"Never On Sunday" Is Released
Never on Sunday (Greek: Ποτέ Την Κυριακή, translit.
Pote Tin Kyriaki) is a 1960 Greek black-and-white film which tells the story of Ilya, a prostitute who lives in the port of Piraeus in Greece, and Homer, an American tourist — a classical scholar enamored with all things Greek. Ilya is a character close to the "hooker with a heart of gold" cliché. Homer feels Ilya's life style typifies the degradation of Greek classical culture and attempts to steer her onto the path of morality. It constitutes a variation of the Pygmalion story.
In this globally acclaimed comedy drama, eccentric, tough, and carefree Ilya (Melina Mercouri) is one of those characters who makes her mark on film history, and who made an internationally known star out of Mercouri. Ilya is a prostitute in the port of Piraeus with a definite sense of social and economic justice. The aptly named Homer (director Jules Dassin, later to marry his star) arrives in Greece, meets the irrepressible Ilya, and decides she needs more of the traditional Greek culture and less of those flamboyant emotions that are not really Greek, you see. So while he tries to play Henry Higgins, Ilya is willing to give up her usual self for two weeks. The question is, what will happen once the two weeks are over, assuming she can get through them? ~ Eleanor Mannikka, All Movie Guide