Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5
Original title: To Teleftaio Psema
Greece, 1957. Finos Film, Th. Damaskinos & V. Michaelides. Screenplay by Mihalis Kakogiannis. Cinematography by Walter Lassally. Produced by Anis Nohra. Music by Manos Hatzidakis. Production Design by Yannis Tsarouchis. Film Editing by Giorgos Tsaoulis.
A young woman (Ellie Lambeti) living the life of a wealthy Athenian socialite is devastated when she learns that her parents are about to go bankrupt and their posh life in the big city is a mere façade. She is encouraged by her folks to accept the advances of a visiting Greek-American millionaire, which she does despite having much deeper feelings for a mildly successful antiques dealer with three children. She has to keep up the charade of wealth in order to avoid her prospective fiance thinking her a gold digger, forcing her and her family to call in lots of favours and short-shrift their long-suffering maid of her wages in order to maintain their dignity. Dignity, however, is the first thing that goes when the family’s lies and selfishness finally catch up with them, leaving behind a young woman with a crisis of conscience and a desire to do the right thing. Excellent drama directed with style by Michael Cacoyannis and performed to perfection by the entire cast.
Cannes Film Festival: In Competition