From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

Related e



Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

L'Odissea was a European TV miniseries broadcast on RAI (Italian state TV) in 1968 and based on Homer's Odyssey. An Italian, Yugoslavian, German and French (Radiodiffusion-Télévision Française) coproduction, it was directed by Franco Rossi, assisted by Piero Schivazappa and Mario Bava; the cast included Bekim Fehmiu as Ulysses and Irene Papas as Penelope, Samson Burke as the Cyclops, as well as Barbara Bach as Nausicaa, and Gerard Herter (of Caltiki fame). The outdoors were shot in Croatia and Montenegro.

There were 8 episodes in the original version. Each episode was preceded by an introduction in which poet Giuseppe Ungaretti read some verses of the original poem. The adaptation is considered to be the most faithful rendering of Homer's epic on screen. The major omission was the absence of the passage of the strait of Messina with the encounter with Scylla and Charybdis.

Special effects were designed by Mario Bava (who, in particular, directed the episode of Polyphemus) and Carlo Rambaldi. The show ran on television in Europe between 1968 and 1970. In Italy alone, the episodes had an audience of over 16 million viewers. An abridged theatrical version was released to European theatres as well, also dubbed into English.

The entire television series was dubbed into English, ran several times on the TVO network in Ontario, Canada, and was broadcast by CBS in 1978. However, the English dub was lost. There has been DVD editions in Italian and in German.


After the Trojan War, Odysseus has disappeared for ten years in the Mediterranean Sea. On the island of Ithaca his wife Penelope is overrun at the palace by suitors who try in every way to woo her,and force her to marry again. His son Telemachus decides to go searching for him. Odysseus, however, is not dead: he was captured by the nymph Calypso, who after an intervention of the Gods, releases Odysseus. The hero sets sail for the sea, but is shipwrecked on an island. There, he is rescued by the princess Nausicaa, daughter of King Alcinous. The king welcomes Odysseus, who tries to conceal his identity. Finally revealed, he begins to tell about the adventures and travels he had on his way back from the Trojan War.


Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "L'Odissea" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

Personal tools