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Zorba the Greek

Zorba the Greek (2005)


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Average Rating: 4/5
User Ratings: 6,838

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Movie Info

If ever there was a role that Anthony Quinn was born to play, it was the lusty, life-affirming title character in Zorba the Greek. The scene is the isle of Crete, where English writer Alan Bates arrives in the hopes of realigning his own values and outlook on life. He is "adopted" by the flamboyant Zorba, who determines to educate Bates in the ways of the world-or, to be more precise, Zorba's world. Along the way, Bates is introduced to widow Irene Papas, the unrequited love object of everyone

Aug 3, 2004


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All Critics (12) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (6) | Rotten (1) | DVD (8)

The serious critique in Zorba attends the tragic elements in the story

August 20, 2011 Full Review Source: Cinemania

A pensive film about the need to find your own truth while living life to its fullest.

August 15, 2011 Full Review Source: Cinema Sight
Cinema Sight

Despite Cacoyannis' plodding helming, and schematic contrast between the inhibited Brit and lusty Greek, the film is enjoyable due to Anthony Quinn's performance and Theodorakis' glorious music.

July 31, 2007 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

Gained international acclaim for Anthony Quinn in a role many believe he was born to play and one that he's become best-remembered for.

April 23, 2006 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews | Comments (3)
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for Zorba the Greek

Zorba: Damn it boss, I like you too much not to say it. You've got everthing except one thing: madness! A man needs a little madness, or else...
Basil: Or else?
Zorba: ...he never dares cut the rope and be free.

A solid film centering on two men. One playing it straight, the other a larger than life character who gives this film the right kind of energy every time he is on screen. Well made, with a great soundtrack.

An aimless Englishman, Basil, played by Alan Bates, finds he has a small inheritance on the Greek island of Crete. His joyless existence is disturbed when he meets Zorba, played by Anthony Quinn, 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. Other adventures occur, including the pursuit of love for both men and the construction of crazy contraptions.

Basically, Anthony Quinn owns this film. Every time he is around, I love everything that is going on. His character provides laughs, a sense of adventure, and other endearing qualities that kept me entertained. Plus he's a damn good dancer. The other actors do a solid job in the film as well.

Taking place in Crete, and actually having been filmed there, this is a very good looking film as well. It certainly captures the surroundings quite well, while giving a specific portrayal of this Greek society.

The other great element of this film was its score. I've heard its key tune many times before, but here it is perfectly mixed into the story. As this film mixes some more light-hearted moments with much darker dramatic material, it was great to have a Greek-themed musical vibe running throughout, which helped keep me engaged.

While the film does run a bit long, it still had plenty of well accomplished elements to make it worthwhile.

Basil: I don't want any trouble.
Zorba: Life is trouble. Only death is not. To be alive is to undo your belt and *look* for trouble.
July 19, 2010

Super Reviewer

A much darker film than I expected it to be. Anthony Quinn's energetic and charismatic Zorba seems almost out of place amidst a cast of cowardly, vengeful, parasitic villagers who always seem to linger ominously in the background. Ultimately, Zorba the Greek is an uplifting film, but it will route you through a few valleys before it reaches the mountaintop.
July 18, 2009
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

When Zorba's son dies, everyone else cries. Zorba? He dances. If Quinn had only done one film, this film, his contribution to the history of movies would have been enormous and his place in that history assured. Life, death, comedy, tragedy, love, hate, nastiness, compassion . . . this movie encompasses every aspect of existence. I'm not sure if Bates and Quinn ever did another movie together, but what great chemistry. To live life no matter what may come, the "philosophy" behind this movie, makes more and more sense the older you get. And when all else fails, eat, drink, laugh, and dance . . .
April 23, 2006

Super Reviewer

This movie looked so incredibly boring, that it took me an entire year to work up the nerve to watch it. Maybe more maybe less. I almost didn't. Especially because it is almost 2 1/2 hours long. I have to watch this because of my Oscar list. If I didn't have that I would never ever bother.

Acting/Characters: Anthony Quinn as Zorba is the only reason to even watch this movie. He did an absolutely fantastic job. Were it not for Peter sellers in Dr. Strangelove, I would be perfectly alright with giving Best Actor to him (I to this day am still trying to find out why on earth they gave it to Rex Harrison that year). But he is the only remotely interesting character in the film. I just didn't care about anyone else. I was never really given any reason to to be honest. There was one other character who was interesting to watch and that was the town idiot. There was actually a character whom annoyed me to the point where I didn't care about her fate (Incidentally it was an Oscar winning performance). Maybe that was the point if so, bravo. I only really cared about Zorba. He was a lot of fun to watch. 5/10

Plot: Like the rest of the movie, I just didn't care. I felt like I should care but I didn't. I know that this is an Oscar winning film and that it is culturally important but yeah. Meh. The plot did get really interesting at the end though which I liked a lot. It was kinda too little too late though. But the film didn't need to be nearly as long as it was. And it was almost much longer too. It was kinda too little too late though. 5/10

Screenplay: This was the best part I will say. Zorba had a lot of excellent lines. He was always really interesting to watch and what he would say was always very interesting too. But I don't think that this fully redeemed the film but I dunno. I still liked it. 8/10

Likableness: When Zorba was onscreen it was great. he was a lot of fun to watch. When he wasn't I just didn't care. Maybe I'm being way too hard on this film. I probably am. But I just didn't care. I dunno. Sorry if this is incoherent, a 2:00 AM review isn't the best. 6/10

Final Score: 24/40 60% (M)

TRIVIA TIME: 1. Anthony Quinn had a broken foot during filming, and thus couldn't perform the dance on the beach as scripted, which called for much leaping around. Instead, he did a slow shuffle. Director Mihalis Kakogiannisasked Anthony Quinn what the dance was, and Anthony Quinn made up a name and claimed it was traditional.

2. Simone Signoret was the original choice for Madame Hortense. After filming began, director 'Michael Cacoyannis' realized that she wasn't what he wanted for the part and asked permission from Darryl F. Zanuck to replace her. He agreed and he proposed Bette Davis. 'Michael Cacoyannis' though had Lila Kedrova in mind. Darryl F. Zanuck had no idea who Lila Kedrova was, or how she even looked, but he trusted 'Michael Cacoyannis' very much, so he agreed.

3. The project was turned down by every major studio in town.

4. In the earlier stages of filming, Mihalis Kakogiannis and Anthony Quinn had frequent disagreements as the director felt that his leading actor was being too over-the-top.

5. The original cut was over 3 hours long.

6. Lila Kedrova learned English specially for the film.

7. Such was the interest in an adaptation of Nikos Kazantzakis's hugely popular novel, the film was already in the black before it opened.
December 16, 2010
Lord Naseby
Lord Naseby

Super Reviewer

    1. Alexis Zorba: You think too much, that is your trouble. Clever people and grocers, they weigh everything.
    – Submitted by George P (4 months ago)
    1. Basil: An overhead cable? You're mad.
    2. Alexis Zorba: Why?
    3. Basil: That forest doesn't belong to us.
    4. Alexis Zorba: Well, it doesn't, and then it does.
    5. Basil: What does that mean?
    6. Alexis Zorba: It belong to the monastery. The monastery belongs to God, and God belongs to everybody. Do you agree?
    – Submitted by George P (4 months ago)
    1. Alexis Zorba: God has a very big heart but there is one sin he will not forgive. [slaps table]
    2. Alexis Zorba: If a woman calls a man to her bed and he will not go.
    – Submitted by Dusan D (2 years ago)
    1. Alexis Zorba: How can I not love them? Poor weak creatures... and they take so little, a man's hand on their breast, and they give you all they got.
    – Submitted by Dusan D (2 years ago)
    1. Basil: I don't want any trouble.
    2. Alexis Zorba: Life is trouble. Only death is not. To be alive is to undo your belt and *look* for trouble.
    – Submitted by Dusan D (2 years ago)
    1. Alexis Zorba: Damn it boss, I like you too much not to say it. You've got everthing except one thing: madness! A man needs a little madness, or else...
    2. Basil: Or else?
    3. Alexis Zorba: ...he never dares cut the rope and be free.
    – Submitted by Dusan D (2 years ago)
View all quotes (7)

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