O Drakos (1956)

NIKOS KOUNDOUROS

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB

Alternate title:  The Ogre Of Athens

Greece, 1956.  Athens Film Company.Screenplay by .  Cinematography by .  Music by .  Production Design by , .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

Early Greek satire that hasn’t aged well, but does feature moody photography and good performances. A shy, skittish man suffers the unfortunate burden of bearing a striking, physical resemblance to a criminal at large known only as “Drakos” (Greek for “dragon”). After having been named the culprit by his neighbours, he takes refuge in a nightclub where he meets a sweet young dancer who falls in love with him. While there he is approached by a group of hoods who also believe him to be the mass murderer, and they immediately make him the ringleader of their little group. Having been a nobody his entire life, our hero decides that this would be the perfect opportunity to make something of himself:  he may not actually be the villain they’re looking for, but why not take advantage of the opportunity to become a somebody? It’s a clever idea with a fitting conclusion, but director Nikos Koundouros’ plotting is often obscure and the club’s musical numbers, while wonderful in themselves, are much too long and come off as an excuse to lengthen the film’s running time.

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