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Troy (film)

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Wolfgang Petersen
Produced by Wolfgang Petersen
Diana Rathbun
Colin Wilson
Written by David Benioff
Starring Brad Pitt
Eric Bana
Orlando Bloom
Diane Kruger
Brian Cox
Sean Bean
Brendan Gleeson
Peter O'Toole
Music by James Horner
Cinematography Roger Pratt
Edited by Peter Honess
Helena Productions
Plan B Entertainment
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release dates
  • May 14, 2004 (2004-05-14)
Running time
162 minutes
Country Malta
United Kingdom
United States
Language English
Budget $175 million
$177 million (Director's cut)
Box office $497.4 million[1]

Troy is a 2004 American epic war film written by David Benioff and directed by Wolfgang Petersen. It is loosely based[2] on Homer's Iliad, though the film narrates the entire story of the decade-long Trojan War rather than just the quarrel between Achilles and Agamemnon in the ninth year. Achilles leads his Myrmidons along with the rest of the Greek army invading the historical city of Troy, defended by Hector's Trojan army. The end of the film (the sacking of Troy) is not taken from the Iliad, but rather from Virgil's Aeneid as the Iliad concludes with Hector's death and funeral.

The film features an ensemble cast led by Brad Pitt, Eric Bana, and Orlando Bloom. Troy 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, temporarily placing it in the #60 spot of top box office hits of all time. It was the 8th highest grossing film of 2004 and currently is in the top 150 highest grossing films of all time.


  • Plot 1
  • Cast 2
    • Greeks 2.1
      • House of Atreus members, advisers and servants (Mycenae and Sparta) 2.1.1
      • Myrmidons 2.1.2
      • Kings and warriors of other Greek states (e.g. Ithaca, Thessaly, etc.) 2.1.3
    • Trojans 2.2
  • Production 3
  • Music 4
  • Director's cut 5
  • Reception 6
    • Commercial performance 6.1
    • Critical reception 6.2
    • Box office totals 6.3
  • Accolades 7
  • See also 8
  • References 9
  • Further reading 10
  • External links 11


The opening scene shows the troops of Agamemnon of Mycenae ready to fight against the troops of Triopas of Thessaly. Afterwards, Prince Hector of Troy and his younger brother Paris negotiate a peace treaty with Menelaus, king of Sparta, and celebrate the end of a long and bloody war. Paris, however, is having a secret love affair with Menelaus' wife, Queen Helen, and smuggles her aboard their homebound vessel, much to Hector's fury, as this could lead to war between Troy and Greece. Upon learning of this, Menelaus meets with his elder brother, King Agamemnon of Greece, and asks his help in taking Troy. Agamemnon, who has wanted to conquer Troy for a long time, agrees, since it will give him control of the Aegean Sea. On King Nestor's advice, Agamemnon has Odysseus, King of Ithaca, persuade Achilles to join them. Achilles, who strongly dislikes Agamemnon and his ways, initially refuses, but eventually decides to go after his mother, Thetis, tells him that though he will die, he will be forever remembered.

In Troy, King Priam is dismayed when Hector and Paris bring Helen, but welcomes her as a guest and decides against sending her home, since Paris will likely follow her and be killed, choosing instead to meet the Greeks in open battle. The Greeks arrive shortly after and take the Trojan beach, mostly thanks to Achilles and his Myrmidons, among them his cousin Patroclus, who sack the temple of Apollo but allow Hector and the surviving Trojans to return to the city. Achilles claims Briseis, a priestess and the cousin of Paris and Hector, as a war trophy, but is angered when Agamemnon spitefully takes her from him and decides that he will not aid Agamemnon when they lay siege to Troy.

The Trojan and Greek armies meet outside the walls of Troy. During a parley, Paris offers to duel Menelaus personally for Helen's hand in exchange for the city being spared. Agamemnon, intending to take the city regardless of the outcome, accepts. Menelaus wounds Paris and almost kills him, but Menelaus is killed by Hector. In the ensuing battle, most of Agamemnon's forces fall to Troy's archers and Hector kills Ajax. On Odysseus' insistence, Agamemnon gives the order to fall back. In order to keep their spirits up, he gives Briseis to the Greek soldiers for their amusement. When she is threatened with rape, she is saved by Achilles. The two fall for each other and Achilles decides that the war is a lost cause, resolving to leave Troy in the morning.

Despite Hector's advice otherwise, Priam instructs him to retake the Trojan beach in the night and force the Greeks home. The attack brings the Greeks together and the Myrmidons enter the battle. Hector personally duels Achilles and cuts his throat, but removes his helmet and discovers it was Patroclus. Devastated, the armies agree to stop fighting for the day. Odysseus informs Hector that Patroclus was Achilles' cousin. Achilles is informed of his cousin's death and vows revenge. Knowing of the coming retribution, Hector leads his wife, Andromache, to a secret tunnel beneath Troy and instructs her to take their child and any survivors she can out of the city should he die and the city fall. The next day, Achilles arrives outside Troy and demands Hector come out. The two fight evenly for a while until Achilles wears Hector down and kills him, dragging his corpse back to the Trojan beach, straining his relationship with Briseis. Priam, in disguise, sneaks into the camp and meets with Achilles, imploring him to let him take Hector's body back to Troy for a proper funeral. Ashamed of his actions, Achilles agrees and allows Briseis to return to Troy with Priam, promising a truce of twelve days so that Hector's funeral rites may be held in peace. He also tells his men to return home without him, for he has a battle he must fight on his own.

Agamemnon becomes infuriated at Achilles' actions and goes into a crazed rant that he will take Troy no matter what. Concerned that Agamemnon may lead them to destruction, Odysseus concocts a plan to get inside the city without bloodshed, by having the Greeks build a gigantic wooden horse from their boat parts and abandon the Trojan beach, hiding their ships in a nearby cove to make it seem as if they have left. Priam orders the horse brought inside the city as a gift from the Gods, over Paris' objections. A Trojan scout finds the hidden ships in the cove but is killed by the Greek archers before he can alert the city. That night, Greeks hiding inside the horse emerge and open the city gates for the Greek army, commencing the Sack of Troy. While Andromache and Helen are getting the Trojans to safety through the tunnel, Paris gives the Sword of Troy to Aeneas, instructing him to protect the Trojans and find them a new home. Priam and Glaucus are killed in battle by Agamemnon and Odysseus, respectively, while Agamemnon is slain by Briseis. Achilles fights his way through the city and finds Briseis, but is shot through the heel by Paris, who puts several arrows in Achilles until he finally collapses. With his dying breaths, Achilles implores Briseis to leave the city with Paris. They escape Troy before the Greeks find Achilles' body. In the aftermath, with Troy finally taken, funerals are held for the slain and Odysseus personally cremates Achilles.



House of Atreus members, advisers and servants (Mycenae and Sparta)

  • Brian Cox as Agamemnon, the king of Mycenae. He is the elder brother of Menelaus and supreme commander of the Greek army. He led an army of Achaeans to attack Troy.
  • Brendan Gleeson as Menelaus, the king of Sparta, younger brother of Agamemnon and husband of Helen. He is enraged when Paris took Helen to Troy. He is killed by Hector in the film, although in the Illiad he survived.
  • Diane Kruger as Helen, the queen of Sparta and wife of Menelaus. She is the lover of Paris.
  • John Shrapnel as Nestor, the king of Pylos and the advisor of Agamemnon. He is the son of Neleus.
  • Ken Bones as Hippasus, the adviser of Menelaus.
  • Siri Svegler as Polydora, a Spartan entertainer.


Kings and warriors of other Greek states (e.g. Ithaca, Thessaly, etc.)


  • Peter O'Toole as Priam, the king of Troy, father of Hector and Paris, uncle of Briseis, father-in-law of Andromache and paternal grandfather of Astyanax.
  • Eric Bana as Hector, the crown prince of Troy and the best warrior among the Trojans. He is the elder son of Priam, brother of Paris, cousin of Briseis, husband of Andromache and father of Astyanax. He is also known as "The Tamer of Horses".
  • Orlando Bloom as Paris, the prince of Troy. He is the younger son of Priam, brother of Hector, cousin of Briseis, brother-in-law of Andromache and paternal uncle of Astyanax. He is the lover of Helen.
  • Saffron Burrows as Andromache, the princess of Troy, wife of Hector and mother of their young son Astyanax. She is the sister-in-law of Paris, daughter-in-law of Priam and cousin by marriage of Briseis.
  • Rose Byrne as Briseis, the priestess of Apollo, niece of Priam and cousin of Hector and Paris, cousin by marriage 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.
  • Owain Yeoman as Lysander, the Trojan soldier.
  • Trevor Eve as Velior, one of the Trojan priests.
  • Mark Lewis Jones as Tecton, a Trojan soldier who was killed by Achilles.


The city of Troy was built in the Mediterranean island of Malta at Fort Ricasoli from April to June 2003.[3] 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.[4] Film production was disrupted for a period after Hurricane Marty affected filming areas.[5] 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 a screening of 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.[6] According to Yared, his score was removed due to a complaint by the screening audience that the score was too "old-fashioned".[7]

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 Carovska. 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 works by Shostakovich and Prokofiev; one instance cited by Ross, fanfares from Benjamin Britten's War Requiem, has been explicitly recognised by another critic as an "exact copy" by Horner.[8][9]

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.

Director's cut

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.


Commercial performance

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.[10]

Troy screenings have earned US$133,378,256 in the United States.[11]

Troy made more than 73%[11] of its revenues outside the U.S. Eventually, Troy made over US$497 million worldwide,[11] temporarily placing it in the #60 spot of top box office hits of all time. It was the 8th highest grossing film of 2004 and currently is in the top 150 highest grossing films of all time.

Critical reception

Troy was met with mixed reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a rating of 54%, based on 221 reviews, with an average rating of 6/10. The site's consensus reads, "A brawny, entertaining spectacle, but lacking emotional resonance."[12] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 56 out of 100, based on 43 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[13]

Box office totals

  • Budget – $175,000,000[11]
  • Marketing cost – $50,000,000
  • Opening weekend gross (Domestic) – $46,865,412
  • Total domestic grosses – $133,378,256
  • Total overseas grosses – $364,031,596[11]
  • Total worldwide grosses – $497,409,852


2005 ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards

2005 Academy Awards

2005 Japanese Academy Prize

  • 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

See also


  1. ^ (2004)Troy. Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2010-12-03.
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  11. ^ a b c d e
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Further reading

  • 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.
  • Proch, Celina/Kleu, Michael (2013). Models of Maculinities in Troy: Achilles, Hector and Their Female Partners, in: A.-B. Renger/J. Solomon (edd.): Ancient Worlds in Film and Television. Gender and Politics, Brill, pp. 175–193, ISBN 9789004183209.

External links

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