7.5/10
39
2 user

Barefoot in Athens (1966)

The last few days in the life of Socrates, including his trial.

Director:

George Schaefer

Writers:

Maxwell Anderson (play), Robert Hartung (adaptation)
Reviews
Won 1 Primetime Emmy. See more awards »

Photos

Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Julius Orlovsky, after spending years in a New York mental hospital, emerges catatonic and must rely on his brother Peter, who lives with poet Allen Ginsberg. When Julius wanders off in the... See full summary »

Director: Robert Frank
Stars: Julius Orlovsky, Peter Orlovsky, John Coe
Billy Budd (1962)
Adventure | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Billy is an innocent, naive seaman in the British Navy in 1797. When the ship's sadistic master-at-arms is murdered, Billy is accused and tried.

Director: Peter Ustinov
Stars: Robert Ryan, Peter Ustinov, Melvyn Douglas
The Mind Snatchers (TV Movie 1972)
Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A German scientist works on a way of quelling overly aggressive soldiers by developing implants that directly stimulate the pleasure centers of the brain.

Director: Bernard Girard
Stars: Christopher Walken, Joss Ackland, Ralph Meeker
Hot Millions (1968)
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A paroled London fraudster poses as a computer specialist in order to work for an insurance company that entirely relies on its corporate server.

Director: Eric Till
Stars: Peter Ustinov, Maggie Smith, Karl Malden
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The ups and downs of life as experienced by a group of aspiring young artists in the early Fifties New York.

Director: Paul Mazursky
Stars: Lenny Baker, Shelley Winters, Ellen Greene
Mistress (1992)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

A comedy about a screenwriter (Robert Wuhl), whose old movie script is read by a producer (Martin Landau) and the search for financial backers begins. But it seems that each money source (... See full summary »

Director: Barry Primus
Stars: Robert Wuhl, Martin Landau, Vasek Simek
Cleopatra (1970)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Director: Michel Auder
Stars: Viva, Gerard Malanga, Taylor Mead
McBain (1991)
Action | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

Santos attempts to lead a people's revolt in Colombia to overthrow the oppressive El Presidente. When his revolt fails and he is killed, his sister Christina goes to New York to find McBain... See full summary »

Director: James Glickenhaus
Stars: Christopher Walken, Maria Conchita Alonso, Michael Joseph DeSare
Valley Forge (TV Movie 1975)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

George Washington struggles to hold his army together at a critical point during the Revolutionary War.

Director: Fielder Cook
Stars: Richard Basehart, Barry Snider, Harry Andrews
Last Embrace (1979)
Mystery | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Harry breaks down and loses his job after his wife is assassinated - could it be his turn next ?

Director: Jonathan Demme
Stars: Roy Scheider, Janet Margolin, John Glover
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  

Couple of strangers arrive in a small town, each one after a different thing.

Director: David Leeds
Stars: Margot Kidder, Geoffrey Lewis, Christopher Walken
The Three Musketeers (TV Movie 1969)
Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
Director: John Hirsch
Stars: Kenneth Welsh, Powys Thomas, James Blendick
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Peter Ustinov ... Socrates
Geraldine Page ... Xantippe
Anthony Quayle ... King Pausanias of Sparta
Eric Berry Eric Berry ... Meletos
Lloyd Bochner ... Critias
John Heffernan John Heffernan ... Anytas
Salome Jens ... Theodote
Shepperd Strudwick ... Lycon
Christopher Walken ... Lamprocles
Frank Griso Frank Griso ... Lysis
Allen Nourse Allen Nourse ... Phaedo
Richard Ward ... Satyros
David Haviland David Haviland ... Crassos
House Jameson ... The Magistrate
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Lee Vines Lee Vines ... Himself - Announcer (voice)
Edit

Storyline

Socrates is a nonconformist philosopher and idealistic seeker of the truth in Ancient Athens. He acts as teacher to his dedicated students without pay over the objections of Xantippe, his henpecking wife, and is viewed by the establishment as a corrupter of the city's youth. Hypocritical Athenian leaders conspire to indict him on charges of heresy and treason, both capital offenses. However, his trial is suspended when the decades-long Peloponnesian War ends, and Sparta occupies Athens, effectively ending democratic rule. Anxious to meet the renowned philosopher, Spartan King Pausanias takes an immediate liking to him. Socrates idealistically turns down the King's offers of booty and escape from the city and convinces him to restore Athenian democracy even though that means he will be recharged for his "crimes." The aging orator believes he can convince his judge and jury that his quest for the truth is consistent with the best Athenian values. Written by duke1029@aol.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 November 1966 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hallmark Hall of Fame: Barefoot in Athens (#16.1) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Goofs

At the end of the guilt phase of the trial, when Socrates has been found guilty, the second phase of the trial begins, where he is to propose a penalty. He does so, and the "judge" says to him that if that penalty is put to the jury it will be rejected, does he insist on putting the matter to the jury? Socrates answers "No" but the proposal is put to the jury and Socrates is condemned to death. Surely Socrates' answer to the judge's question should have been "Yes." See more »

Quotes

Lamprocles: [Referring to Socrates] He's thinking of shaving. Someone made him a present of a bronze razor.
See more »

Connections

Edited into Hallmark Hall of Fame (1951) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
The first Philosopher we all tend to recall the name of...
2 March 2006 | by theowinthropSee all my reviews

He is the first and best known philosopher, as his pupils Plato and Xenophon would have wanted it, but he is also the only "great" philosopher who never wrote anything or constructed his own theory. In fact, Socrates (fascinating man that he was) was really the inventor of a method of inquiry, and the man who became the mouthpiece of a great philosopher, his friend and disciple Plato. We know much about Socrates because of Plato and Xenophon (and a few later writers who had access to sources now lost to us). He also was a friend of Aristophanes (who spoofed him in THE CLOUDS), and is mentioned for distinguishing himself in some heavy fighting at a land battle in the Pelopponesian War by the historian Thucydides. It does show that in his own time (roughly 450 - 399 B.C.E.) he was a well known public figure. But his fame was secured by his death. He died literally because of his faith in his city-state's laws and decisions, even if they were deadly for him.

Because Plato and Xenophon were politically conservative types, even elitists, one can assume that Socrates too was one. But he was inquisitive, and constantly asked question after question about the philosophical issue or point of behavior under discussion. The "Socratic method" remains the favored method of philosophers, but it is also the key to legal confrontation in court. You never accept a statement without testing it, or seeing where it goes. It was Plato who took his teacher's method in the various dialogs to include his own views on society in THE REPUBLIC and THE LAWS, or on love and friendship (THE SYMPOSIUM) or on the issue of goodness or whatever issue would occupy Plato's attention.

But the Socratic method also makes enemies. Most of the sophists or rival teachers of Socrates who are Plato's straw men resented being made to look like fools by Socrates. When several of his students and friends were among the anti-Democrats who helped Sparta win the Peloponnesian War and to conquer Athens, they took their first opportunity to have Socrates arrested for "impiety". This was tantamount to a treason charge. Socrates had long talked of a small voice that spoke to him at times. This suggested a rival to the official gods of the city of Athens (although Socrates never said it was).

The result was that Socrates was convicted by an Athenian jury. He was asked if he could suggest his punishment (it should have been death). He gave a speech, and suggested some trivial punishment. The jury decided to condemn him to death. He had one month left, and his friends insisted that he flee. He refused - he would not fight the laws of the city state he loved. So he was given a goblet of the poison hemlock, and died after drinking it.

Plato wrote four short dialogs giving the trial of Socrates (including the speech the "Apology") Socrates gave to the jury. The trial (the first great historic trial in western civilization) has been written, analyzed, and discussed ever since. Plato's later REPUBLIC was designed to protect a future Socrates from a stupid judicial murder. Plato's disciple Aristotle left Athens after a political error almost led to his trial and death (he said he would not enable Athens to repeat a historic mistake again).

Yet the drama of Socrates' demise never became the subject of a major drama or movie, except this one time. In the late 1950s Maxwell Anderson wrote the play BAREFOOT IN ATHENS (Socrates walked without sandals). A late play, it has less of Anderson self-indulgence in it than most of his works and can be revived. This is probably because all he has to do is turn to the ancient writers to get his story and structure of the dialog.

His only innovations is the development of the character of Socrates' wife Xanthippe (historically a shrew), and his relationship with the Spartan King. Socrates befriends the King of Sparta, who has slowly found that defeating Athens just unloads a huge number of problems into his lap. He has little trust of the small men who would run Athens now (the generation of leaders personified by Pericles is long gone). But Socrates keeps arguing for the restoration of the city's democracy. Of course this will guarantee his own doom, but he is a patriot.

Ustinov was perfect casting as Socrates, physically looking like the fat, slightly homely, and bearded Greek. His high points (that I recall) were when he begs the King of Sparta to restore Athenian democracy, when he defends himself at his trial, and when he tries to comfort the difficult Xanthippe (Geraldine Page) who does, for all her sharp tongue, love him dearly. It was a worthy production, and until a full movie is made of it this is the only dramatization of this historical tragedy.


8 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 2 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed