31 user 13 critic

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?


About 20 minutes in, Homer says "Homer Thrace, of Middletown, Connecticut" to himself; That's the town where Jules Dassin was born. See more »


Homer: Because you are the whole world. Beautiful and corrupt.
See more »


Referenced in My Life in Ruins (2009) See more »


Ta paidia tou Peiraia
Music and Lyrics by Manos Hatzidakis
Sung by Melina Mercouri
See more »

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User Reviews

Mercouri is Dazzling
18 March 2002 | by See all my reviews

Melina Mercouri takes an often-played role - the 'Whore with a Heart of Gold who Loves Life Despite It All' - and makes it her career-defining movie role, and she is the entire reason to watch the movie. Fiercely independent, sexually progressive, not spending her life trying to find the perfect man and gorgeous, she's a force of life.

Jules Dassin has directed a great movie but he should have hired an actor to play Homer, and not played it himself. He almost ruins all the charm the movie has going for it with his ineffective acting, bad line readings and stupid motivations. A better actor might have found a way around the rough spots but Dassin magnifies them.

Mercouri probably should have won Best Actress that year, but who can beat a Liz Taylor death scare? Plus Simeone Signoret had won Best Actress the year before, and Sophia Loren would win the following year..you don't want to upset icons like Louella Parsons, Frank Sinatra and John Wayne by giving ALL the Oscars to foreigners, do you?? Maybe the fact that she does not die at the end was too much..we all know the odds of longevity for a hooker in a Hollywood movie. Taylor met that criteria, as if she needed to help her own odds after almost dying of pneumonia.

Worth watching for sure. 8/10.

28 of 34 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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