The Counterfeit Coin

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Κάλπικη λίρα
(Istoria mias kalpikis liras)
The Counterfeit Coin
Directed by Yorgos Javellas
Written by Yorgos Javellas
Starring Vassilis Logothetidis
Ilia Livykou
Mimis Fotopoulos
Sperantza Vrana
Orestis Makris
Maria Kalamioti
Ellie Lambeti
Dimitris Horn
Narrated by Dimitris Myrat
Music by Manos Hatzidakis
Cinematography Kostas Theodoridis
Giorgos Tsaoulis
Edited by Giorgos Tsaoulis
Anzervos Productions
Distributed by Atlantic Films
Release date
December 28, 1955
Running time
127 minutes
Country Greece
Language Greek

Κάλπικη λίρα (Istoria mias kalpikis liras) (English: The Counterfeit Coin) is a Greek comedy-drama film, produced in 1955, written and directed by Giorgos Tzavellas and starring Dimitris Horn, Ilia Livykou and Vassilis Logothetidis.[1][2][3] At the 2006 International Thessaloniki Film Festival, the film was announced as among the 10 all-time best Greek films by the PHUCC (Pan-Hellenic Union of Cinema Critics).[4][5]


An honest, reserved goldsmith and engraver, Anargyros Loumbardopoulos (Vassilis Logothetidis), has routinely invested his money in gold coins, specifically British gold sovereigns, bought from a friend of his, a banker. Upon having stored away 100 sovereigns, a man working for the banker suggests that Anargyros starts minting counterfeit sovereigns, but he adamantly refuses. The banker employee then introduces Anargyros to a divorced attractive lady, Fifi (Ilya Livykou) that he knows. Anargyros' resistance is soon curbed by Fifi's sexual means, and he spends all his invested 100 sovereigns to buy minting equipment. After much toil the trio produce their first counterfeit coin but Anargyros finds it difficult to deceive people into accepting it a currency because they easily understand it is not a genuine coin. When the sinister employee is arrested, Anargyros fears that the police hasdiscovered their crime and panicked he gets rid of all the counterfeiting equipment and he also abandons Fifi. It is eventually reealed that it was a misunderstanding and the employee was arrested for other reasons. Safe again, Anargyros returns to his honest work and daily routine but trying to get rid of the counterfeit coin he gives it away as charity to a apparently blind beggar. The beggar sees through the deceit but Anargyros flees in a hurry. The beggar (Mimis Fotopoulos) is in fact a cunning liar with exceptional eyesight who manages to earn the pity ofeveryone with his fake blindness. But a street prostitute, Maria (Sperantza Vrana) starts hooking up near the beggar's corner and they find themselves


Additional cast
  • Lavrentis Dianellos as Anastasis
  • Vagelis Protopapas as Dinos
  • Lela Patrikiou as Mrs. Mavridou
  • Dimitris Myrat as the narrator
  • Zoras Tsapelis as Dimitris
  • Thanos Tzeneralis as George Phil


As part of the closing night event at the Antipodes Greek Film Festival 2005 in Melbourne, Australia, they screened what they considered a classic 50’s film, The Counterfeit Coin in celebration of the film's 50th anniversary.[6] At the festival, it was said of the film that it was, "Considered by many to be the best Greek film ever produced..." and "There is no more complete Greek cinematic creation".[7] And after the festival, "The standout favourites of the Film Festival have been Brides with 3 sell out screenings to date, The Counterfeit Coin, Testosterone and Liza and The Others.[8]

Other information[edit]

  • The movie saw 1000 simultaneous screenings in Russia.
  • It was a box office success with 208.410 tickets only from the first run in Athens, more than any other movie for that season.
  • It has also been honored with several film awards (Venice, Moscow) and nominations.


  1. ^ Kathimerini (English edition), by Michalis Katsigeras (September 14, 1956), "Commentaries", accessed 01-14-2009
  2. ^ The Hellenic Society Prometheas, "Presents the Classic Greek film The Counterfeit Coin (I Kalpiki Lira), 1955", accessed 01-14-2009
  3. ^, History of the Greek cinema, accessed 01-14-2009
  4. ^, by Giannis Frangoulis (translated by Konstantinos Vassilaros), "47th THESSALONICA FILM FESTIVAL - FOG CASING OVER THE WORLD OF CINEMA", accessed 01-14-2009
  5. ^, " The ten best best film of the Greek Film Critics Association", accessed 01-14-2009
  6. ^, "GreekFilm Festival - September 2005 Melbourne", accessed 01-14-2009
  7. ^ Antipodes Greek Film Festival, accessed 01-14-2009
  8. ^, accessed 01-14-2009

External links[edit]