Conman-gigolo goes for big bucks of his mark, a rich woman
The title of this movie is translated "The scamp of Fokionos Negri street". "Scamp" doesn't quite hit the mark, nor does tramp. He's actually a con man. The young man (Alkis Yannakas) is a gigolo who is in with a loose bunch of other no-goods who look for ways to swindle people out of their money.
Fokionos Negri street at the time was in a part of Athens known for seedy bars, strip tease places, and that is where Yannakas and his pals sit around gambling and looking for marks. One of them targets a 30-ish virgin (Alexandra Ladikou) who is alone and lives in a big house that was left to her by her deceased parents. To get in with her, they stage a fight and beating of Yannakas. She takes him into her house and he quickly makes love to her. She's being courted by an older and solid man (probably Lavrentis Dianellos), but she cannot resist the young dick. Yannakas has a lover (Zeta Apostolou) who is an exotic dancer at a nearby café; but he makes it clear that courting and taking this rich woman has priority over her.
The story develops an on-again, off-again relationship between Yannakas and Ladikou, in which he strings her along by various ruses and lies, but also doesn't conceal what he's out for. Ladikou's suitor and her girl friend try to warn her, but only partially succeed. Ladikou at one point turns against Yannakas but before long he succeeds in gaining her confidence again. Finally he sees a way of taking her for really big money and he and his pals devise a fairly elaborate con.
The film is a melodramatic-noir, both in style and substance, told at times in a blunt and up front way. The exposition may even be presented crudely at times. It more or less telegraphs that the outcome will be tragically violent. Although we are not entirely sure what direction this will take, we can make a pretty good guess. So, we watch the tragedy unfold and this way of telling the story has a certain power because there are not manufactured thrills. The story becomes a more realistic tragedy. The characters are understandable and they cannot escape their fates.
The black and white photography is very nice. This is not a big-budget or glossy film, and if it were that would have taken away from its look and overall impact. But neither is it a cheap looking production.
I like this film as melodrama, as film noir and as modern tragedy.
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