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Melina Mercouri , Giorgos Foundas , Mihalis Kakogiannis    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 75.10
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Stella (Melina Mecouri), a fiery singer with an insatiable appetite for men, defies the rules of conventional morality by refusing to marry. Determined to keep her independence, she discards her timid lover (Alekos Alexandrakis) and begins a torrid affair with Miltos (George Foundas), a brash local football hero who satisfies her hunger for unbridled passion. But when Miltos forces a marriage proposal upon her, Stella faces losing the freedom she desperately craves. The first Greek film to achieve international recognition, Stella confirmed Michael Cacoyannis' talents as a director of exceptional originality and vision. Shot on location in and around Athens, the film featured some of the most provocative and realistically shot love scenes of the times.

Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
STELLA / Greece 1955 (3 STARS)
17 December 2003: I had never seen a Greek film before, and Stella made me realize how that was my loss. In one of the most lovable characters ever depicted, Melina Mercouri plays the boisterous character of a night-club singer who's spirit cannot be curbed. The film is light years ahead of its peers and compares with films such as Cabaret which was made decades later.
• Even though some of the filmmaking is technically crude, the Director's vision shines through and Stella's motivations are painstakingly established with the skill of an auteur. Greek culture with its boisterous cacophony is showcased with pride, as we discover that Stella despite her frolicking ways sets herself the highest standards of integrity and is one of the most honest people you will ever meet.
• The plot is in no real hurry, and ambles along primarily because there are few sub-plots to drive the narrative. But even as we come to the end of the film, a gloom palls over as we realize that we're headed into a deadlock and the film cannot end in hunky-dory fashion, even though we wish it to.
• The interaction between Stella and her would-be mother-in-law is particularly heart-warming because of the honesty of their mutual distaste for each other.
• The character of the footballer is well etched out and as the narrative progresses, we get the sense that the same stubbornness with which he so successfully woos Stella is at some point bound to boomerang on the couple.
• I found the camera angles particularly maverick and avant garde for 1955, and there's a particular scene near the climax whether the inter-cut close-ups of the two characters build up a rhythm.
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5.0 out of 5 stars ahead of its time Aug. 28 2003
By A Customer
The movie is highly influenced by the Greek culture
of the 30's known as 'rebetism'. This was
a mixture of mainland Greek culture with the culture
of Greeks thrown away by the turks from their
fatherland in the east coast of the Aegean sea.
In this culture a central role was that of the
female rebetico singer: rebetissa.
These women were characterized by progressive
for their time attitude (at a European level) of
having a kind of freedom and anticonformism
in their private lives.
It is exactly these women the Stella is portraying
20 years later! The movie has nothing to do with politics,
but instead tries to advertize a stance in life
of a peculiar type.
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The story of a rebellious young Bouzouki performer named Stella (Mercouri) who abhors marriage, defies the rules of conventional morality, and pays for a freedom denied her by the men who love her...
Based on the play, Stella with the Red Gloves by Iakovos Kambanellis. Melina Mercouri stars in her debut film role as a bouzouki singer and dancer who abhors marriage, defies the rules of conventional morality and pays for a freedom denied her by the men who love her. Michael Cacoyannis' second film. "Melina Mercouri [is] beautifully controlled...There is a pervasive sense of atmosphere that allows the characters to become an organic part of the streets and the houses used for location (the scene with Stella triumphantly riding an open truck to show the neighbors her lover's gift is among the funniest and best observed) and the folklore material (chiefly bouzouki dances and music by Manos Hatzidakis) is dexterously used to enliven the plot" (International Film Guide).Excellent soundtrack! Music by Manos Hatzidakis, played by a folk orchestra conducted by Vasilis Tsitsanis.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Mercouri Tour de Force April 4 2001
By A Customer
A young and quite lovely Melina Mercouri, in one of her few extant Greek films, directed by the brilliant Greek director Michael Cacoyiannis, playing her classic role: the fiery, independent woman who wants to live her own life on her own terms. The film operates on another level as a metaphor for Greece and its relations with the Great Powers, who each in turn have desired to possess and control that beautiful ancient land. Like Greece, Stella insists on making her own way in the world, and would rather die free than live in servitude. In addition to its thrilling performances and profound theme, the film is blessed with a fabulous soundtrack by Manos Hadjidakis, who, using as his raw material the soulful music of the Greek lower class, rendered some of the most beautiful melodies of the 20th century.
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