- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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Read the Book
- Joelle Lyndon
For a college Humanities class I was assigned the novel 'Zorba the Greek'. I became enveloped in the story and honestly felt I had been transported to Greece, sipping the wine at a dilapidated cafe on a rock somewhere, feeling the Mediterranean Sea breeze on my face. Although amoral, I understood Zorba's contradictions & was able to sympathize with his complexities. And contrary to the movie's portrayal, Basil was not a lifeless dud. Yes this was the role of a lifetime for Anthony Quinn and Alan Bates was beautiful to look at but the novel had so many subtleties and descriptive narration that a movie cannot begin to define on screen, I guess as it should be. Translated onto screen the storyline was just bleak and depressing. I don't know I guess the old adage is true; the book's always better than the movie.
zorba the greek
- kevin sellers
This duel between Extrovert and Intellectual, played perfectly by Anthony Quinn and Alan Bates, respectively, which of course Extrovert wins (Has Anthony Quinn ever played a loser?) is one of the few movies I can remember that is both depressing and entertaining in equal measure. For that alone it deserves the acclaim it received. I was expecting (and dreading) a gloppy, "Never On Sunday" type treatment of life on Crete, full of life affirming peasants drinking retsina and laughing heartily. Aside from the rousing music, and to my great relief, what I got instead was an unflinching look at a savage society that is thankfully not explained away, excused or criticized by Zorba. Well done, Mr. Cacoyanis. (By the way, whatever happened to him? Did he ever make another film even half as good? Did he ever make another film?) The ending, with Zorba teaching Boss how to dance is, therefore, not a "happy" one. Hard to be cheerful when you've seen one woman stoned and then stabbed, and another woman's corpse picked over by old ladies in black, resembling vultures. The best word for the ending would be exuberant, teaching the valuable lesson that the only response to darkness is light. About the only thing I disliked in this film is that Zorba is the fount of all wisdom and his constant pronouncements and maxims about heart over head get a bit wearying. Just once I would have liked Bates' Boss to tell Zorba that he's full of crap. Let's give it an A minus. P.S. Damn, Irene Pappas was hot!
A walk out.
Saw this film in theater, I should have been prepared. In my experience films that win so many Awards stink. I call it the "unknown Artist Syndrome". Or what is praised by contemporaries is properly judged by time. Since I was at the University when first viewed, I was probably more prone to intellectual snobbery. But I walked out a film that simply was depressing. Saw the film on TCM, now age 72 and again could not finish. Before leaving I would fault the film for no plot, missed the basic purpose of films-it failed to entertain. If you desire knowledge or insight. Read a book.
Zorba the Greek
- Dashiell Barnes
A fine, overlooked & unforgettable gem. Quinn gives the performance of his lifetime as the title character, Bates & Papas are good enough and Kedrova won a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award. The film recieved wins for it's Production Design & Photography in striking B/W, bringing life into a great, but overlong story. Definitly a film worth seeing from time-to-time. I give it a 4/5.
"Why did God give us hands? To grab!"
- Jeff Boston
Very boring movie, save the disgusting and depressing death scenes (I agree with Muriel). Quinn and Papas were more agreeable Greeks in "The Guns of Naverone" three years earlier. The zither music, Oscar winning B&W cinematography, and the fact "Zorba the Greek" was set in Europe reminded me of "The Third Man," and the scene with the stiff male protagonist walking toward the approaching woman in mourning definitely pays homage to the earlier, better film. The amoral (TCM's current, fitting description) Zorba has the unique ability to live instead of merely exist. Indeed, "a man needs a little madness, or he never dares cut the rope and be free."
I don't get the fuss (Spoiler Alert!)
This is a depressing and fatalistic movie. Well acted, great actors. But what a mean story! One woman is murdered for stepping outside the village norm, another woman's house is robbed by her neighbors as she lays dying. Zorba may be an eye opener for the timid englishman, who certainly learns a lot about life, and how to deal with bad luck, but hardly uplifting that's for sure. The famous last scene where they dance is an iconic cinematic moment, but it hardly matters in the context of the entire story and the mean things that happen.
A Fabulous Film
This film says a lot about the meaning of life and of tragedy. The music score is exhilarating (I always have to get up and dance with them, at the end). Alan Bates and Anthony Quinn are outstanding, as is Irene Pappas, and the rest of the supporting cast. I think this film is outstanding, though a bit "deep". You have to concentrate to understand its nuances of character. This story beautifully illustrates the responsibilities of friendship, and the struggles of faith amidst the vagaries of fate.