As a general rule, films based on Greek mythology tend to miss the mark in terms of quality. Despite having incredible narratives and characters to work with, the vast majority of these movies tend to border on the ridiculous and fail to capture the mystique of a fascinating epoch in history.
With that being said, there are a select few films that provide an exception to this rule. These are the movies that balanced credibility with innovative and glorious plot-lines, while also utilising special effects to enhance the appeal of the story.
3 of the Best Greek Mythology-inspired films of all time
Interestingly, console or online games based on Greek mythology tend to perform better. Take the Thunderstruck slot franchise, for example, which leverage relevant themes in a simple and visually effective manner. Simplicity is the key word here, and this is something that underpins all successful Greek mythology movies. With this in mind, here are our top three picks of from the wealth of Greek mythology films that have been made through the ages: –
Black Orpheus, 1959
Marcel Camus’ Black Orpheus was a truly seminal film, and one that broke numerous racial and social boundaries. This Oscar-winning title earned the Academy Award for Best Foreign film in 1959, and related a revamped tale concerning Orpheus and Eurydice in modern-day Brazil.
More specifically, Orpheus is forced to journey into the underworld to reclaim Eurydice from the clutches of the evil Lord, where he and his son must use their combined strength to achieve this aim. An understated and yet impactful film, this is arguably the best Greek mythology movie of all-time.
My Fair Lady, 1964
If our last entry was one of the best, My Fair Lady is arguably the most refined. An adaptation of a Lerner and Loewe stage musical and an original play by George Bernard Shaw, it relates the narrative of Pygmalion, which is a mythical sculptor created by Cyprus who ultimately falls in love with his creation.
A film that blends quintessential English qualities with the mystique of Greek mythology, My Fair Lady is a classic movie that is worthy of anyone’s attention.
Based on James Joyce’s modernist novel, this story tells the tale of Leopold Bloom as he goes about his daily life in Dublin. The language cleverly draws parallels between Bloom and the myth of Ulysses (the Greek name for Odysseus), who was once the king of Ithaca and the hero of Homer’s famous poem the Odyssey. Driven by a unique and extremely creative narrative, this film is well worth a watch regardless of whether or not you are a lover of Greek mythology.