Never on Sunday

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Never on Sunday
Never on sunday423.jpg
Directed byJules Dassin
Written byJules Dassin
StarringMelina Mercouri
Jules Dassin
Giorgos Fountas
CinematographyJacques Natteau
Edited byRoger Dwyre
Music byManos Hatzidakis
Melina Film
Distributed byLopert Pictures Corporation (United States)
Release date
  • 1 October 1960 (1960-10-01)
Running time
91 minutes
United States
Box office$4 million (rentals)[2]

Never on Sunday (Greek: Ποτέ την Κυριακή, Poté tin Kyriakí) is a 1960 Greek romantic comedy film starring, written by and directed by Jules Dassin.

The film tells the story of Ilya, a Greek prostitute (Melina Mercouri), and Homer (Dassin), an American classicist. Homer attempts to steer her toward morality while Ilya attempts to make Homer more relaxed. It constitutes a variation of the Pygmalion plus "hooker with a heart of gold" story.[3]

The film's bouzouki theme became a hit and the film won the Academy Award for Best Original Song (Manos Hadjidakis for "Never on Sunday"). It was nominated for Academy Awards for Best Actress in a Leading Role (Mercouri), Best Costume Design, Black-and-White, Best Director and Best Writing, Story and Screenplay as Written Directly for the Screen (both Dassin). Mercouri won the award for Best Actress at the 1960 Cannes Film Festival.[4]


Ilya, a self-employed, free-spirited prostitute who lives in the port of Piraeus in Greece, meets Homer Thrace, an American tourist and classical scholar and passionate Philhellene. Homer feels that Ilya's promiscuity typifies the degradation of Greek classical culture and attempts to steer her onto the path of morality while Ilya attempts to relax him.



When the film was first released in Italy in 1960, the Committee for the Theatrical Review of the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities rated it as VM16, not suitable for children under 16. The committee also demanded dialogue modifications and the excision of explicit scenes.[5]

Home media[edit]

MGM released Never on Sunday on VHS in 2000 as part of its Vintage Classics lineup.


  1. ^ Tino Balio, United Artists: The Company That Changed the Film Industry, University of Wisconsin Press, 1987 p. 127
  2. ^ "All-Time Top Grossers", Variety, 8 January 1964 p 69
  3. ^ Christopher Bonano, Gods, Heroes, And Philosophers, p. 53
  4. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Never on Sunday". Retrieved 2009-02-18.
  5. ^ Italia Taglia Database of the documents produced by the Committee for the Theatrical Review of The Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities, from 1944 to 2000.

External links[edit]