A Few Words About A few words about...™ Zorba the Greek -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Sep 5, 2012.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    What is the quintessential Anthony Quinn film?

    He was working for so long, and created so many superb characterizations, that it sometimes becomes difficult.

    For Fellini fans, it would probably be La Strada.

    He played Native Americans (several times), pirates, soldiers, a pope, and a hunchback.

    But in a career of well over 100 films, over eight decades, he is probably best known for three, produced within a four year span. In each the character was larger than life, and totally believable.

    The Guns of Navarone (1961), Lawrence of Arabia (1962) and Zorba the Greek (1964).

    Zorba may be his role of a lifetime. A tale about an English writer, who meets Alexis Zorba in his travels, the film, as directed by Michael Cacoyannis, is a breathtaking exultation of life.

    In an odd occurrence of art imitating art imitating art, the 1968 Broadway musical, was based upon the film. The play went through various incarnations and permutations, and in its 1983 revival, directed by Michael Cacoyannis, starred Mr. Quinn and Lila Kedrova (you'll recognize her from Torn Curtain (1966).

    How does it look on Blu-ray.

    In a word, superb.

    With blacks, white, and everything in between beautifully rendered, this is a Blu-ray that looks and (in uncompressed audio) sounds terrific.

    A great film, and a great experience to enjoy on Blu-ray. In an odd move, Fox originally released via Screen Archives, but has more recently made the film available everywhere.

    Image - 5

    Audio - 5

    Highly Recommended.

    RAH
     
  2. bujaki

    bujaki Screenwriter

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    WARNING! WHAT FOLLOWS MAY BE CONSTRUED AS A HERETICAL STATEMENT! ANATHEMA!
    I saw both Zorba and My Fair Lady (Roadshow version) during their initial runs. I'm afraid that I preferred Zorba as a film (my favorite for the Oscar that year), and Quinn's performance over Rex Harrison's.
    BTW, I love the score, the book, Audrey Hepburn, the sets & costumes...I just never felt that it was the greatest although I enjoyed it very, very much.
    A minority opinion, I'm sure, based on what I've read here in HTF. :D
    Maybe I go a bit against the grain since I prefer the silent Ben-Hur to the 1959 remake, which I also saw during its premiere roadshow engagement (and I consider Wyler is one of the great directors).
     
  3. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Not heretical.

    Totally different acting styles. Open, ebullient and full of life, vs. mannered and professional.

    RAH
     
  4. Moe Dickstein

    Moe Dickstein Filmmaker

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    A somewhat sad if relevant story that some might find of interest. I work for a film director who had the good fortune to make several projects with the great Walter Lassally, who won his Oscar for this film. In the course of my work I learned about this story.
    Walter is still with us and has retired to one of the Greek islands, where he still has fun with a camera now and then. He had lent his Oscar to the local restaurant in order to give something back to his adopted community and help boost their tourist trade, but sadly when the place burnt down some time ago the statuette was lost.
    The patrons of the tiny place banded together to appeal to the academy to have it replaced, and some of Walter's friends in the Cinematographer's branch did likewise. But when finally reached, Walter himself said that he felt that there was no need to replace the item, that it had come to live where it belonged as part of the island.
     
  5. bujaki

    bujaki Screenwriter

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    Lassally's Oscar was well deserved. Ditto for Lila Kedrova's as Bouboulina, the unforgettable cocotte.
    Lassally's Oscar is now part of his homeland. It lives on...
    Thanks for sharing the story.
     
  6. Eric Vedowski

    Eric Vedowski Second Unit

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    I think we're all adult enough to deal with people expressing contrary opinions here. Alan Jay Lerner didn't much care for the movie version of "My Fair Lady" either and it was his baby. I share your opinion of all three movies and I hope I'm not struck dead either.
     
  7. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member
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    With another few words, RAH shakes down another wallet. And I haven't even seen the film. It just didn't call to me back in the day. Now I wouldn't miss it for anything. Done deal.
     
  8. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    If only I had a piece of the action...
     
  9. Richard Gallagher

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    Currently $14.49 at Amazon.
     
  10. Pirate King

    Pirate King Auditioning

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    I was waiting for the price to drop. I jumped on the 14.49 price. I can finally retire my DVD.
     
  11. GlennF

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    Well, how is this for reviving an old topic. Finally bought this film on blu-ray. An excellent transfer with amazing black and white photography and still a very good film. It gives you a real sense of place. It is like travelling to another world! Some of the sequences remain incredibly powerful (can't say which without spoiling plot points). Lila Kedrova well deserved her Oscar.


    I also find it interesting that despite the fact it is a black and white film, in 1:66, it has a transfer rate of 30 MBPs (in contrast to some of the miserly transfers out there today).


    I also find it interesting that, apparently, according to web sources like IMDB, it was a BIG hit at the time. I'm not so sure a studio would back, or audiences would take the same way, to a movie that has so many tragic moments. (Just my musings. Pay no attention.)
     
  12. John Hermes

    John Hermes Screenwriter

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    I thought it was a nice transfer too wtih the crisp, fine-grained look I like.
     

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