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Hope someone else has seen this movie based on Theseus and the Minotaur.

When I was a kid (age 4-10) between 1977 and 1983, I remember watching a classic movie about the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur. This was around the same time when they were showing the movie: The Three Stooges Meet Hercules (1962).

They also used to show The Mighty Hercules cartoon (1963) around that time. Once these stopped showing on TV, so did this mystery film that I saw, which I'm trying to find. I am from Australia.

All I can remember about the movie which has always stuck in my mind is that the main character (let's call him Theseus) is told by his father to change the black sails to white sails if he is alive and is returning safe and well to his homeland.

At the end of the film, he forgets to change the color of the sails to white, so his father thinks that he has been killed by the Minotaur. So right at the end of the film, the father kills himself by jumping off a cliff and into to sea. I vividly remember this scene. I always felt very sad when that happened. I have seen the film probably 3 or 4 times, but cannot find any hint of it anywhere.

It is not the Italian-made movie The Minotaur, the Wild Beast of Crete (1960). That's what most people think it is. The other strange thing about this film is that I think the hero was not named Theseus. I can sort of recall as a kid wondering why the main character had a different name to the Greek hero from the Greek myth, after learning about the myth. It puzzled me.

Thought it was a Rank film and went through many of their films, but no luck. Has anyone else seen this film? Spent years trying to find it.

In response to some of the comments below: This was a film similar in style to Jason and the Argonauts (1963), The 300 Spartans (1962), and The Minotaur, the Wild Beast of Crete (1960). It was a color film and a serious film, not a comedy. For some reason, I cannot remember anything about the Minotaur in the film, which is kind of strange. But just like the movie, The Three Stooges Meet Hercules (1962), I could only remember the scene where the guy grew massive muscles when rowing the boat, which stuck with me, and that the Three Stooges were in the movie. I knew that was definitely a movie, and only saw it again twenty years later after first seeing it as a kid. It was like watching it for the first time. I have asked a video store guy (about 60 years of age) who had a massive collection of old sci-fi and fantasy movies (VHS and DVD) and had watched most of them. He was also a massive fan of fantasy and sci-fi movies. He hadn't seen the film but thought it could be The Minotaur, the Wild Beast of Crete film after looking it up on the Internet. I have also asked a couple of website guys who have sites dedicated to classic movies. One of them also suggested that it could be The Minotaur, the Wild Beast of Crete. After that, I had to clarify that it was not that movie. Because that movie doesn't have the white/black sails in it, or the king at the end of the movie jumping off the cliff.

Another update: At one point I even asked AI to give me the movie's name. It suggested one of the Sinbad movies. One of them does have the Minotaur in it. But I watched all of them after that suggestion, and none of them were even close. The movie I am seeking has an ancient Greek/Roman feel about it and is probably a 1960-1970s film. I also remember watching the movie around the same time as the Hercules (1983) film, which had a sci-fi theme and starred Lou Ferrigno, who played the Incredible Hulk in the TV show (1977-1982). So I suppose the movie I am seeking could have been playing on Australian TV until 1985 max (when I was 12 years of age). I can only recall seeing the film in primary school. At age 13 in 1986 I went to high school, and I am pretty certain I never saw it when I was in high school. Also, at the end of the film, some words were scrolling down from the screen giving some sort of conclusion to the movie, at the same time as when the father disappeared off the cliff, which was the end of the movie.

** Update about accents in response to question below ** I cannot recall anything peculiar about the accents but they were most likely British, with similar accents to those in the movie Jason and the Argonauts. Even though the actor who played Jason in Jason and the Argonauts was American, his voice was dubbed using a British accent. I cannot recall reading any subtitles when watching the film, but I suppose I can't 100% rule it out. Since I can only remember a few fragments of the movie, I can't be sure about the accents and what I was watching.

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  • 1
    "Most people"? Where else have you asked about this?
    – Valorum
    Commented Mar 2 at 18:41
  • 3
    Was the film live action, animated, stop motion…?
    – Lexible
    Commented Mar 2 at 18:54
  • What accents did the actors in the film have? British? American? Australian?
    – E.Z. Hart
    Commented Mar 5 at 18:27

2 Answers 2

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It's slightly later than you remember (1987) but a likely candidate is an episode from The StoryTeller, a series of fantasy stories that was part live action, and part filmed with Jim Henson's Muppets.

There have been several filmed versions of the Theseus legend, but this is the only one I can find that includes the King's suicide.

Watch it here.

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  • Fantastic Pete, you found it. Thank you so much. You are a legend! This must have been what I watched, but my recollection of it was way, way off. This was made in 1991, so that means I was 18 when I first watched it. I must have been so immature at the time. This has the key bits in it, the black sails, and the father jumping off the cliff close to the end. I can sort of recall the scene at the end, so I am confident this is it. Thanks again. I will have to talk about it one day on my Travel and Greek Myth website: greekgodsparadise.com Commented Apr 5 at 17:02
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The Labirynth: Deeds of Theseus (1971) shows the scene where Theseus fails to change the sails on his ship and his father throws himself into the Aegean sea.

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