8.0/10
407
4 user 1 critic

A Matter of Dignity (1958)

To teleftaio psema (original title)
A daughter discovers her wealthy family is actually on the verge of bankruptcy and decides to charm a millionaire for his money in marriage. Soon she is torn between living a lie and keeping up appearances.
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Marina's sister drowned herself, her brother is both headstrong and weak, and her widowed mother has a reputation for sleeping around. Plus, Marina, who's family was rich before the war, is... See full summary »

Director: Mihalis Kakogiannis
Stars: Ellie Lambeti, Dimitris Horn, Eleni Zafeiriou
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Mina is a charming salesgirl. She buys a lottery ticket, but she finds out soon that it has been stolen from her. Pavlos, a married lawyer, enamored with her, helps her to track down the ... See full summary »

Director: Mihalis Kakogiannis
Stars: Ellie Lambeti, Dimitris Horn, Giorgos Pappas
Stella (1955)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

The story of a young, wild woman who doesn't want to compromise and settle down. Stella is a restless, rebellious Greek woman who plays with men and enjoys her life as much as she can. But ... See full summary »

Director: Mihalis Kakogiannis
Stars: Melina Mercouri, Giorgos Foundas, Alekos Alexandrakis
Electra I (1962)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Living in exile after the death of their father, the grown children of a murdered and usurped king converge to exact eye-for-an-eye revenge.

Director: Mihalis Kakogiannis
Stars: Irene Papas, Giannis Fertis, Aleka Katselli
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

Four stories, humorous, romantic or dramatic, are linked by a counterfeit gold sovereign. It is made by the honest engraver in the first story, seduced by the charms of a young widow, and ... See full summary »

Director: Yorgos Tzavellas
Stars: Vasilis Logothetidis, Ilia Livykou, Mimis Fotopoulos
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A bank teller discovers an accounting error and becomes rich

Director: Yorgos Tzavellas
Stars: Yvonne Sanson, Dimitris Horn, Vasilis Avlonitis
Iphigenia (1977)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

To appease offended gods before going to war, a commander must sacrifice his favorite daughter to them but does so under the pretext of marrying her off.

Director: Mihalis Kakogiannis
Stars: Irene Papas, Kostas Kazakos, Kostas Karras
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

An American scholar in Greece sets about improving the prostitute with whom he is infatuated.

Director: Jules Dassin
Stars: Melina Mercouri, Jules Dassin, Giorgos Foundas
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

The story of 6 or 7 prostitutes, at Pireas harbor.

Director: Vasilis Georgiadis
Stars: Jenny Karezi, Giorgos Foundas, Dimitris Papamichael
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A peaceful, frightened little man is mistakenly identified as "the dragon", a notorious criminal at large. He briefly and reluctantly rules the underworld until they realize their mistake.

Director: Nikos Koundouros
Stars: Dinos Iliopoulos, Margarita Papageorgiou, Giannis Argyris
Comedy | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Two rich old friends, Andreas and Agisilaos are in love with young Rita. Andreas believes that youth and not money drive the word. He sells his soul to the devil, becomes young and flirts ... See full summary »

Director: Alekos Sakellarios
Stars: Dimitris Horn, Maro Kodou, Smaro Stefanidou
Madalena (1960)
Comedy | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A young and brave girl after her father's death decides to continue her father's trade, carrying people and things with his boat. Thus she will be able to feed her 6 brothers/sisters. ... See full summary »

Director: Dinos Dimopoulos
Stars: Aliki Vougiouklaki, Dimitris Papamichael, Pantelis Zervos
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Hloi Pella
Athena Michaelidou ...
Roxanni Pella
Eleni Zafeiriou ...
Katerina
Giorgos Pappas ...
Kleon Pellas (as Georgios Pappas)
Michalis Nikolinakos ...
Galanos
...
Markos
Minas Christidis ...
Nikos Dritsas
Vasilis Kailas ...
Vasilakis (as Vasilakis Kailas)
Zorz Sarri ...
Rena
Despo Diamantidou ...
Katy
Mairi Hronopoulou
Despoina Nikolaidou
Dimitris Hoptiris
Dimitra Zeza
Nikos Fermas
Edit

Storyline

During one of her parents many parties, Chloe learns they're bankrupt. She's being courted by Niko, a wealthy Greek American, so she decides to charm him. He's quickly captivated. That night, she also meets the masculine Galanos and sparks fly. Niko proposes, Chloe accepts, Galanos tries to change her mind. Her father wants to disclose their finances to Niko, her mother argues against it as a matter of dignity. The family's long-time servant must care for her son, who's had an accident. She's has not been paid in months, reminds Chloe to send money, and waits in her village as hospital bills mount. The servant comes back to Athens, confronts Chloe's mother, and a crisis ensues. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

10 February 1958 (Greece)  »

Also Known As:

The Final Lie  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The Greek title of the movie means "The Final Lie." See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
This should be better known
24 October 2003 | by (Saint Paul, MN) – See all my reviews

A remarkable film that, had it been made in Italy around the same time, would today be called an important and seminal film. It's worth mentioning right next to any of Antonioni's films, which it sort of resembles. There are only two Greek directors who are well known outside of their country, and I was hoping that this film was made by someone else, but alas, it's the lesser of the two, Cacoyannis. Well, at least now I have a different perspective of his work. I know him from Zorba the Greek, of course, but also fragments of a few of his Greek tragedy adaptations, most notably Iphigeneia, of which I've seen the vast majority of. Zorba is an excellent film, although far from perfect, and Iphigeneia was very, very weak. A Matter of Dignity is easily the best of the three; I would call it a near-masterpiece. `Near' because there are too many flaws to ignore. And, though the flaws are interesting, for the most part, they are too nagging. But still, this is an exceptional film. The daughter of an affluent family, Chloe (Ellie Lambeti), discovers that her family's affluence is pretty much a put-on. They are going broke, and going fast. They have pushed themselves into the bourgeosie of Athens, which has run them out of money. But it's difficult to give up such a lifestyle. Chloe is currently being courted by a rather boring millionaire, but when she finds out her family's secret, she decides to give in to his advances. Meanwhile, another man, poorer and more attractive, begins to court her, too.

This is the film's biggest flaw, the love triangle. It's cliché, for sure, but the worst thing about it is the second man, who is supposed to be the audience's favorite, you'd figure, seems more of a playboy seducer than the millionaire. This guy's kind of a jerk, it seemed like to me. Besides, he is barely in the film. On the other hand, the millionaire seems like a nice guy, kind of pudgy and naïve. At one point he desperately wants to show Chloe his Fabergé collection, which he eventually does, ever so coyly offering them to her. Luckily, the script doesn't follow the path I was sure it would. That's kind of a gift in itself, but I still think it would have been better to drop that second possible lover completely. The moral situations of the film are too complex for such a clichéd element.

The other major narrative thread of the film, the most interesting, is that of the family's maid, Katerina. She hasn't been paid for a while, but she trusts that her family will come through. At one point, though, her own child gets into an accident, and when she needs Chloe and her parents to help her, they entirely forget her because of their own selfish lives. When she does finally get back to Athens, she confronts them. The juxtaposition between the problems of the classes are ingenious here. But I also like the way Cacoyannis allows us into the point of view of the bourgeosie (mostly Chloe) without judgind too harshly. Some might not like the way we are supposed to sympathize with Chloe when she must endure the hardships of a bus ride with people of the lower classes, but, then again, those who may disapprove of the way this scene is done probably have never travelled on a Greyhound bus. Just kidding. This fear and disgust that Chloe initially feels is resolved later on; that scene has tremendous payoff, anyhow.

As for the elements that make up the film, they are all excellent. As I said, this far outranks Zorba; Cacoyannis directs wonderfully. The most praiseworthy element, however, is Ellie Lambeti's lead performance. She is truly a revelation, and, had this film been more widely seen upon its release, I would guess that we would know her name as well as we know Monica Vitti's, Anna Karina's, Liv Ullmann's, and all the other great foreign actresses. IMDb commenter David Stafford comes up with one of the most perfect descriptions, and I certainly couldn't beat it: `She's Audrey Hepburn's tragic Greek shadow.' The other great performance in the film comes from the actress who play's Chloe's mother, Athena Michaelidou. 9/10.


15 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss A Matter of Dignity (1958) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?