Best Greek Films

10 films that proved Greek cinema doesn't start and end with Dogtooth.
The Top Ten
1 The Ogre of Athens (1956)

The official number one choice for the best Greek film ever, this masterpiece by rebellious and diverse filmmaker Nikos Koundouros is a dark tale of false identity. The title, translated as "Dragon," but really means "The Serial Killer and Rapist of Women." A middle-aged clerk living his miserable life is mistaken by a notorious serial killer who looks exactly the same. First, he tries to prove his innocence, but since this mistake, his life has been more interesting, so he submits to his new identity. Brutal and dark, Drakos is an inside look into the underground Greek society of the 50s, but mostly a trip into the dark and twisted Greek soul trying to find redemption through the majestic dance scene before the ending. A perfect modern Greek tragedy.

2 The Travelling Players

The travelling players mostly known tis is angelopoulos definite masterpiece and the most famous greek film outside Greece. if for one reason it's for the unique presentation of greek history as a unite memory and not as separate facts. in order to do this he revolutionizes the use of time and space in cinematic form making it the first and only avant garde greek film that influences workd cinema.

3 Evdokia (1971)

Evdokia is a girl's name that means hope. The film stars a hooker falling in love with a soldier during the Greek dictatorship, trying to get away from the suburban dump she lives in, but her pimp has other plans. Director Alexis Damianos (with a cult status like Terrence Malick, and this film has a similar style with Badlands) goes beyond naturalism and reaches heights of pure cinematic poetry. The characters are somehow symbols of Greek society but also possess a deep sentimental world. However, they try to free themselves from a tough and conservative, full of stereotypes Greek society, and live peacefully. People will never let them. So the only thing that remains for a captivated soul is to dance his pain through Zeibekiko, seeking redemption in his own spiritual world. You may captivate the soul, but not the spirit. And this is the most Greek feeling of all. This is beyond doubt the perfect Greek film.

4 Zorba the Greek (1964)
5 Stella (1955)

The first greek film to win international awards, this uncomproising portait of a felame character liberated by cliches seems as rebel today as back then. melina merkouri is the greatest greek actress (godess in fact). stella fights with all her powers any domestic aspect of the society. a free romantic rebel who doesn't afraid to pay the consequences.

6 Sweet Bunch (1983)

The great artist and uncompromising filmmaker Nikos Nikolaidis stands out from all Greek filmmakers because of his personal stories. Stories about his friends or some twisted dark arthouse films. He's the real great filmmaker this country has ever known. He has a cult status in Europe and USA, possessing every knowledge possible about cinema. This stylistic neo-noir follows four friends in a search for...well, nothing special, just living their lives. Free of every possession and cliche, they live in the moment, doing what is more fun to them, and try to protect their little world against the real world. The fight would be as epic as psychedelic. Forget Oldboy and Tarantino, this is the real thing.

7 The Red Lanterns (1963)

After viewing this movie, it will be impossible to believe that what you just saw was merely a number of actors playing their role for a film. Instead, you get the impression that those people were actually leaving there and those were the lives they led. I believe that this is pure art! No need to invest a fortune for an impressive production as long as there are highly skilled actors and directors who do an excellent job of letting you enter the magic world of the movie and share their experience. The underground atmosphere is depicted in an excellent even nostalgic way. The music is captivating. Tzeni Karezi will always remain in Greek people's hearts no matter how many years will pass. If you really love the art of pure cinematography your shouldn't miss this movie.

8 Rembetiko (1983)

The history of greek urban music genre rebetiko (as important for greek culture as blues are for American) it's artists and the parallels with greek history. master cinematography with every frame has something to contribute to the characters. music and narration mixed perfectly with the vision of Egypt born filmaker costas ferris who gives a oriental fleur to the story.

9 I megali stigmi tou '21: Papaflessas (1971)

I have seen this movie at least 30 times. Its fantastic!

A marvellous portrait of one of the greatest heroes of Greek Revolution in 1821! Papaflessas was portrayed perfectly by one of the greatest Greek actors, Dimitris Papamichael! Directed by Erricos Andreou, it includes one of the best cast, if not the best one, in a Greek movie, with actors like Dandoulaki, Alexandrakis, Stratigos, Antonopoulos, Fernando Sancho, Politis (the famous Giagkos Drakos from"I Lampsi"), Dianellos and Dimitris Ioakeimidis as the best Kolokotronis in film history! This film is for me the best Greek movie of all time. The film won the best reviews in the 1971 Thessaloniki Film Festival and won the Best Director, best production and was given honors to a set designer and costume designer Dionysis Fotopoulos.

The film cost 12,000,000 drachmas and is considered one of the biggest blockbusters of Greek cinema approaching their American counterparts. It reminds you a little bit films like Braveheart, Lawrence of Arabia and El Cid!

10 Dogtooth (2009)

Great film, great performance. Not for everyone, it can make some people uncomfortable, but if you get passed all the taboo's its very enjoyable, because that's what the movie focuses on. These couple cuts off their "children" (The have two daughter and a son, their ages range from the teens to the 20s) from the outside society. They teach them other meaning for words like zombie and telephone. They don't know the existence of a telephone, and the only person allowed is a security guard from the dad's job at a factory named Christina, and she is only allowed to come in a have sex with the son. But she decides to have sexual experimentations with one of the daughters as well, the daughter unaware of what sex really is, with a payback of gifts. I won't keep telling the movie, but its just a great film. Very twisted, need to have an open mind. Very Very weird.

The Contenders
11 Parangelia! (1980)

Based on a true story of passion and murder this is the more gutsy greek film you'll ever come across.
A brutal portrait of low class people living in the edge. death seems to be in every corner but no one cares about it. life is so harsh that doesn't seem to be the best thing in this world. the protagonist is one of the loners that risks everything cause they have nothing to lose. this elegy for the romantic heroes are acompanied by the poems of director's wife (an anarchist poet who commit suicide) who played an important part in the narration of this film.

12 The Counterfeit Coin (1954)

And old classic film mixes four different stories that are connected by a common object, a pound. this object shapes their destinies and stories. through each story director tzavellas mixes different genres, from romance to comedy and from social drama to heist film. in the middle this mysterious object. a trully magnificent piece of art this is the first true greek masterpiece.

13 Eternity and a Day (1998)
14 Balamos (1982)

Tornes is the most strange greek filmmaker. Started in Italy with be roles mostly in taviani bros films (allonsanfan). Balamos is his masterpiece. It's like a metamorphosis that mostly take place inside you. Even the most profound shot takes deeply existential essence due to his mastery behind camera. A true rebel. Gus van sant and bela tarr followed years later.
A sweet game with the possibilities of filmmaking. Starts with a mystery that we try to solve out with the filmmaker. There is no story just this adventure. It never ends like the cinematic adventure. A love letter to cinema by cult director nikos panagiotopoulos.

15 Reconstitution (1970)

The most famous greek auteur theo angelopoulos starts his carreer and modern greek starts with him. theo pushes the limits between fiction and documentary while there are some existensial themes in this masterly directed tale of abandoned suburbia.

16 Blood on the Land (1965)

In Thessaly, 1907, a man rouses the poor farmers to make their own the land on which work in favor of landlords. Odysseus, son of such a landowner refuses to clash with farmers. Odysseus conflicts with his brother, Rigas. But it is not the only reason that brings him face to face with Rigas. Both brothers are in love with Irene.

An extraordinary sight of Greece in 1900s. A Greek gem that includes action, adventure, romance, drama and amazing performances by a superb cast with actors like Kourkoulos, Voglis, Xronopoulou, Katrakis, Georgitsis, Pergialis and Antonopoulos. Directed by one of the best Greek directors, Vasilis Georgiadis, some people call it as a Greek western, because it has the style of the old American westerns.

The story has to do with love, revolution, old ideas versus newer ones, conflict and finally a new world being created from the older one's ashes.

Vassilis Georgiadis was lucky enough to have a great script in his hand and a terrific cast to ...more

17 Visibility Zero (1970)
18 Iphigenia (1977)

Iphigenia of Cacoyannis is one of the greatest masterpieces that have made a Greek cinema. He was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film Oscar in 1977, but lost to the difference of one vote.
Indeed, such films should make us proud to be Greeks, because this is the priceless heritage of our ancient ancestors. The tragedy of Euripides revive through the cloth and manages to excite Greek and foreign critics.
The talented Irene Papas manages to amaze us with the shocking interpretation of (Clytemnestra), while the innocent 13 year old Tatiana Papamoschou enslave anyone with her grace. Let's not forget to mention the other protagonists: Kostas Kazakos, Kostas Karras and Panos Michalopoulos. They are all great.

19 Lola (1964)
20 The Man with the Carnation (1980)
21 O Astrapogiannos (1970)

Astrapoyannos, a hero from an old time, the time that real heroes existed. This is Astrapoyannos. A man with honour, a man who has fought for his country freedom, and now fights so as to clear out his fellow-countrymen ("kotzambasides", "prouchontes") who happened to be rich and took the place of the former conquerors; they have bought the land. And these men torture the poor ("kolligous") even harder. Astrapoyannos, however, like Robin Hood of his time helps everyone that needs him. And so the story starts...

Astrpoyannos is the well known Greek actor, Nikos Kourkoulos, that today, 30 Jan 2007, passed away. A real actor, beloved as Astrapoyannos by everyone in Greece, who has played in many many films and theater plays since 1960 -or so. And in this film, as in many other in the past, Nikos shows all of his great acting talent. May he stays for ever in our memory.

To end with, Nikos Kourkoulos, in this film is surrounded by lots of good ...more

22 Electra (1962)
23 The Downfall (1961)
24 The Drunkard (1950)
25 A Girl in Black (1956)
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