Zorba the Greek - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Zorba the Greek Reviews

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August 26, 2017
Truly one of my favorie films of all time. Anthony Quinn as Zorba is absolutely superb. And, the rest of the cast rings true in each scene. I never tire of watching this honest, raw film because each character as well as the townspeople engross me in the stoy --- from start to finish of the film.
Throughout the journey, Zorba tells Basil (played perfectly by Alan Bates) his life's philosophy as he himself has lived it --- clearly, to the fullest. Whereas, Basil, the squeamish, uptght, overly shy Anglo-Greek visitor to Crete, is repeatedly stunned by the seemilgly backward, often unkind actions of the townspeople. Basil has in tow a few hundred books he has read on philosophy and other learned subjects, which seem to be of little use to him in living in the "real" world. This truth is pointed out on several occasions by Zorba -- In a kind but firm manner.
It is a wonderful film in so many ways as it doesn't place blame or kudos on anyone for the simple matter that we are all humas. We are both generous yet deeply affected by the culture we are born to. Zorba seems the most likely to never sit in judgment of those around him
or himself for the frailty of humanity.
My favorite line in the film is when Basil asks Zorba if he is married. Zorba replies, "Am I not a man? And, does not a man marry? I have a wife, children and a house! The FULL CATASTROPHE!!"
August 23, 2017
Strong in both, direction and writing, this Greek comedic drama is a touching-yet-funny enough to captivate purists with the presence of its two lead roles and their particular but effective chemistry; Anthony Quinn and Alan Bates, not to mention its great locations and unique use of symbolisms towards the use of character development and sympathetic moments, making it a pleasant experience for fans of foreign productions.
½ July 5, 2017
A black and white classic that remains as relevant and entertaining as ever. Quinn essays the titular role, as Zorba encourages a live-for-today mentality, with dance sometimes the only answer to life's inevitable downturns.
½ June 12, 2017
"A man has to be a little crazy, otherwise he will never dare to let go and be free." Zorba.

Reviewing "Zorba" is always a pleasurable invitation. Personally, it is a film that brings back several memories of the most diverse phases of my life. The most admirable thing about the film is its simplicity inherited from neo-realism, something almost impossible to see in today's cinema, and probably by the characteristics of our individualistic generation.
The paradox in "Zorba" is in its simplicity traits that gain a splendid dimension. Everything is so well done that even slips end up being irrelevant, though they exist. The film's occasional mistakes may be characterized by the adaptive relationship of Nikos Kazantzakis's novel with the script and direction signed by Michael Cacoyannis.

By fragmenting a moment of life between the meeting of the young Basil (Alan Bates) with Zorba (Anthony Quinn) through the relations of work, companionship and ending with the farewell of these friends, we have in this fragment of moments, insertions in style of chronicles of the Life that do not always punctuate or construct relations, besides, by centralizing the film in relaunching between these two friends, we lose, and in total merit by the artistic and interpretative quality, very interesting figures like the brilliant Madame Hortense (Lila Kedrova), the Widow Irene Papas) and the crazy / silly city (Sotiris Moustakas). In addition to all these characters, add the inhabitants of the village of Crete (where most of the history goes), which oscillate between a great chorus of representation of the local inhabitants and at other moments, this mass of the population obtains the prowess of being the Protagonists of "Zorba", influencing in the plots and determining situations.

Perhaps the weakest point of the script, in the non-relationship in particular, with the women's history of the film, the widow and Madame, both seem to be a resource to symbolize, a specific love relationship in the life of the two friends, but Are only one in front of the others that have already come and the others that will still come, by the way, the film provides few clues about the past and even fewer about the future of the characters Zorba and Basil, which is not a bad thing, if there is something That neo-realism clearly points out, is the coming and going of stories that cross us.

A special highlight for the photography of Walter Lassally and the art direction of Vassilis Photopoulos, both deservedly awarded the Oscars in their respective categories and which are striking to this day, a true composition class and artistic feature, the reflection of this is remarkable also Quality of the movie.

One aside that is necessary here, is for the quality in the work of all the actors, indisputably excellent, with special attention to the female performance and in great prominence, Anthony Quinn, an undoubtedly enviable actor. When we know a little about the story of this Mexican actor, who was boxing fighter ... finally, when we know a little more about his life and career, our chin falls and we are even more admired for his work. Quinn, performed in "Zorba" a rare feat for many other actors, composing a timeless character, which until today is referenced and revered. Without doubt, a brilliant work by an equally brilliant actor.
½ March 29, 2017
good movie but very disturbing at the 2nd half.
July 23, 2016
I had been wanting to watch this film forever and finally got around to it, and I really enjoyed it. Anthony Quinn is outstanding in the film, he owns the screen every second he's on it. I also like Alan bates in it. The cinematography deservedly won an Oscar. The film has lots of humour, but it also very dark at times. I found watching it to be a rewarding experience.
July 3, 2016
Anthony Quinn is a fascinating and very talented actor, unfortunately, this is not enough to make this film work for me. I found it quite boring and slow.
Super Reviewer
July 2, 2016
Gave up halfway through, such is the high boredom factor of this film.
May 30, 2016
"Zorba el Griego", dirigida por Michael Cacoyannis es un épico de más de 2 horas de duración, acerca de un tímido escritor británico (Alan Bates) quien camino a Grecia entabla amistad con el sensualista Alexis Zorba (Anthony Quinn) un hombre destinado a enseñarle al escritor el verdadero sentido de la vida. "Zorba el Griego" es una película abrumadora y más que trágica, pero también posee una gran dirección, una música inolvidable, una fotografía hermosa y unas grandes actuaciones a cargo de Quinn, Bates y sus contrapartes femeninas Irene Papas (la viuda) y Lila Kedrova (la prostituta francesa).
May 3, 2016
It's one of those movies where the performance really is what holds it together. Quinn masterfully becomes Zorba, the lustful, everyday man with an insatiable appetite for life. At times though I was surprisingly bored with certain excessively long or unnecessary scenes and felt that the philosophical content wasn't scripted as well as it could've been.
½ March 4, 2016
Would have been good but for the barbarism.

An Englishman, Basil (played by Alan Bates), is en route to Crete where
he owns a long-disused mine. Along the way he encounters, befriends and
employs Zorba (Anthony Quinn). Once in Crete they set about trying to
get the mine operational. Basil is quite risk averse, studious and
introverted while Zorba is extroverted, gregarious, happy-go-lucky and
lives life to the fullest. Over time, Zorba's zestfulness starts to rub
off on Basil...

Starts slowly but over time the movie starts to accumulate a feel- good
factor, especially when we see Zorba's antics and Basil start to open

However, this is all ruined by two acts of sheer barbarism towards the
end, both committed by the moronic inhabitants of the village. What's
worse, both these acts are just taken as par for the course, and there
is no ultimate justice for these acts. You could understand the
imbecilic villagers feeling that way, but both Basil and Zorba continue
as if nothing had happened. What's more, the first case involves
someone quite dear to Basil.

From the point of the first atrocity, the air goes out of the movie and
this is made worse by the second act. There are some lighter moments in
the last few scenes but these can't repair the damage. What should have
been a light, happy movie, even a comedy of sorts, ends as an uneven
study in the barbaric customs and thinking of primitive people.
December 6, 2015
A film that simply grows on you second by second until your caught under it's spell. A simple but significant story of a English Man who inherits land in Crete in Greece and along his way stumbles across Zorba the Greek.

You couldn't have to polar opposites on screen but the charm & chemistry of the two is undeniable. Zorba is owned by the performance of Anthony Quinn that is truly once in a lifetime.

It's a film filled with passion (especially the luscious look of the film made by the Cameraman) & the perils of life. It's refreshing & a great study of two people in the unforgettable backdrop of coastal Greece. A must see classic!
November 6, 2015
Classic. Anthony Quinn's performance exemplifies the Greek spirit. There were some uncomfortable scenes. Good movie for the most part. Lila Kedrova was outstanding.
½ June 12, 2015
Boring as fuck. I didn't even want to finish it. Boring stories from Greek people and the crazy Zorba in Greece of 1940's(?)
May 4, 2015
Starring Anthony Quinn, Alan Bates, Irene Papas, Lila Kedrova. Anthony Quinn, in his best film role, is irresistible as the life-loving title character. He joins British-born writer Alan Bates as he travels from the Greek mainland to the island of Crete, with a notion to open a mine. Along the way, Bates gets involved with a widow whose life meets a tragic end when she is accused of adultery. Equal parts life-affirming and life-questioning, this film only loses points for its stubborn lack of a sympathetic character. Directed by Michael Cacoyannis.
½ January 20, 2015
La banda sonora, los personajes, la historia, el tipo de pelìcula que me gusta.
Billie P.
Super Reviewer
½ December 18, 2014
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.
½ December 3, 2014
The most memorable things about "Zorba the Greek" is the small village setting on Crete Island, Anthony Quinn's performance, and Theodorakis' magnificent music.
½ November 25, 2014
***Due to the recent RT changes that have basically ruined my past reviews, I am mostly only giving a rating rather than a full review.***
September 22, 2014
Anthony Quinn is magnificent, but I couldn't care less what's going to happen to him and Alan Bates. Great views of Crete though.
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