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Never on Sunday (1960)

Pote tin Kyriaki (original title)
Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 1 October 1960 (USA)
An American scholar in Greece sets about improving the prostitute with whom he is infatuated.

Director:

Jules Dassin

Writer:

Jules Dassin
Reviews
Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Melina Mercouri ... Ilya
Jules Dassin ... Homer Thrace
Giorgos Foundas ... Tonio (as Georges Foundas)
Titos Vandis ... Giorgos
Mitsos Ligizos ... Captain
Despo Diamantidou ... Despo
Dimos Starenios ... Skoupidis
Dimitris Papamichael ... British Seaman (as Dimitri Papamichael)
Alexis Solomos ... Mr. Noface
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Koula Agagiotou ... Prostitute
Kostas Doukas
Nikos Fermas ... Waiter
Giannis Fermis ... Man Missing the Tramway
Giorgos Foras ... (as George Foras)
Faidon Georgitsis ... British Seaman
Edit

Storyline

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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Happy Street-Walker of Piraeus... See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Country:

Greece

Language:

English | Greek | Russian

Release Date:

1 October 1960 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Never on Sunday See more »

Filming Locations:

Athens, Greece See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$151,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Melina Film 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

Features first song ("Never On Sunday") from a foreign-made movie to win an Oscar. See more »

Quotes

The Captain: And Illya ate of the apple of knowledge and knew shame.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in PhoneShop: Never on a Tuesday (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Egine parexigisi
Written by Manos Hatzidakis
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Ilya, darling!
1 April 2009 | by jotix100See all my reviews

"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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