Zorba the Greek

1964

Zorba the Greek

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

88%

TOMATOMETER

Reviews Counted: 8

87%
liked it

Audience Score

User Ratings: 7,118

TOMATOMETER

N/A
All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0

AUDIENCE SCORE

87%
Average Rating: 4/5

You may have noticed some of the recent changes we have made. To read more about what we’ve been working on behind the scenes, please check out our new RT Product Blog here.


Want to See

Add Rating
My Rating    

Zorba the Greek Photos

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 on the island, who comes to a tragic end when she is accused of adultery. The writer is also a spectator to the equally benighted romance between Zorba and venerable courtesan Lila Kedrova. Other disasters follow, but Zorba is able to convince Bates that failure is an inescapable part of life, and that only by constantly tasting defeat can one truly enjoy life's victories. Based on the novel by Nikos Kazantzakis, Zorba the Greek earned Oscars for actress Lila Kedrova, cinematographer Walter Lassally and art director Vassilis Fotopoulos. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Watch it now

Cast

News & Interviews for Zorba the Greek

Critic Reviews for Zorba the Greek

All Critics (8)

Audience Reviews for Zorba the Greek

½

Zorba the Greek (1976) came out during a time when Hollywood was reaching out in all kinds of directions to release films to butts in movie theater seats. This US-Greek production stars Alan Bates as Basil, a half-Greek, half-English man who is en route to Crete to take over his now-deceased father's mine there. In transit he meets Alexis Zorba (Anthony Quinn), who is a lively good-humored man who volunteers to do work for Basil. Zorba dances in the face of adversity, and he's not afraid to lie and bend rules in order to maintain a sense of playfulness, especially in this movie's world, which just seems to be such a bummer. Troubling, however, is the way in which the women in the film get so easily cast aside or how they're viewed as means to men's lusty ends. Basil's and Zorba's world is definitely a man's world, and women have no agency here. I'm thinking here of the Widow and Madame Hortense. You'll see.

Billie Pritchett
Billie Pritchett

Super Reviewer

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.

Aaron Neuwirth
Aaron Neuwirth

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.

Randy Tippy
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 . . .

Lanning : )
Lanning : )

Super Reviewer

Zorba the Greek Quotes

News & Features