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Zorba the Greek (1964) Poster

Trivia

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Anthony Quinn had a broken foot during filming, and thus couldn't perform the dance on the beach as scripted, which called for much leaping around. The dance is called 'syrtaki' and is very traditional.
The collapse of the cable railway had to shot twice because the first attempt happened too fast for the cameras.
Lila Kedrova learned English specially for the film.
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Simone Signoret was the original choice for Madame Hortense. After filming began, director Mihalis Kakogiannis realized that she wasn't what he wanted for the part and asked permission from Darryl F. Zanuck to replace her. He agreed and he proposed Tallulah Bankhead, Bette Davis and Barbara Stanwyck. Kakogiannis, though, had Lila Kedrova in mind. Zanuck had no idea who Kedrova was, or how she even looked, but he trusted Kakogiannis very much, so he agreed.
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In the earlier stages of filming, Mihalis Kakogiannis and Anthony Quinn had frequent disagreements as the director felt that his leading actor was being too over-the-top.
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The original cut was over 3 hours long.
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Alan Bates was Mihalis Kakogiannis's first choice for the part of Basil.
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Such was the interest in an adaptation of Nikos Kazantzakis's hugely popular novel, the film was already in the black before it opened.
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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.
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The original Broadway production of "Zorba" opened at the Imperial Theater in New York on November 16, 1968, starring Herschel Bernardi and Maria Karnilova. It ran for 305 performances and was nominated for the 1969 Tony Award for the Best Musical. Anthony Quinn and Lila Kedrova, who starred together in this movie version in 1964, appeared in the revival of Zorba in 1982/83. Lila Kedrova won the 1984 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical.
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The project was turned down by every major studio in town.
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Pia Lindström filmed scenes for the movie as a "Peasant Girl," but her scenes were cut before release.
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Burt Lancaster and Burl Ives turned down the role of Alexis Zorba.
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Cannon Films planned a movie version of the Broadway musical with Robert Wise directing. Anthony Quinn was to reprise his role, and John Travolta was slated to take the Alan Bates part.
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Herschel Bernardi was nominated for the 1969 Tony Award (New York City) for Actor in a Musical for "Zorba" in the musical adaptation of this movie.
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Cameo 

George P. Cosmatos: the disgruntled boy who writes down the illiterate Zorba's thoughts for him.
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