Greece is expected this year and next year to become one of the places that will be the focus of international film production, as last year more than 30 foreign films were shot or are being shot in Greece. However, apart from the current explosion, there are also 10 movies that were filmed in Greece.
The Greek landscape has always been an ally or source of inspiration for foreign producers and directors. And if the Greek islands obviously have the lion’s share of cinema preferences, there are well-known films that have been shot in places like Meteora or famous chase scenes that were shot in the Attica land.
Here is the 10 movies that were filmed in Greece
1. The Girl and the Dolphin (1957)
The first American production shot in Greece and the film contributed a lot to making Hydra the first Greek island that was a pole of attraction for the international jet set. It is said that the Romanian-American director Jean Nagulescu told the locals when the shooting was completed “to expect thousands of tourists in the coming years”. As it happened. The film is a romantic adventure, in the classic style of the time, it was shot.
It was Sophia Loren’s first American film, which thus took off her career. Lauren’s co-star, Alan Land, was shorter than her on the set. So in several scenes, he was forced to walk on a special ramp to be at the same height as her. The film was not shot only in Hydra.
There are shots from the Parthenon but also general shots from the Saronic Gulf. But the scene that is probably better known than the film is the one where Sophia Loren sings in Greek “What is it that they call love” with Toni Maroudas.
2. The Guns of Navarone (1961)
War blockbuster production on the theme of World War II, produced in 1961 and shot in Rhodes. The cast is full of superstars: Gregory Peck, David Niven, Anthony Quinn, and Irene Pappas. A team of Allied forces wants to blow up 2 huge German cannons, on top of a rock on the (imaginary) island of Navarone (which at some point in the film is depicted on a map of Antikythera.
The film received very good reviews, was nominated for 7 Oscars (won one), and was renamed Vagies Beach in Rhodes. Anthony Quinn loved the island so much during filming that he decided to buy this small cove. at a distance of 15 km from the city of Rhodes, is called by the locals and tourist guides “Anthony Quinn.
3. The 300 Spartans (1962)
No, we are not talking about the much newer film based on the Frank Miller comic. The first time the epic Battle of Thermopylae, where 300 Spartans faced the biggest army of that time was filmed in the cinema was in 1962 in the movie “The 300 Spartans“.
A film consistent with the spirit of its day, as antiquity films were very popular at the time, it was considered by critics a Cold War commentary with Greek city-states symbolizing “the only stronghold of freedom in the world at the time against the tyranny of the Persian Empire.” ». It should be noted that the “battle of Thermopylae” in the film took place in the bay of Vouliagmeni in Athens.
4 .Ζοrba The Greek (1964)
Mikis Theodorakis, the world-famous musician that created the Syrtaki melody and dance which became one of the symbols of Greece died this year at the age of 96 years old.
“Anthony Quinn, played the role perfectly of Zorbas,” Freddie, and indeed – the literary hero of Nikos Kazantzakis is completely identified with the American actor. The film was the only attempt to transfer “The life and state of Alexis Zorba” that succeeded.
And of course, it was a huge success. The film was nominated for 7 Oscars (among the nominees and Quinn) from which he won 3. Quinn’s purely cinematic relationship with Greece did not end then. In 1978 he starred in the film “The Greek tycoon”.
5. Le Chasse or The Burglars (1971)
As one of the greatest actors of France, Jean-Paul Belmondo died recently at the age of 88 years old, let’s see the only film that he shot in Athens. In 1971, two great international stars, Jean-Paul Belmondo and Omar Sharif came to Athens to shoot the film La Chasse, which was played in the American market under the title “The Burglars”.
The film describes the adventure of a ring of burglars in order to steal a suitcase with emeralds and their confrontation with a corrupt Greek police officer. It did not receive very good reviews, it was largely considered another mediocre robbery film, a very popular topic at that time.
But it went down in history as the chase scene. Jean-Paul Belmondo and Omar Sharif engage in a chase on the coastal front of Faliro, on the streets of Piraeus, Mikrolimano, and Castella with two small cars, a FIAT 124 and an Opel Record.
6. For your eyes only (1981)
The James Bond series also had its own “Greek” film. The shooting took place in Corfu and Meteora. In Corfu, Roger Moore participates in a chase scene driving a 2CV. Although much of the plot of the film takes place in Greece, with the cars running on narrow streets with olive trees next to them, the script of the film takes place in Spain.
In Meteora, at the Monastery of Barlaam, where the script says the “bad guy” of the movie, there were surprises. A climbing scene had to be shot there. The monks of Meteora reacted to shooting there. The dispute ended in the courts which ruled that the monks owned only the interior of the Monasteries.
Nevertheless, the monks insisted and covered the monasteries with tarpaulins and sheets in order to spoil the scene. Eventually, the solution was to build “monasteries” sets for outdoor and indoor shooting.
7. Le Grand Bleu (1988)
Two childhood friends with a passion for diving walk away, become famous athletes and in the process compete in freediving and for a woman. The 1988 film is about real people (but not real events) and launched the career of its director, Lick Besson.
But basically, her video direction changed the tourist fate of Amorgos. More than 30 years after its screening, Amorgos receives visitors every year from all over the world (mainly France) who decided to visit the island where it was filmed.
8. Mediterraneo (1992)
The film was shot in Kastelorizo island, the locals are able to say today “that a film that won an Oscar was shot here”. Mediterraneo is an Italian anti-war comedy that won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 1992.
9. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin (2001)
Another film where Greece is the setting of a story that unfolds during World War II. Nicolas Cage is the Italian captain Corelli, Penelope Cruz is the daughter of a Greek doctor he falls in love with and the setting is in Kefalonia island.
One of the negative reviews of this film and the best seller on which it was based is that “everything is too bright and photogenic, even the war”, in which it is evolving. This is absolutely true for Kefalonia. The film was a commercial success and at the time it was played, 20 years ago, it particularly advertised Kefalonia in the American market.
10. Mamma Mia (2008)
It is a 2008 American jukebox musical romantic comedy film directed by Phyllida Lloyd and written by Catherine Johnson based on her book of the 1999 musical of the same name. The film is based on the songs of the pop group ABBA, with additional music composed by ABBA member Benny Andersson.
The film features an ensemble cast, including Christine Baranski, Pierce Brosnan, Dominic Cooper, Colin Firth, Amanda Seyfried, Stellan Skarsgård, Meryl Streep, and Julie Walters.
The story of the film concerns a future bride who invites 3 men to her wedding on the Greek island “Summer”, in order to find out who her father is. Thanks to the film, the gorgeous island of Skopelos became world-famous.