Stella (1955 film)

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Stella film.jpg
DVD cover
Directed byMichael Cacoyannis
Written byIakovos Kambanelis
Michael Cacoyannis
StarringMelina Mercouri
Giorgos Fountas
Alekos Alexandrakis
Music byManos Hadjidakis
Distributed byJoseph Burstyn Inc. (United States)
Release date
  • April 4, 1955 (April 4, 1955)
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[by whom?] one of the five greatest Greek films.

At the 1955 Cannes Film Festival, where the film was screened,[1] 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.


The story of a fiercely independent and uncompromising young woman. Stella, a rembetiko singer at Paradise nightclub, lives a guiltless, turbulent life. Her innate independence and assertive nature lead her to numerous passionate love affairs. While with Aleko, son of a wealthy family, she decides, as is her habit, to break up before the relationship wears off. Once she meets Miltos, a young soccer player, she seems to change. At first, she avoids his advances, but, later, gives in to him. However, she can only be with him on her own terms. No matter how much she loves him, she mostly values her freedom. Things turn complicated when she is called to choose. She repeatedly rejects Miltos 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.



  1. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Stella". Retrieved 2009-02-01.

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