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The Ogre of Athens (1956)

O drakos (original title)
A peaceful, frightened little man is mistakenly identified as "the dragon", a notorious criminal at large. He briefly and reluctantly rules the underworld until they realize their mistake.


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Cast overview:
Dinos Iliopoulos ...
Margarita Papageorgiou ...
Giannis Argyris ...
Thanasis Vengos ...
Theodoros Andriakopoulos ...
(as Thodoros Andriakopoulos)
Maria Lekaki ...
Frixos Nassou
Kostas Stavrinoudakis
Manolis Vlachakis
Kostas Spagopoulos
Zizi Viopoulou
Kassi Janet


A peaceful innocent man is mistaken for a serial ravisher and killer who looks very much like him. He finds himself on the run by everyone that knows him, and finally hides inside a night club owned by small crooks. In his face, they see the leader that will give them everything they desire... Written by Chris Makrozahopoulos <makzax@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The most biting, the most daring social satire.


Crime | Drama





Release Date:

5 March 1956 (Greece)  »

Also Known As:

The Ogre of Athens  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


When the film opened in Greek cinemas in 1956, it was a disaster, both critically and commercially. It was international critical hailing of the film which changed its course. Now it is recognized as one of the 10 most important Greek films of all time. See more »


References The Magic City (1954) See more »


Performed by Margarita Papageorgiou
Composed by Manos Hatzidakis
Lyrics by Giorgos Emirzas
See more »

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User Reviews

Meek bank clerk is mistaken for a serial killer
1 February 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is within the film noir canon for a good many solid reasons, but it's also expressionistic and neo-realist. For an excellent review with screen shots, see https://greekfilm.wordpress.com/tag/o-drakos/ This review argues correctly that the film's heart is neo-realist. But the story itself, the lighting, the characters drawn from society's stragglers and strugglers, and the tone of being trapped in unhappiness and wanting to escape it all combine to support the noir thesis too. The movie is a fusion of noir and neo-realism.

The protagonist of the story is a timid bank clerk who is mistaken for a serial killer. He hides out in a dive run by a gang leader, who takes him for "The Dragon". He wants him to lead his group of bedraggled and impoverished men as they steal some ancient Greek columns and sell them to Americans. The dive owner and his thieves are not professionals. They're just dirt poor and have no other opportunities. The bank clerk is also unsatisfied with his solitary existence. He meets and hits it off with a young singer in the bar, who is called "Baby" after being first taken in by "Carmen", another singer.

Much of the story takes place in the dark confines of the night spot, where the men drink, dance, kiss, hug, and embrace in a fashion no straight American would feel comfortable doing. They are celebrating their leader and their hoped for release from poverty. The bank clerk, for his own reasons, takes possession of the new role that has come his way, as leader. He makes a remarkable speech to motivate the men for the coming theft.

This movie is claustrophobic and dark, emphasizing the plight of everyone trying almost desperately to escape.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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