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Zorba The Greek (Bilingual)
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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)
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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Anthony Quinn created a vibrant, lovable personality that leaps off the screen in every scene, and he rules the movie as its trickster god. Though "Zorba" reminds viewers that life can be unfair and bitter, it can also be full of joy, love, fun and simple pleasures. It's hard not to have some happy tears when this film finally ends.
Stuffy, prissy, uptight Basil (Alan Bates) is journeying to Crete to take care of his inheritance, some land and mines. On the way, he meets the scruffy, earthy Alexis Zorba (Anthony Quinn), who volunteers to be Basil's all-round sidekick ("I like you... take me with you!"). Basil can't exactly say no, especially since he is as different as can be from the native Cretans. In fact, he sticks out like a sore thumb all the time.
But Zorba has more than music and soup to offer. His gusto for life is all about women, wine and general joie de vivre, but he also hides secret pains in his past. And he introduces Basil to a beautiful, tragic young widow, an aging prostitute with a sad past, and the beauties of Crete itself. With Zorba to guide him, Basil finds out how to really live.
The setting is the stark, primal beauty of Crete -- lots of dusty, stony roads, mountains full of gnarly trees and cruelly beautiful landscapes. It's reflected in the heartless behavior that small communities sometimes have (such as the poor widow), but it's also a backdrop against which the simple pleasures of life (through Zorba) can shine the brightest.
Director/writer Michael Cacoyannis got two Oscar nominations for this movie, and it's not hard to see why.Read more ›
Circumstances, and Zorba's wish to earn some money, join this two men. Their interaction is something to be enjoyed as we watch "Zorba the Greek" (1964) once and again. Of course, the scenery is beautiful, and the music outstanding, but the real magic of this film is that it shows you what really good actors can do with a great script, and a director that knows what he is doing.
This film has hilarious scenes, but also others so dramatic that you will literally feel the pain of the characters. And of course, the ending is nothing less than perfect.
On the whole, I believe that this film is an excellent example of a true classic. Enjoy it.
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.Read more ›
After reading many of the reviews it seems as if people still think the Greeks are wearing togas, worshipping the Gods and spending all day studying philosophy. This isn't the case, it hasn't been for over fifteen hundred years and if that is what you are expecting, then find out more about modern Greeks before watching this movie or you will be very surprised.
Most recent customer reviews
Saw it many years ago, and couldn't remember it very well. Decided to watch it again. It was no longer the entertaining movie I expected. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Graham Hyatt
Did not age a bit...
Explains a lot about Greeks that Germans just don't get.
Fairly good flick. The musiuc is great as is Anthony Quinn's performance in the role of Zorba. Although I do not consider this film to be exceptional, I would still recommend it... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Jean-paul N. Mertens