Zorba the Greek (1964)

A timid English writer arrives in Crete to open a mine for his family business and falls under the spell of a local peasant with a charismatic and inspiring zest for life.

As Zorba – the salt-of-the-earth peasant who teaches the uptight Englishman the secret of life – Anthony Quinn plays the part of a lifetime, so much so that the role greatly impinged on the actor both in real life and in all his movies ever since.

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Adding to the film’s particular and unusual grace are wonderful Oscar-winning black-and-white photography by Walter Lassally, a haunting Mikis Theodorakis score – since responsible for a zillion pieces of smashed crockery in Greek restaurants worldwide – and a glowingly warm portrayal (also Oscar-rewarded) by Lila Kedrova as an aged prostitute.

Alexis Zorba
Anthony Quinn
Basil
Alan Bates
Widow
Irene Papas
Madame Hortense
Lila Kedrova
Mavrandoni
George Foundas
Lola
Eleni Anousaki
Mimithos
Sotiris Moustakas
Manolakas
Takis Emmanuel

Director
Michael Cacoyannis