AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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Zorba the Greek
Alternate Title: Zormba
Director: Michael Cacoyannis (Dir)
Release Date:   1964
Premiere Information:   New York opening: 17 Dec 1964
Duration (in mins):   142
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Cast:   Anthony Quinn (Alexis Zorba)  
    Alan Bates (Basil)  
    Irene Papas (Widow)  
    Lila Kedrova (Madame Hortense)  
    George Foundas (Mavrandoni)  
    Eleni Anousaki (Lola)  
    Sotiris Moustakas (Mimithos)  
    Takis Emmanuel (Manolakas)  
    Yorgo Voyagis (Pavlo)  
    Anna Kyriakou (Soul)  

Summary: Basil, an introverted English writer, comes to Greece to work on a lignite mine he has inherited from his Greek father. He meets an exuberant Greek peasant, Zorba, who persuades Basil to hire him to help work on the mine. They arrive on Crete and take up lodging in a hotel owned by Madame Hortense, an old French courtesan. Zorba courts Madame Hortense and persuades Basil to court another woman, a beautiful widow. Zorba goes to the city for a spree and leaves Basil to take care of Madame Hortense. Basil's shyness is overcome, and he visits the widow again. This time he makes love to her, and when her suitor, Pavlo, hears a rumor of this, he commits suicide. The townspeople turn against the widow and brutally murder her. Madame Hortense becomes ill; and while she is dying, the peasants of the village strip her of all her belongings. Work on the mine is finally completed, but a crucial cable line is destroyed as the operation begins. Basil is upset by his bad fortune, but Zorba teaches him to dance and be joyful in accepting what life has to offer. 

Production Company: Michael Cacoyannis  
  Rochley Productions  
  Twentieth Century--Fox Film Corp.  
Production Text: A Michael Cacoyannis Production
Distribution Company: International Classics  
Director: Michael Cacoyannis (Dir)
  Franco Cirino (Asst dir)
  George Cosmatos (Asst dir)
  Panayis Roussos (Asst dir)
Producer: Michael Cacoyannis (Prod)
  Anthony Quinn (Assoc prod)
Writer: Michael Cacoyannis (Scr)
Photography: Walter Lassally (Dir of photog)
  George Antonakis (Asst cam)
Art Direction: Vassele Fotopoulos (Art dir)
  Demetris Economou (Asst art dir)
Film Editor: Michael Cacoyannis (Film ed)
  Johnny Dwyre (Asst film ed)
Costumes: Anna Stavropoulou (Ward)
Music: Mikis Theodorakis (Mus comp & cond)
Sound: Mikes Damalas (Sd eng)
  Demetris Kasimatis (Sd rec)
Make Up: Monique Archambault (Makeup)
  Alex Archambault (Hairstyles)
Production Misc: Anis Nohra (Prod coordinator)
  Yannis Petropoulakis (Unit mgr)
  Vassilis Mariolis (Loc mgr)
  May Kapsaskis (Cont)
  Yannoulla Wakefield (Prod secy)
Country: Greece and United States
Language: English

Source Text: Based on the novel Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakes (trans. by Carl Wildman of Bios kai politeiatou Alexe Zormba ; London, 1952).
Authors: Nikos Kazantzakes

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Twentieth Century--Fox Film Corp. 17/12/1964 dd/mm/yyyy LP30833

Genre: Drama
Subjects (Major): Authors
  Coal miners
  Village life

Note: Filmed in Crete. Greek title: Zormba

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
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