Damon and Pythias


1h 39m 1962
Damon and Pythias

Brief Synopsis

Two men from different cultures forge a strong friendship.

Film Details

Also Known As
Damone e Pitias, Il tiranno di Siracusa
Genre
Drama
Adventure
Release Date
Jan 1962
Premiere Information
New York opening: 5 Sep 1962
Production Company
International Motion Picture Enterprises; Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc.
Distribution Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 39m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Metrocolor), Color (Technicolor)

Synopsis

In 400 B. C., Pythias travels from Athens to Syracuse to persuade the philosopher Arcanos to come to Athens and teach the Pythagorean theory of the brotherhood of man. Arcanos has been forced into hiding by the tyrant Dionysius the Elder, who is opposed to a doctrine that forbids violence and killing. In Syracuse, Pythias hires Damon, an adventurous outlaw, to help in the search. At first Damon betrays Pythias, but when the latter refuses to do him harm, Damon helps Arcanos escape from the Storian Guard. Arcanos and Damon reach safety, but Pythias is captured and sentenced to death. Damon then offers himself as a substitute if Dionysius will permit Pythias to pay a farewell visit to Nerissa, his pregnant wife. The tyrant accepts the proposition, although he does not intend to allow Pythias to leave. Aided by Damon's band of robbers, however, Pythias overcomes Dionysius' men and returns to Syracuse. Deeply moved by such loyalty, the citizens of Syracuse force Dionysius to spare the lives of both men.

Film Details

Also Known As
Damone e Pitias, Il tiranno di Siracusa
Genre
Drama
Adventure
Release Date
Jan 1962
Premiere Information
New York opening: 5 Sep 1962
Production Company
International Motion Picture Enterprises; Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc.
Distribution Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 39m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Metrocolor), Color (Technicolor)

Articles

Damon and Pythias -


A cut above the average Italian sword 'n' sandal release is 1962's Damon and Pythias, which was co-written and co-produced by Hollywood veteran Samuel Marx and distributed by MGM. TV star Guy Williams (Zorro, Lost in Space) and lesser-known TV actor Don Burnett head an otherwise all-Italian cast in a faithful adaptation of a Greek legend from the fourth century B.C. Departing from the norm of action dramas about evil rulers and muscular heroes, Pythias (Don Burnett) comes to Syracuse to ask Arcanos (Andrea Bosic) to return with him to Athens to teach his Pythagorean philosophy of the brotherhood of man. Pythias hires an outlaw, Damon (Guy Williams) to help smuggle Arcanos out, but is instead captured by the tyrant King Dionysius (Arnoldo Foa;), accused of fomenting rebellion and sentenced to death. Pythias is permitted leave to settle his affairs and bid farewell to his loved ones, but only after Damon offers to serve as a hostage to guarantee his return. As the day of execution nears Dionysius seizes upon Pythias' no-show as proof that there is no such thing as a brotherhood of man. The critics of the Monthly Film Bulletin habitually found favor with Italian genre films, and praised Damon and Pythias for doing without mass battles, gruesome tortures or gladiatorial combat. Even dismissive American critics noted the fine cinematography of Aldo Tonti, the music of Angelo Francesco Lavagnino and the beauty of actresses Ilaria Occhini, Liana Orfei and Maria Berti. They also noted the fine direction of Hollywood veteran Curtis Bernhardt, who uses no gratuitous shocks or violence, and stages the suspenseful execution scene before a setting sun.

By Glenn Erickson
Damon And Pythias -

Damon and Pythias -

A cut above the average Italian sword 'n' sandal release is 1962's Damon and Pythias, which was co-written and co-produced by Hollywood veteran Samuel Marx and distributed by MGM. TV star Guy Williams (Zorro, Lost in Space) and lesser-known TV actor Don Burnett head an otherwise all-Italian cast in a faithful adaptation of a Greek legend from the fourth century B.C. Departing from the norm of action dramas about evil rulers and muscular heroes, Pythias (Don Burnett) comes to Syracuse to ask Arcanos (Andrea Bosic) to return with him to Athens to teach his Pythagorean philosophy of the brotherhood of man. Pythias hires an outlaw, Damon (Guy Williams) to help smuggle Arcanos out, but is instead captured by the tyrant King Dionysius (Arnoldo Foa;), accused of fomenting rebellion and sentenced to death. Pythias is permitted leave to settle his affairs and bid farewell to his loved ones, but only after Damon offers to serve as a hostage to guarantee his return. As the day of execution nears Dionysius seizes upon Pythias' no-show as proof that there is no such thing as a brotherhood of man. The critics of the Monthly Film Bulletin habitually found favor with Italian genre films, and praised Damon and Pythias for doing without mass battles, gruesome tortures or gladiatorial combat. Even dismissive American critics noted the fine cinematography of Aldo Tonti, the music of Angelo Francesco Lavagnino and the beauty of actresses Ilaria Occhini, Liana Orfei and Maria Berti. They also noted the fine direction of Hollywood veteran Curtis Bernhardt, who uses no gratuitous shocks or violence, and stages the suspenseful execution scene before a setting sun. By Glenn Erickson

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Filmed on location in Italy. Opened in Rome in September 1962 as Il tiranno di Siracusa; running time: 102 min. Alternative Italian title: Damone e Pitias. Sources conflict in crediting the role of Mereka.