Helen of Troy is a 2003 television miniseries based upon Homer's story of the Trojan War, as recounted in the epic poem, Iliad. This TV miniseries also shares the name with a 1956 movie starring Stanley Baker. It stars Sienna Guillory as Helen, Matthew Marsden as Paris, Rufus Sewell as Agamemnon, James Callis as Menelaus, John Rhys-Davies as Priam, Maryam d'Abo as Hecuba, and Stellan Skarsgård as Theseus. The series was entirely shot on location in the islands of Malta.
The film is placed in the early classical period rather than the correct late Bronze Age; the Greeks are shown with Iron Age classical hoplite dress and arms. Made on a relatively low budget, Helen of Troy was released at a time when interest in the subject was high due to the soon-to-be-released Troy.
The film also focuses more on the life of Helen herself rather than simply the Trojan War. The entire first half deals with Helen's life before Troy, and includes a number of mythological facts that other versions either gloss over or omit, such as Helen's abduction by Theseus and the actual agreement of the Greek kings to use her marriage as their peace agreement.
In contrast to Troy, the film tells much of the story of the War. Most notably, Helen of Troy features and discusses the intervention of the gods as written by Homer. This does not mean, however, that it is more accurate, as a number of the characters, do not resemble their Homeric counterparts. Both films feature the interpretation of Agamemnon as a power-hungry tyrant, although this Helen of Troy adds a new dimension by addressing Agamemnon's sacrifice of his daughter Iphigeneia to the gods.
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