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Zorba the Greek

Anthony Quinn , Alan Bates , Mihalis Kakogiannis    Unrated   DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 16.98
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Product Details

Product Description


If you think Zorba the Greek is a simple-minded homage to a man with a zest for life, then you haven't seen the movie. Basil (Alan Bates), a reticent British writer, comes to the Mediterranean island of Crete to revive a mine his father owned. On the way, he meets a Greek roustabout named Zorba (Anthony Quinn) and hires him to help, little suspecting that Zorba's exuberance will lead him to some dark and troubling places--frankly, if the last 30 minutes of Zorba the Greek are what it means to embrace life, some viewers will want to shut the door in life's face. But there's no denying the movie's ambitious scope and implacable force, even as it paints an alien and disturbing portrait of life in a Greek village. On top of that, gorgeous cinematography and one of the greatest film scores ever give this movie almost demonic energy. --Bret Fetzer

Product Description

On the Greek isle of Crete, Basil (Alan Bates), a shy inhibited writer from England is befriended by Zorba (Anthony Quinn) a boisterous peasant with an astonishing love for life. When Zorba agrees to work at Basil's abandoned mine, it is the beginning of a lesson for the young man as he gradually moves from an observer of the world to a participant. This acclaimed classic co-stars Irene Paps and Lila Kedrova in an Oscar winning performance. "An utterly absorbing and sharply memorable film" (The Hollywood Reporter)

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Lawrance M. Bernabo HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:VHS Tape
Since I am leaving today for a trip to Greece I figured I should watch "Zorba the Greek" since this 1964 film is considered the quintessential "Greek" film. I have to admit my first reaction was to be glad I was not going to Crete, because the way the locals treated the beautiful widow (Irene Papas) and Madame Hortense (Lila Kedrova), the old prostitute, were outright horrific. But this is why people like us and young Basil (Alan Bates) need to meet up with somebody with a zest for life like Alexis Zorba (Anthony Quinn).
Basil is an Englishman of Greek extraction who goes to Crete to check out a mine he has inherited. Zorba attaches himself to Basil, ostensibly as a cook but clearly as a guide to the joys and tragedies of life. In terms of Quinn's performance the only thing you can really say is that before there was Robert Begnigni there was Zorba the Greek when it comes to Mediterranean men who provided inspirational madness. As Zorba tells Basil: "Dammit, boss, I like you too much not to say it. You've got everything except one thing. Madness! A man needs a little madness, or else...he never dares cut the rope and be free." +
When they arrive on Crete it becomes clear the mine is not going to pan out for anybody. They move in with Madame Hortense, who is wooed by Zorba, who insists Basil go after the beautiful local widow. After these tragedies all that is left is Zorba's plan for bringing trees down from the top of the mountain, an endeavor obviously equally doomed to failure. This is why in the end there is only one thing a man can do, and it is in this cathartic conclusion that any and all sins of this film are absolved.
"Zorba the Greek" is written and directed by Michael Cacoyannis, based on the novel by Nikos Kazantzakis.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I don't want any trouble. . . Nov. 27 2003
Format:VHS Tape
Says Basil as he declines the opportunity to persue a beuatiful woman who has thrown a meaningful glance at him. After all, she's a Greek who doesn't speak a word of English, he's in a foreign land and perhaps he's reading too much into her look and---
Whereupon Zorba cuts him off with the classic: " What do you mean you don't want trouble? What is life but to take of your belt and go looking for trouble! "
Besides, as Zorba further enlightens him, God, who is very merciful, will forgive many sins. But there is one sin He will not forgive: When a woman calls a man to her bed and he will not come . . .
Anthony Quinn plays Zorba, a man who lives through tragedy by women, dance, music and madness. He has surrendered to all the beauty and horror of life and embraces whatever comes his way.
Alan Bates plays Basil, the bookish and reserved Brit who becomes both Zorba's boss and unwitting pupil after an accidental meeting brings them together during a storm on the way to Crete.
This is the simple premise which sets up one of the greatest novels and greatest films of the century, Nikos Kazantsakis's most popular work; "Zorba the Greek"
Quinn and Bates are phenomenal. Never better. The supporting cast is also superb. Perfect casting, subtle directing and a wonderful musical score.
The plot revolves around Bates trying to get an abandoned coal mine in the backwoods of Greece to produce. He's inherited it and if he can't make a go at it, then it's back to dreary old England and writing essays for a living.
Zorba, whose nickname is 'catastrophe' becomes his foreman.
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Format:VHS Tape
This 1964 film is has a lot going for it. Mostly, it's because of Anthony Quinn's outstanding performance as a middle-aged Greek drifter. He's brings the ultimate joy of living to the role, in which he shows a reserved Englishman what the essence of life is all about. "You have to be a little mad," he says, and he surely demonstrates this. He works hard, he loves women, he constantly philosophizes about life and he dances. I immediately loved the character and wanted to identify with him. There is beauty is what he says and passion in every one of his actions.
Lila Kedrova is also great in a supporting role that won her an Academy Award. She plays an aging French woman who runs the hotel in Crete where Quinn and the Englishman, played by Alan Bates, go to work a mine that Bates has inherited. She is sad, funny and flirtatious all at the same time, and my heart went out to her plight. Quinn romances her and I could understand the relationship between these two people who both live their lives to the fullest.
The film has a message. And that is to find joy in life. It's a good message and that's why this film is a classic.
However, I can't understand why it was filmed in black and white. If ever a film needed color, this one did. And even though Irene Pappas is given star billing, her time on the screen, as the widow who appeals to the Englishman, is very little. I found her performance rather wooden as I did the performance of Bates. But, after all, that was the role Bates was cast in. Pappas should have been stronger.
I was disturbed by the basic story, which depicted some terrible cruelty by the townspeople. And the Englishman's role of just standing by and doing nothing, even though he was the cause of much of it, was disappointing.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
good movie
Published 1 month ago by errol
5.0 out of 5 stars OPA! You'll Love It!
I love this movie, but then again, being of Greek heritage (and a huge Anthony Quinn fan), I'm biased! Still, it's a classic worth adding to your collection. Great price too!
Published 2 months ago by Demetrios Angelis
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic indeed!
This is a wonderful movie which I saw years ago when it was first released. It is still as relevant as it was then, and well worth viewing again. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Pat Armstrong
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 stars and 3 hearts♥♡♥
If you see this movie once you will never forget it. The cast, the MUSIC, the screenplay, the Monks runnig and Anthony Queen DANCING, the old lady, the young one.etc... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Mrs. Mona
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic!
A classic! Will never to out of style! Love and friendship depicted in a honest and sometime brutal way. Beautiful performances by Anthony Quinn and the other main characters.
Published 8 months ago by Marsha
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed.
Not what I remembered so I was disappointed in the movie but now with the service and the quality o the product.
Published 8 months ago by Margaret McGregor
2.0 out of 5 stars Anthony Quinn at his best
Sadly, good as it was at the time it was released, it did not stand the test of time. Somewhat disappointing.
Published 9 months ago by Susan Jakab
5.0 out of 5 stars good film
We love the greek music and we think that Quinn is a great actor. The product arrived in time and it was in good condition. Amazon was the only place where we found the film.
Published 12 months ago by Caius Ion Rus-Haicu
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic
Love this movie. Saw it for the first time in the sixties (it is black and white). Anthony Quinn does a great job of playing the exuberant Zorba who teaches us to not sweat the... Read more
Published 19 months ago by B. Dewhirst
3.0 out of 5 stars Zorba the Greek
Actors are excellent. Music is joyful. One gets to like the characters despite their "warts" maybe even because of their "warts", therefore when one dies one feels great pity and... Read more
Published on Jan. 8 2010 by Olivia
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