79 user 31 critic

Zorba the Greek (1964)

Alexis Zorbas (original title)
Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama | 14 December 1964 (Greece)
3:21 | Trailer

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An uptight English writer traveling to Crete on a matter of business finds his life changed forever when he meets the gregarious Alexis Zorba.



(from the novel "The Life and Times of Alexis Zorba"), (screenplay)
Won 3 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »





Complete credited cast:
... Alexis Zorba
... Basil
... Widow
... Madame Hortense
... Mavrandoni (as George Foundas)
... Mimithos
... Soul
... Lola
... Pavlo (as George Voyadjis)
... Manolakas


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 <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

crete | writer | greek | greece | sirtaki | See All (132) »


Life. Lust. Love. Zorba. See more »


Comedy | Drama


Not Rated | See all certifications »






Release Date:

14 December 1964 (Greece)  »

Also Known As:

Zorba the Greek  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office


$783,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$9,000,000, 31 December 1964

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$23,500,000, 31 December 1964
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Lila Kedrova learned English specially for the film. See more »


Near the end of the movie, when the log is coming down the hill it is seen as fairly round and the bark is rough and peeling, like a natural log. But when the log gets to the end of the cable, it appears to be a fake log with no bark and a visible framework that makes it look multi-sided rather than round. See more »


Alexis Zorba: Hey boss, did you ever see a more splendiferous crash?
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Zorbas (aka Zorba's Dance)
Written by Mikis Theodorakis
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User Reviews

not easy to cinematize but they really did it!
31 August 2005 | by See all my reviews

A young Englishman is writing on a manuscript about the Buddha. He meets Alexis Zorba who greatly influences his outlook on life. The narrator, whose name is not revealed, hires Zorba to superintend the workmen in his lignite mine in Crete. Zorba the Greek is a book and a movie by nature on the contrast between the Apollonian and the Dionysian outlook on life. Apollo/the boss(Alan Bates) represents the spirit of order and rationality, while Dionysus/Zorba(Anthony Quinn) represents the spirit of ecstatic, spontaneous will to life. Anthony Quinn's performance is really great. I read the book about a month ago and I guess I couldn't visualize the Zorba image in my mind that well. His looks,one-liners,his dancing sirtaki on the beach,his harmony with Madame Hortense(Lila Kedrova)just looks so nice.It is really surprising that Lila Kedrova got "Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress" while Anthony Quinn just got the nomination for best actor in a leading role.(Such a pity that he didn't get it.) Well that work of art is not so great as "Jesus Re-crucified" or "The Last Temptation of Christ " but is a still great Kazanthakis art.And the adapted movie is a really good one coz given that the whole book is based on a contrast introduced by Friedrich Nietzsche and it is not supposed to be easy to cinematize a philosophical book.Great Quinn! Great movie!(But I Don't THINK LILA KEDROVA DESERVES THAT AWARD) If you have ever read Kazanthakis you should absolutely see this movie!

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