An aimless English writer finds he has a small inheritance on a Greek island. His joyless existence is disturbed when he meets Zorba, a middle aged Greek with a real lust for life. As he discovers the earthy pleasures of Greece, the Englishman finds his view on life changing.Written by
John Vogel <firstname.lastname@example.org>
What an exuberant film - not to be missed! It chronicles sadness and joy so beautifully that one can't help but want to weep, laugh, and dance along. There are four wonderful performances, led by Anthony Quinn, whose enthusiam for life almost leaps from the screen, giving rise to an almost sacrilegious thought: How could Rex Harrison's stuffy, embalmed Professor Henry Higgins have won the Best Actor Oscar over Quinn as Zorba? Lila Kedrova is heartbreaking as Madame Hortense, the dying prostitute with a colorful past. The always-enjoyable Alan Bates, and the striking Irene Papas as the Widow. Like Anna Magnani, Papas was an actress who transcended any language barrier, who didn't need dialogue at all - her face and body said everything she needed to.
For the most part the film looks great on DVD, with crisp, clear black-and-white photography. But I have one quibble: the transfer seems to have been made from the same source as the videotape prints in circulation, because there are a couple of instances of obvious post-production looping (possibly for prime-time television broadcasts), changing 'goddam' to 'old damn,' for instance - they even do this in the English subtitles. But read Quinn's lips - there's no mistaking what the original lines were! I'd expected that the original unedited soundtrack would have been restored.
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