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The Ogre of Athens (1956)
"O drakos" (original title)

8.2
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 876 users  
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A peaceful, frightened little man (Dinos Iliopoulos) is mistakenly identified as "the dragon" ("o drákos"), a notorious criminal at large. He briefly and reluctantly rules the underworld ... See full summary »

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Title: The Ogre of Athens (1956)

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Cast

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

A peaceful, frightened little man (Dinos Iliopoulos) is mistakenly identified as "the dragon" ("o drákos"), a notorious criminal at large. He briefly and reluctantly rules the underworld until they realize their mistake. Written by Alexander Koutamanis <a.koutamanis@bk.tudelft.nl>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The most biting, the most daring social satire.

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 March 1956 (Greece)  »

Also Known As:

The Ogre of Athens  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Connections

References The Magic City (1954) See more »

Soundtracks

Ilisos
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.


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