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Electra
Electra
Actors: Irene Papas, Giannis Fertis, Aleka Katselli, Manos Katrakis, Notis Peryalis
Director: Mihalis Kakogiannis
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
NR     2002     1hr 50min

From "one of the world's most talented filmmakers" (Los Angeles Times) comes this riveting, OscarÂ(r)-nominated* retelling of Euripides' searing classic. Written, produced and directedby Michael Cacoyannis (Stella, Zorba t...  more »

     
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Movie Details

Actors: Irene Papas, Giannis Fertis, Aleka Katselli, Manos Katrakis, Notis Peryalis
Director: Mihalis Kakogiannis
Creators: Walter Lassally, Mihalis Kakogiannis, Leonidas Antonakis, Euripides
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Family Life
Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
Format: DVD - Black and White,Widescreen - Dubbed,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 03/05/2002
Original Release Date: 12/01/1962
Theatrical Release Date: 12/01/1962
Release Year: 2002
Run Time: 1hr 50min
Screens: Black and White,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 5
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: Greek, English, French
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

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Member Movie Reviews

Tracy M. from ARLINGTON, MA
Reviewed on 1/16/2009...
The dvd description is: "From "one of the world's most talented filmmakers" (Los Angeles Times) comes this riveting, OscarÂ(r)-nominated* retelling of Euripides' searing classic. Written, produced and directedby Michael Cacoyannis (Stella, Zorba the Greek), and starring legendary Greek beauty Irene Papas (The Trojan Women), Electra is "majestic and awesome" (The New York Times)"a truly powerful and visually impressive picture" (Boxoffice). Desolation and despair reign supreme in the kingdom of Mycenae: The great Agamemnon has been brutally murdered; his son, Orestes, has fled to an unknown land; and his daughter Electra has been imprisoned within the very walls of the castle she once loved so well. All hope seems lost until the sacred oracle speaks and replaces Electra's broken spirit with an unquenchable desire for justice and bloody vengeance."

Slow and ritualistic in its classical theatrical quality, Electra is nonetheless a powerful film, portraying the deep grief and despair of Electra after the betrayal of her mother and murder of her father, and the transformation of her feelings into angry determination and then guilt. A dark story, which penetrates into the archaic recesses of our past, and our psyches today.

Movie Reviews

Where Do You Draw The Line?
interested_observer | San Francisco, CA USA | 04/10/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Electra is a 1962 black and white adaptation of the version of the story from Euripides. Electra (Irene Pappas) and Orestes take revenge on King Aegisthos and on their mother, Queen Klytemnestra, for killing their father, King Agamemnon. [It's interesting to compare "Electra" with "Hamlet".] The movie is very close to the play. The main difference is an added portrayal of the arrival and murder of Agamemnon and the rescue of the young Orestes. Also, the death of Aegisthos now comes at a festival for Bacchos, rather than at a service to honor the Nymphs. These changes make sense for a modern audience.Euripides is well served by the excellent acting and by the psychologically-correct bleak, isolating landscapes. It even looks as though the scenes at Mykenai may have been done on site. (The end credits are all Greek to me.) (If the movie were remade to day, one might be tempted to have a computer-generated Palace. If one wanted to be historically accurate, the film maker might have had to partially reverse the severe soil erosion that accelerated the relative decline of the Argos area.)While it is difficult to know why such a cloud of black-clothed women would hang around Electra's house in such a sparsely populated land, the handling of the Greek chorus is well done.The movie can be heard in Greek, English, or French. There are subtitles in English, French, and Spanish. The music is small- scale Near Eastern. The only extra is the original theatrical trailer.It is a classic movie from a classic source, given classic acting."
Powerful drama
LGwriter | Astoria, N.Y. United States | 09/16/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Interesting that this 1962 film's director, Michael Cacoyannis, also directed Zorba the Greek and that the latter film also starred Irene Papas who plays the title character in Electra. It easily demonstrates Cacoyannis' artistry as a director, for in this film, he does a masterful job of interpreting the Euripides drama.Filmed naturalistically in Greek settings, Electra does not disappoint. The great hero and king Agamemmnon is brutally murdered near the beginning of the story by his wife Clytemnestra and her lover Aegisthus. Electra and her brother Orestes, children of the royal couple, are both thrown out of their palatial home--Orestes is exiled, and Electra forced to marry a commoner and live in a hovel.The term "Electra Complex" refers to a daughter's unnatural love for her father and while this is not overtly portrayed here, the hints are certainly in place. Even when her mother tells Electra of the king's infidelities the daughter defends him, citing the queen's own as proof of the latter's treachery.Electra and Orestes take revenge on the couple who have killed their father--not without great remorse.Cacoyannis' skill is demonstrated in his choice to film this work in black and white, accentuating the starkness of the tale, which contains numerous stretches of silence, an effective Greek chorus of village women (all clothed similarly in black), and an equally effective score by the great Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis who also composed the music for Zorba the Greek. The story is pure drama--the emotional elements are laid bare in the stripped to the bone dialogue that wastes no words.The cinematography as well emphasizes the basic elements of earth and sky; black and white has seldom been used as well in a drama as it is here. Earth is the land of man where we live and die; sky is the land of the gods to whom we appeal for everything we want that we don't have. And whether or not we get what we want--who can say?Highly recommended."
The Greeks knew their psychology!
Dave Godin | 05/04/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This screen version of ELEKTRA shows how ancient Greek culture knew instinctively so much about human psychology long before Freud came along to carry on the good work. It is a deeply moving and cathartic experience that touches upon dark recesses in the human psyche, and too, confronts our philosophic "certainties". Above all, it teaches us that most valuable lesson; that guilt cannot be imagined - the deed has to be performed and then, and only then, does guilt or justification enter into your consciousness. Elektra and Orestes feel totally justified in killing their mother, but, when she gives her side to the story, doubts begin to ebb in, and once the deed is done, nothing can absolve the guilt and shame that descend on their shoulders. A powerful, potent film, superbly made, acted and assembled, and one of the very few, in a long lifetime of movie watching, that I have given my top star rating to! Am delighted that it is at long last available, because it is unjustly neglected and forgotten. Highly recommended."