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Alexander [The Movie]


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#1 Oliver Ojeil

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Posted 26 December 2005 - 04:21 PM

I'd love to have a discussion with you folks about how epics have evolved from the fifties to our days, both technically and scriptwriting wise. What say you?
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 26 December 2005 - 07:35 PM

I'd love to have a discussion with you folks about how epics have evolved from the fifties to our days, both technically and scriptwriting wise. What say you?


I've only seen the Robert Rosen CinemaScope version ("Alexander the Great" starring Richard Burton) once on DVD, but I recall it was a fairly intelligent epic, well-shot and directed for something having only a moderate budget actually.

The stylistic differences between that and the modern version are pretty obvious. Modern period epics seem to have more cuts, more close-ups, more camera moves, and then all the wide shots are computer enhanced. Lighting-wise, things have gotten more naturalistic, of course.

Of course, the Oliver Stone version is more poetic, stylized, less straight-forward storytelling.

I find it's a problematic history story to tell since it doesn't end dramatically, but sort of spirals down as Alexander gets sick and dies. (Did I need to say "SPOILER"?) Maybe more of a "Lawrence of Arabia" structure would be better (just concentrate on one significant period), I don't know.

I see that the 1956 version was half-shot by Robert Krasker ("Third Man", "El Cid") which explains why it looks so good, but I don't know the story of why the other half was shot by someone named Theodore Pahle (aka Fernando Morales.) Maybe the locations were shot by Pahle and the interiors were shot by Krasker...

Edited by David Mullen, 26 December 2005 - 07:39 PM.

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#3 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 27 December 2005 - 04:12 PM

I've only seen the Robert Rosen CinemaScope version ("Alexander the Great" starring Richard Burton) once on DVD, but I recall it was a fairly intelligent epic, well-shot and directed for something having only a moderate budget actually.

The stylistic differences between that and the modern version are pretty obvious. Modern period epics seem to have more cuts, more close-ups, more camera moves, and then all the wide shots are computer enhanced. Lighting-wise, things have gotten more naturalistic, of course.

Of course, the Oliver Stone version is more poetic, stylized, less straight-forward storytelling.

I find it's a problematic history story to tell since it doesn't end dramatically, but sort of spirals down as Alexander gets sick and dies. (Did I need to say "SPOILER"?) Maybe more of a "Lawrence of Arabia" structure would be better (just concentrate on one significant period), I don't know.

I see that the 1956 version was half-shot by Robert Krasker ("Third Man", "El Cid") which explains why it looks so good, but I don't know the story of why the other half was shot by someone named Theodore Pahle (aka Fernando Morales.) Maybe the locations were shot by Pahle and the interiors were shot by Krasker...


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#4 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 27 December 2005 - 04:43 PM

I've only seen the Robert Rosen CinemaScope version ("Alexander the Great" starring Richard Burton) once on DVD, but I recall it was a fairly intelligent epic, well-shot and directed for something having only a moderate budget actually.

The stylistic differences between that and the modern version are pretty obvious. Modern period epics seem to have more cuts, more close-ups, more camera moves, and then all the wide shots are computer enhanced. Lighting-wise, things have gotten more naturalistic, of course.

Of course, the Oliver Stone version is more poetic, stylized, less straight-forward storytelling.

I find it's a problematic history story to tell since it doesn't end dramatically, but sort of spirals down as Alexander gets sick and dies. (Did I need to say "SPOILER"?) Maybe more of a "Lawrence of Arabia" structure would be better (just concentrate on one significant period), I don't know.

I see that the 1956 version was half-shot by Robert Krasker ("Third Man", "El Cid") which explains why it looks so good, but I don't know the story of why the other half was shot by someone named Theodore Pahle (aka Fernando Morales.) Maybe the locations were shot by Pahle and the interiors were shot by Krasker...


---I was searching around as to why Krasker might have only photographed the first half.
On the TCM site, Pahle is credited as '2nd unit photog'. I'd have to dig out my VHS to double check,
but I'd trust TCM over IMDB.com.

It's been a while since I've watched it, but have seen it a few times; but there are very few interiors. The biggest one is the gymnasium at Pella.
I think most of the budget went for costumed extras rather than sets.
The film is somewhat Shakespearian with some Freud tossed in. But the Shakespeare type scenes allowed for a slightly sylized sparseness in the sets.

One of the differences between this and the Stone version is that Stone skips over most of the material in this one, going prettty much from Philip's death to the battle of Gauglema. So they almost complement each other.

A major difference between the older and new epics is that the older ones are more stately.
As for camera moves, big crane shots.

My favorite Krasker epic is 'Fall of the Roman Empire.
It's best scene: Marcus Aurelius' funeral in the snow.

---LV
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#5 Ignacio Aguilar

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Posted 27 December 2005 - 06:51 PM

---I was searching around as to why Krasker might have only photographed the first half.
On the TCM site, Pahle is credited as '2nd unit photog'. I'd have to dig out my VHS to double check,
but I'd trust TCM over IMDB.com.


I haven't seen the Rossen version, but the IMDB says that it was shot here in Spain and it was pretty common back these days for American productions to use Spanish DPs for 2nd units. For instance, Manuel Berenguer did second unit for Krasker on "El Cid" and for Freddie Young on "Doctor Zhivago" and "Nicholas and Alexandra". He also co-photographed "55 Days at Pekin" with Jack Hildyard and "Kings of Kings" with Franz Planer and Milton Krasner. Berenguer then became the first Spanish DP to join the ASC as was hired as 1st unit DP on a few Andrew Marton films (including the original "The Thin Red Line") and the 65mm production "Krakatoa".

Krasker also used a Spanish DP for the 2nd unit of "The Fall of the Roman Empire", Cecilio Paniagua, who later did 2nd unit again for Fred Koenekamp on "Patton".
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Rig Wheels Passport

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Glidecam

Visual Products

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Broadcast Solutions Inc

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