THE BACCHANTES (1961)
(a.k.a. LE BACCANTI)
Article #1495 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 4-18-2005
Posting Date: 9-15-2005
Directed by Giorgio Ferroni
Featuring Taina Elg, Pierre Brice, Alessandro Panaro
A Theban tyrant banishes the worship of Dionysius in favor of that of Demeter, but the resulting drought drives his subjects into rebellion.
This story of the ancient Greeks is a French/Italian co-production made in the early sixties. If this description doesn’t conjure up the phrase “sword-and-sandal”, then nothing does. However, the phrase doesn’t quite fit here; despite the presence of many of the usual trappings of the form, this is less of an action-adventure spectacle than a drama. It even credits Euripedes with the source of the story, though anyone familiar with the Greek tragedy in question will find little familiar here. Still, I can’t blame them; ancient Greek tragedy is something of an alien form anymore, and for what it’s worth, this movie comes up with an interesting enough story that is worth following. In fact, I think it’s a decent fantasy-drama overall, though it does have some problems; in particular, the dancing and partying scenes of the Dionysians are pretty silly. I only wish I had snagged a color copy of the movie, but no such luck. Akim Tamiroff is almost unrecognizable as the blind prophet Teiresias.
this one was pretty slow until the last 30 minutes or so. Did like how the women dispatched the soldiers with heavenly help in the caverns at the end.