This Movie ain’t Greek

Hollywood and the Film Community have long since decided that Greece and the history of Greece fascinates the world. Some famous movies come to mind that were NOT filmed in Greece and have NO Greek actors (unless they were extras and passed by unnoticed).

I heard that the board of Greek Tourism bungled negotiations on several occasions and film studios decided on cheaper destinations. I didn’t check every film location for all the movies. But it certainly wasn’t Greece – it would have been plastered over every Greek TV channel or gossip rag and the main topic of conversation in Greece until the next century, ousting the Greek crisis from position #1

Why does Hollywood think that Greeks can’t play Greeks? Doesn’t the sight of all-be-it great actors (sometimes) looking clearly Un-Greek, with bad haircuts and on occasion really-bad-Greek-accents defeat the purpose?

Spartacus the Movie (1960) Gladiator slave Hollywood style

Films about Ancient Greece with no Greek actors or locations.

“Spartacus” (1960) Hollywood style gladiator slave (Kirk Douglas). The real Spartacus was born in Thraki (Thrace), Northern Greece

“Alexander” (2004) Story of Alexander the Great (Colin Farrell, Angelina Jolie, Val Kilmer)

“Troy” (2004) Supposed to be based on Homer’s Iliad (Brad Pitt, Eric Vana, Orlando Bloom). Filmed in Mexico, Morocco, Malta and the UK

“300” (2006) The Battle of Thermopylae. King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) leads 300 Spartans into battle against Persian “god-King” Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro)

“Agora” (2009) Hypatia (Rachel Weisz) The title of the film takes its name from the agora, a gathering place in ancient Greece

“Clash of the Titans” (2010) – Wrath of the Titans (2012) based very loosely on the Greek myth of Perseus (Sam Worthington and everyone else not Greek)

Thank God For Michael Kakoyiannis.

Greek Cypriot director of “Electra”, “Iphigenia” and “Zorba the Greek”.

Electra 1962 - Michael Kakoyiannis

Electra (1962)

Starring role went to the wonderful Irene Pappas, a Greek actress of classical theatre. (Some of you might remember her from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, The Guns of Navarone and Zorba the Greek). Music by Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis. The rest of the cast was Greek. Electra received an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film and won at Cannes “Best Cinematic Transposition” and “Technical Grand Prize”. It was nominated for Palme d’Or (Cannes).

Iphigenia - 1977 Michael Cacogiannis

Iphigenia (1977)

Iphigenia receive an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film. It was also nominated for Palme d’Or (Cannes). Once again an all Greek cast with Irene Pappas in the starring role. Music by Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis.

PART 2 » Movies Made in Greece

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One Comment Add yours

  1. NineGPS says:

    Love Greek film!

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