Saturday, 22 May 2010

Best Actor 1964: Anthony Quinn in Zorba the Greek

Anthony Quinn received his fourth and last Oscar nomination for playing Alexis Zorba in Zorba the Greek.

Zorba the Greek is a fairly interesting film about an Englishmen and a Greek going to Crete, where there lives are affected by the various goingons in the village they stay in.

Alexis Zorba is one of those characters that seem to have a person tailor made to play them, and that person is Anthony Quinn. He just fits the type of Zorba brilliantly, and here is a performance that would be very difficult for anyone to replicate. Quinn fully throws himself into this role, and fills his performance with incredible strength and energy.

Zorba is a man with many lusts, and he does not mind acting upon them constantly. Quinn never overplays this fact about Zorba and instead he is as naturalistic as possible. Quinn shows the self-described madness of the man perfectly. The dance that Quinn does works incredibly well, and Quinn uses it show the nature of the character fantastically. Every lust that Quinn shows Quinn handles as well as any lust can be. Quinn makes it a fully natural aspect of the character with the lusting after the various women and the  enjoyment of alcohol. His scenes where he romances Madame Hortense (Lilia Kedrova) are brilliant.

Zorba played by Quinn is not just a crazy Greek man, but Quinn puts more depth into him, making Zorba a wild man but also a real and in some ways a poetic one. Quinn is equally effective in Zorba's quiet moments as he is in his loud moments. The almost silent moments were Zorba reflects on his life, or the scenes where he reflects on death are just perfect. Quinn seemed born to play this role, therefore he claims his birthright creating a memorable and incredibly effective performance.


joe burns said...

I think he might be your pick! I'm really not sure. The only thing I'm sure is that Harrison will be your fifth choice.

Anonymous said...

I hope he's your pick.

Malcolm said...

Do you have a link for Zorba the Greek?

I need to see it for Quinn and Kedrova.

Louis Morgan said...


Anonymous said...

Thanks :)
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