A plethora of films have been made in Greece. We couldn’t possibly list them all here. However, we have selected a few that enjoyed international acclaim and were filmed on location in various regions and islands of Greece including Hydra, Kefalonia, Skiathos, Skopelos and Pelion. These films have become “classics” and epitomize the Greek spirit via romance, passion, defiance, tragedy, forbidden love, guilty pleasures, and all else in between.
Greece has been a favourite movie location for decades. The international success of films such as “Zorba the Greek”, “Never on Sunday”, “Stella”, “Ilya Darling” and “Boy on a Dolphin” had the participation of all-star casts and directors and went on to receive Academy Award nominations. They continue to be favourites amongst cinephiles and are part of the annual Greek Film Festival at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York.
Greece provided the perfect setting for the touching film “Big Blue” filmed on the island of Amorgos. Corfu and Meteora had “major parts” in two James Bond sequels, and the sea and sun of Greece also starred in the numerous current day hits, romantic comedies and musicals that include “Lara Croft Tomb Raider”, “The Bourne Identity”, “Mediterraneo” and others. Films that gained high billing and box office attendance.
In addition to foreign movies, Greek cinema holds a special place with global audiences highlighted by the golden age of cinema during the 50s and 60s, with elements of film noir that remain timeless.
Thanks to cinema, the colours and sounds of Greece continue to be shared by everyone.
Never on Sunday (1960)
Director: Jules Dassin
Country: Greece and the USA
Filming location: Athens and Piraeus
Cast: Melina Mercouri, Jules Dassin, George Foundas, Titos Vandis, Despo
Ìlya is a prostitute who lives life to the fullest in the seaport section of Piraeus in Greece. Homer is an American tourist, a classics scholar who loves all things Greek. They meet and he falls in love with her, subsequently attempting to steer her onto a path of morality, but instead is taught a lesson on the joys of life by Ìlya …
In recreating the ancient Greek myth of Phaedra, the second wife of a shipping magnate falls in love with her husband’s son from his first marriage. Their love is doomed from the very beginning, but they are unable to deny their feelings…
The Other Side of Midnight (1977)
Director: Charles Jarrett
Filming location: Greece
Cast: Marie-France Pisier, John Beck, Susan Sarandon, Raf Vallone
A beautiful French woman falls in love with a dashing American pilot. She expects him to marry him, but instead he abandons her. She later becomes a successful actress and maneuvers to have him hired as the private pilot of her wealthy Greek lover, only to rekindle their passion…
Director: Gabriele Salvatore
Filming location: Kastelorizo
Cast: Diego Abatantuono, Claudio Bigagli, Giuseppe Cederna, Vanna Barba
During WWII, an Italian ship leaves a handful of soldiers on a little Greek island. Things change when their ship is destroyed by the enemy and they cannot leave. When the locals understand that these Italians are harmless, they come out of hiding and start enjoying their peaceful, ordinary lives. Soon, the Italian soldiers begin to realise that being left behind is not such a bad thing after all…
Captain Corelli’s Mandolin (2001)
Director: John Madden
Country: UK, France an the USA
Filming location: Kefalonia
Cast: Nicolas Cage, Penelope Cruz, John Hurt, Christian Bale
During WWII, Italian Captain Antonio Corelli is put in command of a garrison that occupies the Greek island of Kefalonia (Cephalonia) . Initially, the local villagers resent these uninvited guests, but soon the Italians’ charms and passion for life wear away any differences of nationality and circumstance. After local beauty Pleagia’s fisherman fiancé departs to fight with the Greek army, she falls in love with Corelli…
Mamma Mia (2008)
A young woman is about to be married. Raised by her single mother on a Greek island, she has never known her father. After reading passages from her mother’s diary, she discovers three possible candidates. Since she doesn’t know which of these men her dad is, she invites all three to her wedding without telling her mother…
My Life in Ruins (2009)
A Greek-American tour guide leads an assorted group of misfit tourists throughout Greece. In a hysterical clash of personalities and cultures, everything seems to go wrong. Until one day, a very special tourist shows her how to have fun and take a good look at the last person she’d ever expect to find love with: her quiet and sexy Greek tour bus driver…