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Zorba the Greek (1964)

Alexis Zorbas (original title)
Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama | 14 December 1964 (Greece)
Trailer
3:21 | Trailer
An uptight English writer travelling to Crete, on a matter of business, finds his life changed forever when he meets the gregarious Alexis Zorba.

Director:

Michael Cacoyannis

Writers:

Nikos Kazantzakis (from the novel "The Life and Times of Alexis Zorba"), Michael Cacoyannis (screenplay)
Reviews
Won 3 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Anthony Quinn ... Alexis Zorba
Alan Bates ... Basil
Irene Papas ... Widow
Lila Kedrova ... Madame Hortense
Giorgos Foundas ... Mavrandoni (as George Foundas)
Sotiris Moustakas ... Mimithos
Anna Kyriakou ... Soul
Eleni Anousaki ... Lola
Yorgo Voyagis ... Pavlo (as George Voyadjis)
Takis Emmanuel ... Manolakas
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Storyline

An aimless English writer finds he has a small inheritance on a Greek island. His joyless existence is disturbed when he meets Zorba, a middle aged Greek with a real lust for life. As he discovers the earthy pleasures of Greece, the Englishman finds his view on life changing. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Life. Lust. Love. Zorba. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Greece | USA

Language:

English | Greek

Release Date:

14 December 1964 (Greece) See more »

Also Known As:

Zorba the Greek See more »

Filming Locations:

Chania, Crete, Greece See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$783,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The original Broadway production of "Zorba" opened at the Imperial Theater in New York City on November 16, 1968, starring Herschel Bernardi and Maria Karnilova. It ran for three hundred five performances and was nominated for the 1969 Tony Award for the Best Musical. Anthony Quinn and Lila Kedrova, who starred together in this movie, appeared in the revival of Zorba in 1982 and 1983. Lila Kedrova won the 1984 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical. See more »

Goofs

Near the end of the movie, when the log is coming down the hill it is seen as fairly round and the bark is rough and peeling, like a natural log. But when the log gets to the end of the cable, it appears to be a fake log with no bark and a visible framework that makes it look multi-sided rather than round. See more »

Quotes

Basil: I don't want any trouble.
Alexis Zorba: Life is trouble. Only death is not. To be alive is to undo your belt and *look* for trouble.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Jeopardy!: Episode #26.47 (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Riri Ririka
from the operetta "Our Ririka" (1929) (uncredited)
Written by Stathis Mastoras
Performed by Madame Hortense (Lila Kedrova)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Memorable and attractive film with intense drama , top-drawer interpretation and unforgettable musical score
18 April 2014 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

Top-notch picture based on an adaptation of Nikos Kazantzakis's hugely popular novel . It deals with an uptight and poignant English writer called Basil (Alan Bates was Mihalis Kakogiannis's first choice for this part) traveling to Crete on a matter of business finds his life changed forever when he meets the zesty as well as joyful Zorba (in title role Anthony Quinn displays an awesome acting , he is a delight as Alexis) . Gregarious Zorba is an eye-opener to the visiting stranger . At a tiny village the writer meets an old spinster woman named Madame Hortense (Lila Kedrova was a win an Academy Award, though Simone Signoret was the original choice for this role and turned it down and she came to regret that decision) and a beautiful widow (a young Irene Papas) .

Sensitive and thought-provoking film plenty of drama , emotion , Greek social habits and wonderful performances .Interesting and flavorful screenplay by the same filmmaker from Nikos Kazantzakis' novel who also wrote ¨The last temptation of Christ¨. Special mention to Anthony Quinn as an uncomplicated and jolly man , an earthy and humble peasant with a real lust for life , a character he has become identified with . However , in the earlier stages of filming, the filmmaker and Anthony Quinn had frequent disagreements as the director felt that his leading actor was being too over-the-top . Alan Bates as a sensible as well as intellectual writer is also very good and the young beauty Irene Papas is marvelous as a widow who originates a tragedy . Extraordinary Lila Kedrova as an aging and dying courtesan, she ended up receiving an Academy Award for her role. The original Broadway production of "Zorba" opened at the Imperial Theater in New York on November 16, 1968, ran for 305 performances and was nominated for the 1969 Tony Award for the Best Musical. Anthony Quinn and Lila Kedrova who starred together in this movie version appeared in the revival of Zorba in 1982-3 with Lila Kedrova winning the 1984 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical .

Gorgeous , enjoyable cinematography in white and black by Walter Lassally that also won deservedly an Oscar. Rousing and immortal soundtrack by Mikis Theodorakis based on Greek traditional music , including breathtaking dances performed by Anthony Quinn. However , Anthony Quinn had a broken foot during filming, and thus couldn't perform the dance on the beach as scripted, which called for much leaping around ; instead, he did a slow shuffle . This brooding motion picture was stunningly directed by Michael Cacoyannis ,though the project was turned down by every major studio . Cacoyannis was an expert on adaptations based upon Classic Greek plays such as ¨Iphigenea¨ , ¨Elektra¨ and ¨The Trojan women¨ . ¨Zorba¨ rating : Better than average , worthwhile watching . Essential and indispensable seeing for Anthony Quinn fans .


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