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Never on Sunday (1960)

Pote tin Kyriaki (original title)
An American scholar in Greece sets about improving the prostitute with whom he is infatuated.




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Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Titos Vandis ...
Mitsos Ligizos ...
The Captain (as Mitsos Lygizos)
Despo Diamantidou ...
Dimos Starenios ...
A Sailor (as Dimitri Papamichael)
Alexis Solomos ...
Thanasis Vengos ...
Thanasis (as Thanassis Veggos)
Faidon Georgitsis ...
Nikos Fermas ...
Artemis Matsas
Koula Agagiotou
Panos Karavousanos


Illia is Piraeus's most popular person: an energetic prostitute, full of life and good humor. Every day, she swims at the pier, entertaining the dock hands. Sundays she has an open house with food, drink and song. Homer Thrace, an amateur philosopher from Middletown, Conn., arrives in town to find out why Greece has fallen from ancient greatness. He decides Illia is a symbol of that fall, so he sets out to study and to save her. Unknown to Illia, he gets the money for the books and all else he gives her from Mr. No Face, the local vice boss who wants Illia retired because her independence gives other whores ideas. Whose spirit is stronger: Homer's classical ideal or Illia's? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The Happy Street-Walker of Piraeus...


Comedy | Drama | Romance


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Official Sites:




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Release Date:

1 October 1960 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Never on Sunday  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$151,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


Features first song ("Never On Sunday") from a foreign-made movie to win an Oscar. See more »


The Captain: And Illya ate of the apple of knowledge and knew shame.
See more »


Referenced in It's My Party (1996) See more »


Ta paidia tou Peiraia
Music and Lyrics by Manos Hatzidakis
Sung by Melina Mercouri
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User Reviews

Mercouri = Magic
13 October 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

No one else in the history of cinema became a star in America playing a sexpot at the age of 40. Melina Mercouri did. "Never on Sunday" is why.

Aided immeasurably by Manos Hadjidakis' unforgettable score (you're probably already humming the theme) and Jules Dassin's story, Mercouri's incredible presence stole the show -- and hearts worldwide.

Dassin is perfect in what would be the "nebbish" role, were he Jewish. The Greeks have, perhaps, 27 words for "nebbish" as they do for "love." Dassin brilliantly inhabits one of them.

Rarely has the energy and life force of a particular time and place been so economically and delightfully captured on film.

There's a reason "Never on Sunday" is a legend and part of every serious film lover's collection. Once you've seen it, you'll know.

32 of 40 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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