HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Laguna Ave.
Memory Box: Echoes of 9/11
Amulet
Flag Day
Boris Karloff: The Man Behind the Monster
Nest, The
Martin Eden
Halloween Kills
Cicada
Sun Shines Bright, The
Last Thing Mary Saw, The
Comets
Herself
Mon Oncle d'Amerique
Wild Strawberries
Runner, The
Don't Look Up
Ghostbusters: Afterlife
Eternals
Forever Purge, The
Memoria
Venom: Let There Be Carnage
Legend of La Llorona, The
Japon
Glasshouse
Perdita Durango
Commando, The
Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched: A History of Folk Horror
Boiling Point
Malignant
Deadly Games
Ailey
Voyeurs, The
Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes
In the Earth
Hiroshima Mon Amour
Hotel Poseidon
Zola
No Time to Die
Klaus
   
 
Newest Articles
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
The Punk Rock Movie: Out of the Blue on Blu-ray
Yeah, Too Quiet: The Great Silence on Blu-ray
Vestron Double Bill: Dementia 13 and The Wraith
Farewell Dean Stockwell: His Years of Weirdness
Kung Fu Craft: Cinematic Vengeance! on Blu-ray
999 Letsbe Avenue: Gideon's Way on Blu-ray
Hungary for Cartoons: Hungarian Animations on MUBI
You Have No Choice: Invasion of the Body Snatchers on Blu-ray
You Can't Tame What's Meant to Be Wild: The Howling on Blu-ray
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
   
 
  Zorba the Greek Greece Is The Word
Year: 1964
Director: Michael Cacoyannis
Stars: Anthony Quinn, Alan Bates, Irene Papas, Lila Kedrova, Giorgos Foundas, Sotiris Moustakas, Anna Kyriakou, Eleni Anousaki, Yorgo Voyagis, Takis Emmanuel
Genre: Comedy, DramaBuy from Amazon
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: Basil (Alan Bates) sits on the docks in the pouring rain, lamenting the possible state of his book collection which he is transporting to Crete, and himself with it. He is half-Greek and half-English, though raised as the latter, and now his father has passed away he has determined to travel to the land of his parent and see if he can make a claim on the abandoned mine that he owned, even getting it back up and running. He is already beginning to regret his decision as he grows wetter and wetter, but after ascertaining the ship is running late, he opts for the waiting room. However, as he tries to read, a face appears at the window and catches his eye...

Anthony Quinn made his name with the role of Zorba the Greek, an adaptation of the popular novel by Nikos Kazantzakis from rising star of the directing world Michael Cacoyannis. That he managed to completely blow this newfound reputation by following Zorba with the disastrous anti-nuclear comedy The Day the Fish Came Out is the reason why you probably won't have heard of him, but if you have it will be down to the efforts here, which became the favourite movie of many who responded to its embrace of life in the face of all its contradictions and madness. For Quinn, he had found his metier after being in the industry since the nineteen-thirties.

Waspish actress Ruth Warrick once said of Quinn that he told her he wanted to "impregnate every woman in the world... Though I didn't realise till later how literally he meant it", and he certainly gave the impression of a man with a lust for life, and indeed a lust for lust, making him ideal for this title role. He wasn't Greek, he was Mexican, but this was close enough for Hollywood who weren't too bothered at the difference, all they knew was they had an Oscar-winner in the lead (Best Supporting Actor for, er, Lust for Life in the fifties) and that was enough to justify the production, which did catch the spirit of the early sixties and become a runaway success for all concerned.

For years after, mention of the Greeks outside Greece would inspire comedy dads to jump up, arms outstretched and start hopping from foot to foot in imitation of the Zorba dance, probably with a vocal approximation of Mikis Theodorakis' music to accompany this display, but what of the film itself, was it the good time flick of memory? The answer to that was a rather blunt "no", for there were plot points here that were decidedly not fun, and painted the Cretans as a mob of bloodthirsty, greedy lowlifes who were accountable to no one in their scapegoating, thievery, entitlement and even murder. So how on Earth did this picture become such an encouragement to the general public to embrace Greek culture and settle on its islands as a perfect tourist destination if this were the case?

Maybe it's simply down to selective memory, maybe the larger than life personality of Quinn, who you can believe was someone pretty close to the interpretation he delivered here. But setting aside the fact Zorba the Greek ground on for a good hour past its welcome, getting ever more grim as it did so, the notion that the world is full of madmen (and women) and you’d best just accept it because it was never going to change, so dance! Well, that might never go out of fashion, and there was a strong element of that resigned bemusement at a society that revels in its petty superstitions and biases when life could be so much better if they were set to one side. However, that did not prevent the film being a highly sour experience, taking its supposedly quaint little tale of an innocent Englishman abroad and turning it into a relentlessly horrible yarn of how ghastly people can be when they take a mind to it. Even Zorba wasn't exactly admirable, though he did have tragedy in his life that's meant to explain this. All told, the film doesn't look anything like as uplifting now, little dance on the beach or not.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 922 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: