Antigone (1961)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Tragedy, Mythological Fantasy  |   Run Time - 93 min.  |   Countries - Greece  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Synopsis by Robert Firsching

Yiorgos Tzavellas wrote and directed this award-winning attempt at reimagining the classic tragedy by Sophocles as an actual motion picture rather than simply filming the play, as was common in Greek adaptations of theatrical productions since the late '20s. Manos Katrakis received widespread acclaim for his performance as Creon, who becomes King of Thebes after both of Oedipus' sons kill each other in a duel to determine ascension to the throne following his death. Creon orders the body of one son, Polynices, be left above ground, but the dead man's sister, Antigone (Irene Papas in an award-winning star turn), disobeys the new king and gives her brother a semi-proper burial by sprinkling him with dust. As punishment, Antigone is buried alive in a tomb despite her engagement to Creon's son Haemon (Nikos Kazis). Creon's mind is changed by Teiresias (Tzavalas Karoussos), a prophet who explains that leaving Polynices unburied sullies the realm of the gods. Unfortunately, by the time Creon gets around to burying Polynices and freeing Antigone, the poor girl has hanged herself in her tomb. This leads Creon's son to commit suicide as well, followed by the suicide of his own wife. Plagued with misery and guilt, the broken Creon abdicates the throne, crushed by the tragic chain of events that he had unwittingly set in motion. One of the best Greek productions of the 1960s, and highly recommended for students of classical Greek tragedy on film, Antigoni co-stars Maro Kondou, Ilya Livikou, Yiannis Argiris, and Theodoros Moridis.



buried-alive, defiance, engagement, execution, moral-conflict, prophet, royalty, self-sacrifice, sibling, suicide