Proud and independent, Stella, an unconventional Rebetico singer who cherishes her freedom, finds herself in an intense whirlwind romance. Everything points to a tragic ending, and in the aftermath of passion, there can be no winners.
The powerful Greek ship-owner and constructor Thanos proposes to marry Phaedra during the baptism of a ship with her name. Phaedra, who is the daughter of Thanos' greatest competitor, is a ... See full summary »
Melina Mercouri plays an actress who is attempting a comeback with a staging of the Greek tragedy "Medea" (about a woman who kills her children) in her native Greece. As a publicity stunt, ... See full summary »
Greece, in the 1920's, is occupied by the Turks. The country is in turmoil with entire villages uprooted. The site of the movie is a Greek village that conducts a passion play each year. ... See full summary »
A daughter discovers her wealthy family is actually on the verge of bankruptcy and decides to charm a millionaire for his money in marriage. Soon she is torn between living a lie and keeping up appearances.
Instead of success in the Greek province, two poor portable barrel piano players stumble upon an affluent but desperate runaway girl, intent on escaping a much-despised arranged marriage. Will they forsake their beliefs for money's sake?
Pivoting around a shiny counterfeit gold sovereign freshly milled from the clandestine workshop of an otherwise honest goldsmith, four brief vignettes of human imperfection; seduction; fate; desire, and devotion inextricably interweave.
During the dark years of the German Occupation in Greece, the mysterious disappearance of a cherished tomcat throws a destitute factory worker straight into the bowels of Kommandantur, to taste firsthand the oppressor's lavish hospitality.
Illia is Piraeus's most popular person: an energetic prostitute, full of life and good humor. Every day, she swims at the pier, entertaining the dock hands. Sundays she has an open house with food, drink and song. Homer Thrace, an amateur philosopher from Middletown, Conn., arrives in town to find out why Greece has fallen from ancient greatness. He decides Illia is a symbol of that fall, so he sets out to study and to save her. Unknown to Illia, he gets the money for the books and all else he gives her from Mr. No Face, the local vice boss who wants Illia retired because her independence gives other whores ideas. Whose spirit is stronger: Homer's classical ideal or Illia's?Written by
"Never on Sunday", that charming Jules Dassin film, was shown unexpectedly on cable recently. The inspired story of a happy prostitute working the waterfront of Piraeus, was a smash hit everywhere when it first came out. Mr. Dassin's love poem to Greece, a land he loved, added another layer to his distinguished career. Not being known for light comedies, this movie strikes the right tone from the start. The director himself decided to play the pivotal role of Homer Thrace, a Brooklyn scholar familiar with Greek culture, but naive in matters of the heart and sex.
Ilya, a happy-go-lucky prostitute, is loved by the men working in the port. She has no hangups, something, that in contrast, Homer is full of. After all, he came from a society where sex was for the most part a taboo for the society he came from during the time period where the action takes place. After all, America was not a sexually liberated country. Ilya, on the other hand, was free to share her services openly, as she saw fit without any problem. In a way, the relationship that develops between Homer and Ilya, is a modified version of Pygmalion and Galatea, something that Homer was happy to undertake, even though he knew better not to try.
Melina Mercouri dominates the film. She obviously enjoyed getting inside her character as it clearly shows on the screen. She gave a bigger than life reading in what was her best role in the movies. Ms. Mercouri's effortless performance wins the viewer right away because one realizes she is, like Fellini's Cabiria, a genuine soul that gives love without expecting anything in return.
Jules Dassin has been criticized by some contributors to IMDb by his take on Homer, but actually, he also gives an appealing account of his scholar. Not being an actor, he understood what he wanted to accomplish with this Brooklyn man that has spent most of his life around books, but not around real life, something he finds living among the earthy people around the Greek port where he spends his vacation. In fact, he kept reminding this viewer of this type of individual that is more at home among books than with real people.
The black and white cinematography of Jacques Natteau, enhances the film and the background in which it was filmed. Manos Hatzidakis' delightful music score plays well in the story and it's never out of touch with what the director conceived. Ultimately, the film was another triumph for Jules Dassin, an American original whose body of work speak for itself.
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