Alexander the Great

Movie poster for a film titled Alexander the Great.
Alexander the Great
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Alexander the Great (Robert Rossen, USA, 1956): Cinematography by Robert Krasker (1913–1981), b. Perth, WA

Alexander the Great was the first of many epic films delivered by acclaimed cinematographer Robert (Bob) Krasker.

Known for favouring realism over glamour, as well as his high-contrast images and unconventional compositions, this dramatised biography is synonymous with his later work on spectacles like El Cid (1961) and The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964).

The epic genre was a far cry from Krasker’s earlier, and arguably most significant, work. For the iconic film noir masterpiece, The Third Man (1949), he was awarded an Oscar for Best Cinematography (Black-and-White), the first Australian to receive this distinction.

There is plenty of prominent bare flesh in the poster design for this sword and sandal epic. The two opposing figures, their shields pierced by spears, highlight the tension played out on screen between father and son, Philip II and Alexander the Great.

Notes by Michelle Davenport