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John Vogel <email@example.com>
Pia Lindström filmed scenes for the movie as a "Peasant Girl", but her scenes were cut before release. See more »
At the beginning Basil picks up three books and puts them under his right arm. He walks around a small group of people, and in the next shot they are under his left arm. See more »
Why do the young die? Why does anybody die?
I don't know.
What's the use of all your damn books if they can't answer that?
They tell me about the agony of men who can't answer questions like yours.
I spit on this agony!
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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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