christie as Thetis, the mother of Achilles and aunt of Patroclus.
- Garrett Hedlund as Patroclus, the cousin and student of Achilles.
- Brad Pitt as Achilles, son of Peleus and Thetis, cousin of Patroclus, and leader of the Myrmidons. He is also the lover of Briseis and the protagonist.
- Vincent Regan as Eudoros, the general of the Myrmidon army and Achilles's best friend.
Kings and Warriors of other Greek states (e.g. Ithaca, Thessaly, etc.)
- Sean Bean as Odysseus, the king of Ithaca and friend of Achilles. He is considered the most clever of the Greeks. He serves as the film's narrator.
- Julian Glover as Triopas, the king of Thessaly.
- Nathan Jones as Boagrius, a Thessalian champion.
- Tyler Mane as Greater Ajax, the king of Salamis
- Peter O'Toole as Priam, the king of Troy, father of Hector and Paris, uncle of Briseis and father-in-law of Andromache.
- Eric Bana as Hector, the prince of Troy and the best warrior among the Trojans. He is the elder son of Priam, brother of Paris, cousin of Briseis and husband of Andromache.
- Orlando Bloom as Paris, the prince of Troy. He is the younger son of Priam, brother of Hector, cousin of Briseis and brother-in-law of Andromache. He is the lover of Helen.
- Saffron Burrows as Andromache, the princess of Troy and wife of Hector. She is the sister-in-law of Paris and daughter-in-law of Priam.
- Rose Byrne as Briseis, the priestess of Apollo, niece of Priam and cousin of Hector and Paris, cousin-in-law of Andromache. She is the lover of Achilles.
- James Cosmo as Glaucus, the commanding general of the Trojan army.
- Frankie Fitzgerald as Aeneas, a Trojan youth. As Troy is being sacked, Paris picks him at random to take the Sword of Troy, carrying the future of the Trojans into Virgil's epic, The Aeneid.
- Nigel Terry as Archeptolemus, the Trojan high priest and adviser of Priam.
James Santi as body double for Brad Pitt
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 of time after Hurricane Marty affected filming areas. 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.
Yared wrote and recorded his score and Tanja Carovska provided vocals on various portions of the music, as she later would on composer James Horner's version of the soundtrack. However, after having screened the film with an early incomplete version of the score, the reactions at test screenings were against it and in less than a day Yared was off the project without being given a chance to fix or change his music, while Warner Bros was already looking for a replacement. According to Yared, his score was removed due to a complaint by the screening audience that the score was too "old-fashioned".
The replacement score was written by composer James Horner in about four weeks. He used Carovska's vocals again, and also included traditional Eastern Mediterranean music and brass instruments. Drums are conspicuous in the most dramatic scenes; most notably, in the duel between Achilles and Hector. 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 Tzarovska. The song is available on the film's original soundtrack.
A commentator, Alex Ross, claims that large portions of the score were essentially plagiarized from the pieces of which they are reminiscent.
Around the time of the film's release in theaters, Gabriel Yared briefly made portions of his rejected score available on his personal website, which was later removed at the request of Warner Brothers. Bootleg versions exist on the Internet. Yared's score has since gained much attention from the fans of film music. Several petitions were made requesting the release of Yared's score either on a limited edition CD or as a bonus feature or secondary audio track on the film's DVD. Those requests however, have been denied by Warner Bros.
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. 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.
When the film was completed, total production costs were approximately $175,000,000. 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 met mixed reactions by reviewers. Rotten Tomatoes gave it an average approval rating of 55% from a base of 222 reviews, while Yahoo! Movies gave it a critic rating of "B-" based on 15 reviews. IMDb gave the film an average rating of 71% base on audience poll ratings. Roger Ebert, who disliked what he saw as an unfaithful adaptation of the Iliad, gave it two stars out of four. Ebert claimed that Troy "sidesteps the existence of the Greek gods, turns its heroes into action movie clichés and demonstrates that we're getting tired of computer-generated armies."
Box office totals
- Budget – $175,000,000
- 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
2005 ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards
- Won – Top Box Office Film — James Horner
2005 Academy Awards
- Nominated – Best Achievement in Costume Design — Bob Ringwood
- Nominated – Best Foreign Film
2005 MTV Movie Awards
2005 Motion Picture Sound Editors (Golden Reel Award)
- Nominated – Best Sound Editing in Foreign Features — Wylie Statesman, Martin Cantwell, James Boyle, Harry Barnes, Paul Conway, Alex Joseph, Matthew Grime, Steve Schwalbe, Howard Halsall, Sue Lenny, Simon Price & Nigel Stone
2005 Teen Choice Awards
- Won – Choice Movie Actor – Drama/Action Adventure — Brad Pitt
- Nominated – Choice Movie Actor – Drama/Action Adventure — Orlando Bloom
- Nominated – Choice Breakout Movie Star – Male — Garrett Hedlund
- Nominated – Choice Movie – Drama/Action Adventure
- Nominated – Choice Movie Fight/Action Sequence
- Epic film
- Greek mythology in popular culture
- List of films based on poems
- List of historical drama films
- Troy (2004). Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2010-12-03.
- Flynn, Gillian (May 2004). "MEN AND MYTHS". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2012-02-20.
- "Troy - Malta Movie Map". MaltaMovieMap.VisitMalta.com. Retrieved 2010-05-30.
- 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". Hollywood.com. Archived from the original on 25 January 2013. Retrieved 15 December 2012.
- "The Score of Troy - A Mystery Unveiled: by Gabriel Yared". TheScreamOnline.com. Retrieved 2010-05-30.
- "Troy (Rejected Score)". MovieMusicUK.us. Retrieved 2010-05-30.[dead link]
- "Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise: Das Lied von der Brad". The Rest Is Noise. 2004-05-24. Retrieved 2012-03-10.
- "Festival de Cannes: Troy". Festival-Cannes.com. Retrieved 2009-12-05.
- "Troy (2004)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2009-12-02.
- "Troy Movie Reviews, Pictures". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2012-07-14.
- "Troy (2004)". Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved 2009-12-02.
- Ebert, Roger (May 14, 2004). "Troy Review". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on December 2, 2009. Retrieved December 2, 2009.
- 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.
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- Official website
- Troy at the Internet Movie Database
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- Troy at Box Office Mojo