An aimless English writer finds he has a small inheritance on a Greek island. His joyless existence is disturbed when he meets Zorba, a middle aged Greek with a real lust for life. As he discovers the earthy pleasures of Greece, the Englishman finds his view on life changing. Written by
John Vogel <email@example.com>
Simone Signoret was offered the part of Madame Hortense initially, and turned it down. She came to regret that decision. The role went to Lila Kedrova who ended up receiving an Academy Award for her role. See more »
Near the end of the movie, when the log is coming down the hill it is seen as fairly round and the bark is rough and peeling, like a natural log. But when the log gets to the end of the cable, it appears to be a fake log with no bark and a visible framework that makes it look multi-sided rather than round. See more »
Damn it boss, I like you too much not to say it. You've got everthing except one thing: madness! A man needs a little madness, or else...
...he never dares cut the rope and be free.
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What an exuberant film - not to be missed! It chronicles sadness and joy so beautifully that one can't help but want to weep, laugh, and dance along. There are four wonderful performances, led by Anthony Quinn, whose enthusiam for life almost leaps from the screen, giving rise to an almost sacrilegious thought: How could Rex Harrison's stuffy, embalmed Professor Henry Higgins have won the Best Actor Oscar over Quinn as Zorba? Lila Kedrova is heartbreaking as Madame Hortense, the dying prostitute with a colorful past. The always-enjoyable Alan Bates, and the striking Irene Papas as the Widow. Like Anna Magnani, Papas was an actress who transcended any language barrier, who didn't need dialogue at all - her face and body said everything she needed to.
For the most part the film looks great on DVD, with crisp, clear black-and-white photography. But I have one quibble: the transfer seems to have been made from the same source as the videotape prints in circulation, because there are a couple of instances of obvious post-production looping (possibly for prime-time television broadcasts), changing 'goddam' to 'old damn,' for instance - they even do this in the English subtitles. But read Quinn's lips - there's no mistaking what the original lines were! I'd expected that the original unedited soundtrack would have been restored.
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