Alexander the Great (1956) - Rotten Tomatoes

Alexander the Great (1956)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

The short life and quick death of Alexander the Great is recounted in this literate historical epic. Decked out in a blonde wig, Richard Burton stars as the Grecian warrior who conquered the known world while only in his twenties, then wept because there were no more worlds left to conquer. While the film's 141 minutes are occasionally bogged down by near-existential dialogue sequences (What doth it profit a man etc. etc.), the battle sequences are among the best and most accurate ever filmed. Fredric March and Danielle Darieux costar as Alexander's parents Philip of Macedonia and Olympius, Claire Bloom does what she can with the nothing role of Alexander's wife Barsine, and Michael Hordern and Harry Andrews are cast as Demosthenes and Darrius, respectively. Lensed in Spain and Italy, Alexander the Great conquered no new worlds at the box-office, perhaps because Richard Burton, brilliant though he was, hadn't yet attained "saleability".more
Rating: G
Genre: Classics
Directed By:
Written By: Robert Rossen
In Theaters:
On DVD: Oct 19, 2004
United Artists


Richard Burton
as Alexander
Fredric March
as Philip of Macedonia
Claire Bloom
as Barsine
Michael Hordern
as Demosthenes
Barry Jones
as Aristotle
Gustavo Rojo
as Cleitus
Rubén Rojo
as Philotas
William Squire
as Aeschines
Helmut Dantine
as Nectanebus
Peter Wyngarde
as Pausanias
Julio Peńa
as Arsites
José Nieto
as Spithridates
Larry Taylor
as Perdiccas
José Marco
as Harpalus
Ricardo Valle
as Hephaestion
Jesús Luque
as Aristander
Ramsay Ames
as Drunken woman
Mario De Barros
as Messenger
Riccardo Valle
as Hephaestion
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Alexander the Great

Critic Reviews for Alexander the Great

All Critics (10) | Top Critics (5)

December 20, 2004
New York Post
Top Critic

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

Full Review… | March 25, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

It might be a literate epic, but it's a long and heavy slog.

Full Review… | January 29, 2013
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for Alexander the Great


Colorful pageant of a film would have benefited from some judicious trimming, by about 1/2 an hour.

jay nixon

Super Reviewer

Another boring epic I saw on TV. I didn't see the whole thing, but some scenes were okay. Overall an okay movie.

Aj V

Super Reviewer


Huge overblown epic about the ancient world has Burton as Alexander the Great who fails to really bring the history to life or draw you in so you care about the well known character one way or the other. March was unrecognizable as Alexander's father Philip but stood out in the role. It plays like a soap opera with the disputes between ancient nations, between son and parents, and between leader and subjects. I kept expecting the story to go further. I had recently read a biography of Alexander the Great by Agnes Savill that seemed fairly balanced. There is hardly anything about the military strategy used, the few battle scenes lack action or energy, and the influence of Aristotle and the way that Alexander's culture spread is scarcely mentioned.

Byron Brubaker

Super Reviewer

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