The Wooden Horse of Troy (1961) (aka: La guerra di Troia) starring Steve Reeves, Juliette Mayniel, John Drew Barrymore, Edy Vessel, Lidia Alfonsi, Warner Bentivegna directed by Giorgio Ferroni Movie Review

The Wooden Horse of Troy (1961)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Steve Reeves in The Wooden Horse of Troy (1961) (aka: La guerra di Troia)

Not as Wooden as I Anticipated

Here is the simple truth, I watched "The Wooden Horse of Troy" knowing that it was a European sword and sandal movie from the 60s and expected something low budget and tacky. But what I got was an impressive drama about the final year of the Trojan War, focussing on the character Aeneas and the events surrounding the famous story of the wooden horse. Now I am going to say immediately my knowledge of Greek history is worse than my knowledge of British history so can't comment on how close it sticks to the real story but I will say that it certainly has an air of authenticity about it which I wasn't expecting.

That authenticity comes mainly from the look with some impressive sets and some equally impressive costumes which certainly seem like they have had some money spent on them. In truth everything looks a little bit too clean and perfect which spoils things slightly such as when someone walks along in a gleaming white tunic which looks like its just been washed and ironed. But there is genuinely an epic look about "The Wooden Horse of Troy".

That sense of being epic carries over to what goes on and whilst there is plenty of action there is also plenty of dialogue, grandiose dialogue of the sort which certainly wouldn't be out of place in an equivalent movie from Hollywood in the 60s. The only trouble is that director Giorgio Ferroni seems so enamoured with the scale of his production that when it comes to the battle scenes he often chooses to show them from a distance and so sadly removing the splendour of the detail from the visual.

What also impressed was the acting and whilst some of the names rang a bell most of the cast I had never heard of yet still delivered solid performances. Of course at the centre of all this is Steve Reeves as Aeneas and his muscular and honed body is perfect for the role of this heroic figure.

But despite all of this "The Wooden Horse of Troy" sticks in my memory really for something irrelevant but very funny. As the movie opens and we see soldiers on horses in line watching a city from afar a horse lifts its tale and takes a dump. As I said it is totally irrelevant but simply amusing especially as at the same time we have some serious narration going on which is setting the scene.

What this all boils down to is that "The Wooden Horse of Troy" is a much better movie than I expected it to be and I am sure that those who have a love of these Greek sword and sandal movies will be impressed by it even more than I was as a movie fan. Yes it has flaws and some of it comes across as a little camp but it kind of adds to its overall enjoyment.