Stella (1955 film)
|Directed by||Michael Cacoyannis|
|Written by||Iakovos Kambanelis
|Music by||Manos Hadjidakis|
|Distributed by||Joseph Burstyn Inc.|
|Running time||100 minutes|
Stella (Greek: Στέλλα) is a 1955 Greek film is a retelling of Carmen featuring Melina Mercouri. The film was directed by the Greek Cypriot, Michael Cacoyannis and written by Cacoyannis and Iakovos Kambanelis. The music was composed by Manos Hadjidakis and Vassilis Tsitsanis.
Stella was originally intended to be a stage play with the title Stella with the Red Gloves, but it was never staged. It has been claimed that this story was the perfect vehicle for the thirty-five-year-old Mercouri's film debut. Indeed, it was the hit that Melina Mercouri needed. The film sparked great controversy, and although it was initially rejected by Greek critics, it is now considered one of the five greatest Greek films.
At the 1955 Cannes Film Festival, where the film was screened, Melina met Jules Dassin, her future husband, mentor, and director. He helped her to secure major roles in such films as Topkapi, Never on Sunday, Phaedra, and 10:30 P.M. Summer, which have become major international successes.
Stella, the main character, is a rebetiko singer. Although she is in love with Miltos, a soccer player, she repeatedly rejects his marriage proposals. When Miltos finally forces her to accept the idea of marriage, Stella does not appear in church, despite Miltos repeatedly warning her that he will kill her if she doesn't marry him. Miltos kills her with a dagger at end of the film.
It has been said that the story of Stella's forced marriage symbolises the forces that are constantly trying to impose their will on Greece.
- Melina Mercouri as Stella
- Giorgos Fountas as Miltos
- Alekos Alexandrakis as Alekos
- Christina Kalogerikou as Miltos' Mother
- Voula Zouboulaki as Anetta
- Dionysis Papagiannopoulos as Mitsos
- Sofia Vembo as Maria
- Costas Kakavas as Antonis (as Kostas Karalis)
- Tasso Kavadia as Alekos' Sister
- Michael Cacoyannis as Wedding guest
- "Festival de Cannes: Stella". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 2009-02-01.