America America (1963)

 |  Drama  |  17 June 1964 (France)
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 3,284 users  
Reviews: 23 user | 25 critic

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 5 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview:
Frank Wolff ...
Vartan Damadian
Harry Davis ...
Isaac Topouzoglou
Elena Karam ...
Vasso Topouzoglou
Estelle Hemsley ...
Grandmother Topouzoglou
Gregory Rozakis ...
Hohannes Gardashian
Lou Antonio ...
Salem Ludwig ...
Odysseus Topouzoglou
Paul Mann ...
Aleko Sinnikoglou
Linda Marsh ...
Thomna Sinnikoglou
Robert H. Harris ...
Aratoon Kebabian
Katharine Balfour ...
Sophia Kebabian


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 (305) »


One man's struggle to the golden shore See more »




See all certifications »




Release Date:

17 June 1964 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Hamal  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Estelle Helmsley, who plays the Greek grandmother, was actually an African-American actress. See more »


Hohannes Gardashian: [Looking from the ship to the shore] Can you swim that far?
Stavros Topouzoglou: They say I man learns what is necessary.
See more »

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 »


Featured in A Letter to Elia (2010) See more »


Excitement In The Village
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User Reviews

A realistic portrayal of the immigrant experience
29 September 2003 | by (Ridgefield CT) – See all my reviews

I first saw America, America when it was originally released and I saw it with my father. When the lights came up, I looked at my father and there were tears in his eyes and he said "this is my story too". His journey to America was the same as the character in the movie, only he came from Armenia.

Elia Kazan, with this movie has told the story of many immigrants, just like my father, with truth and depth of character. This isn't a fairy tale, the story is real and reflects the perils and experiences many immigrants took to come to

America. I am amazed that more people don't know about this movie. Whenever I rewatch it, I am reminded of the sacrifices my father made to come to this country and why I'm am blessed to be an American.

40 of 50 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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