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A young idealist scholar at an all-girls boarding school comes face to face with the institution's privileged students. Will they learn a thing or two about respect? Can a little discipline pave the way for a fresh whirlwind romance?
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Illia is Piraeus's most popular person: an energetic prostitute, full of life and good humor. Every day, she swims at the pier, entertaining the dock hands. Sundays she has an open house with food, drink and song. Homer Thrace, an amateur philosopher from Middletown, Conn., arrives in town to find out why Greece has fallen from ancient greatness. He decides Illia is a symbol of that fall, so he sets out to study and to save her. Unknown to Illia, he gets the money for the books and all else he gives her from Mr. No Face, the local vice boss who wants Illia retired because her independence gives other whores ideas. Whose spirit is stronger: Homer's classical ideal or Illia's?Written by
Illia's happy. She's worked out a way of living. Let her alone.
No, it's impossible. A whore can't be happy. A whorish world can't be happy. I'd like to reach her mind.
What do you want to put in her mind?
Reason, in place of fantasy. Morality, instead of immorality. I've got to educate her. Transform her.
Remember what happened to Pygmalion.
I wouldn't make that mistake. She is lovely. But for me, she's not a woman; she's an idea. She's an outlaw. Yes! Can't you see? The law must be ...
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If Greece Were Still Like This, I Would Move There
SYNOPSIS: A well educated American tourists attempts to 'enlighten' a Greek prostitute in a small seaside village.
CONCEPT IN RELATION TO THE VIEWER Newer is not always better, and sometimes over analyzing a problem can only make it worse. Leave well enough alone. It is more important to be happy than to understand everything.
PROS AND CONS Every recent prostitute film from 'Irma la Duce' to 'Pretty Woman' owes a lot to this work. It was one of the first films that shed light on the idea that prostitution was a respectable and acceptable way to make a living.
If nothing else this film is a homage by Jules Dassin to his wife, Melina Mercouri. She is the focus of the film and she captivates any scene she is in with her zest for life and smoldering sexuality. The other thing you tend to fall in love with is the romantic ideal of living in Greece in 1960. It appears care free, relaxed and almost infectious with its love of the simple life.
The plot of the film is not overly complex and deals with an outsider, Homer (Dassin) arriving in town to study Greek culture. He is almost immediately captivated by Ilya (Mercouri) as one of the local prostitutes that 'freelances' and does not work for the town pimp. She negotiates a price with whomever she chooses, and sleeps with all the towns vendors in exchange for her daily goods (food, wine, drinks, etc), but she never 'works' on Sunday. Hence the title to the film.
Homer is smitten by Ilya and decides that he must 'save' her from what he perceives as a wretched life that is going no where and decides to educate her so that she can see the error of her ways. In the end, this does nothing but frustrate everyone in town. The education of Ilya does have a silver lining, which if anything, leaves the town more corrupted than when Homer found it.
The underlying theme of the film is that one should strive to be happy in what you do and more importantly, who you know. There is an interconnection between people in a small town, and disrupting those connections may lift some people up, but is not good for the whole of society. Regardless of his meddling, the towns people never turn on Homer, or blame him for anything. At their core, they know that life is to be enjoyed and blaming people for your troubles is just not part of the mix.
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