7.8/10
3,646
24 user 24 critic

America America (1963)

A young Anatolian Greek, entrusted with his family's fortune, loses it en route to Istanbul and dreams of going to the United States.

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Frank Wolff ...
Vartan Damadian
Harry Davis ...
Isaac Topouzoglou
Elena Karam ...
Vasso Topouzoglou
Estelle Hemsley ...
Grandmother Topouzoglou
Gregory Rozakis ...
Hohannes Gardashian
...
Osman
Salem Ludwig ...
Odysseus Topouzoglou
...
Garabet
...
Vartuhi
Paul Mann ...
Aleko Sinnikoglou
...
Thomna Sinnikoglou
...
Aratoon Kebabian
Katharine Balfour ...
Sophia Kebabian
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Storyline

Elia Kazan, ethnic Greek but Turkish by birth, tells the story of the struggles of his uncle - in this account named Stavros Topouzoglou - in emigrating to America. In the 1890's, the young, kind-hearted but naive Stavros lived in Anatolia, where the Greek and Armenian minorities were repressed by the majority Turks, this repression which often led to violence. Even Stavros being friends with an Armenian was frowned upon. As such, Stavros dreamed of a better life - specifically in America - where, as a result, he could make his parents proud by his grand accomplishments. Instead, his parents, with most of their money, sent Stavros to Constantinople to help fund the carpet shop owned by his first cousin once removed. What Stavros encountered on his journey, made on foot with a small donkey, made him question life in Anatolia even further. Once in Constantinople, his resolve to earn the 110 Turkish pound third class fare to the United States became stronger than ever. But try after try,... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

greek | dream | america | money | turk | See All (307) »

Taglines:

A trail to the light! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 June 1964 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Hamal  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Gene Callahan was Kazan's 'set decorator' on films that Dick Sylbert, and his twin brother Paul, as an associate, had art directed for Kazan. The Sylbert twins had worked with Gene on CBS-New York Network and Local television productions as an art department team. Kazan asked Gene to travel with him to Greece, and to be his film's Production Designer. Noteworthy is that this is Gene's first 'art director' credit. During the film's location filming, Gene also decorated, as he supervised the sets preparation for filming (construction and set decorating) crews. During the film career of Kazan and Callahan, they performed as a team on many succeeding film projects. See more »

Quotes

Elia Kazan: [Voice- over] My name is Elia Kazan. I am a Greek by blood, a Turk by birth and an American because my uncle made a journey.
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Crazy Credits

Director Elia Kazan narrates the main portion of the closing credits, reading the words as they appear on the screen, using complete sentences such as "The cinematography was by Haskell Wexler." See more »

Connections

Featured in The Arrangement (1969) See more »

Soundtracks

Finale
Lyrics By - Nikos Gatsos
Vocals - Giorgos Romanos, Vasilis Riziotis
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User Reviews

An unjustly forgotten volatile classic
11 November 2005 | by (Long Beach, CA) – See all my reviews

"America, America" deserves a modern audience but is almost impossible to find. I just viewed a VHS version obtained through the inter-library loan program. I live in Virginia and it was sent down from Alaska!

This film should be required viewing for anyone interested in understanding why the huddled masses flocked to America but it is highly personalized and focused on a young man from a middle class Greek family with a big dream that seems impossible to fulfill. Another reviewer correctly likened Stathis Giallelis to a young Brando for his overpowering individuality, determination, and (for Turkish society in 1900) swagger. But when his character Stavros grows a mustache, he becomes a young Omar Sharif. AA is brilliantly written and directed by Elia Kazan.


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