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Phaedra (1962)

Melina Mercouri , Anthony Perkins , Jules Dassin  |  NR |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Melina Mercouri, Anthony Perkins, Raf Vallone
  • Directors: Jules Dassin
  • Writers: Jules Dassin, Margarita Lymberaki, Euripides
  • Producers: Jules Dassin, Noel Howard
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: MGM
  • DVD Release Date: June 6, 2011
  • Run Time: 116 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0052SO0YC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #34,705 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

The wife of a Greek shipping tycoon has a love affair with her stepson.

This product is manufactured on demand using DVD-R recordable media. Amazon.com's standard return policy will apply.


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Human Nature Never Changes August 31, 2011
Format:DVD
I once asked my 92 year old grandmother what was the single most memorable event that had occurred during her long life. Was it the invention of the automobile? TV? A-bomb? Men on the moon? Her reply was that she couldn't speak to my question but one thing she knew for sure: human nature never changed.

Greek tragedies are studied in institutions of higher education because they resonate in the psyches of people today in much the same way they did before Christ was born, largely because human nature never changes. The story of Phaedra's tragic mis-alliance with her stepson plays out in this movie because there are elements within it that are simply timeless.

Phaedra, the pampered, adored but bored wife of a shipping tycoon, finds herself inexplicably and inexorably drawn into an affair with the tycoon's son from an earlier marriage. It's a glorious thing. He's young, attractive, sexually inexperienced and a breath of fresh air. She's older but still beautiful, a rose in full bloom, no longer a bud but still desirable in the catnip way older women appeal to younger men today. She's secure in herself and offers the promise of being an experienced lover.

Ka-boom!

When the stepson enters into business with his tycoon father, the impossibility of continuing the affair becomes apparent. Phaedra is now repelled by the tycoon's sexual attentions and jealous of his son's youthful companions. The stepson is young and trying to do the right thing, but can't deny he still has feelings for Phaedra. It's doomed.

The familiar story of Aristotle Onassis's life provided ample parallels with the backstory of this movie.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy it while you can. July 27, 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is a limited edition and once people find out how good it is, it won't be available for very long, I should think. The DVD transfer - from whatever source - is fabulous. Clear, crisp print, good as new, in super wide screen. No black borders, just glorious Greece, London and Paris and Melina Mercouri and Anthony Perkins as the doomed lovers, not forgetting the magnetic Raf Vallone. It's just as good as when you first saw it in the cinema. And if you haven't, you absolutely MUST see it now. You won't see the likes of it again, not very likely.
Don't be discouraged by the stupid "lesbian " tag this film is given on this [the amazon] and other websites. It has nothing to do with lesbianism. But it has a lot to do with Greek tragedy. Powerful performances by Mercouri and Perkins. Neither was ever better in any film. Oh yes, almost forgot, and then there's the music by Theodorakis. Hauntingly beautiful. Thanks to MGM/Fox for making this film available. FINALLY!
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Greek myths made luscious July 12, 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is about as good as it gets when it comes to making those dreary Greek myths palatable. The casting was brilliant and the acting is superb. If she was my stepmother, I'd certainly give it a shot! A haunting and unforgetable face that will stay with you for days, maybe a lifetime. And, forget Norman Bates, Perkins as a lovesick boy is much more appealing and convincing. These are Oscar worthy performances. The real surprise though is Vallone as the modern day irrepressible Zorba pushed finally to the limit. Man can be destroyed but not defeated! The black and white cinematography is lovely, and the Greek locations and music wrap it up into a beautiful package. The "cloudiness", both visual and intellectual, is just right. The transfer is better than you'd expect. Hmmm, and just a mere 50years after its release, it finally is available on DVD "upon request". Do it! They don't make them this way anymore. Alas!!!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Greek Version of "Goodbye Again" But Better February 13, 2012
Format:DVD
"Phaedra" was a box office disaster when it first premiered in 1962, but it has dated well. Having seen a number of Perkins' films in which he romances an older woman (Sophia Loren, Ingrid Bergman) and delivers an embarrassingly souless performance, I was relieved to see him in a romantic drama in which he and his co-star actually generate some heat! The love scene by the fire was surprisingly erotic, and I sensed a real-life chemistry between the two actors (a suspicion that was confirmed by "Split Image", the Perkins biography). It's clear Perkins was affected by the warmth of the passionate Mercouri, and what's more, I couldn't help but notice the striking physical resemblance between her and Perkins' later wife, Berry Berenson. That physical type must have appealed to him and he managed to turn in a better-than-average performance. However, his soft-spoken manner, adolescent quirkiness and reliance on prep school charm makes this performance a carbon copy of his work in "Goodbye Again". Whenever Perkins gets angry, he fails to look really threatening, more like a kid throwing a tantrum because he's been grounded. Thanks to director Dassin's skillful editing, however, Perkins' tendency toward campiness is trimmed and the director did a great job maximizing Mercouri's beauty and the beautiful Greek island locations. You'll feel like you've traveled to Athens by the end of the film.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning Phaedra! August 17, 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Absolutely excellent. It was an essential item missing in Melina Mercouri's list of available movies. I do hope this initiative will go on and we shall soon be able to purchase Dreams of Passion for example. The acting is remarkable, both Melina and Perkins are totally convincing. The sound track is excellent, and this adaptation of a classic one of the best in its genre.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Overwrought to the point of ridiculousness
At times it felt like a parody of a "DRAMATIC MOVIE!" Which was surprising coming from the director of the sublime French jewel thief film Rififi. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Dave Harvey
5.0 out of 5 stars Phaedra: Classic movie, based on classic story
I saw this movie, back in the early1960's, remembered it, and wanted to see it again, because of my recent bible reading of I Corinthians Ch 5, Verse 1, "I actually hear... Read more
Published 2 months ago by jack kubat
5.0 out of 5 stars A powerful film!
This is a film I have been trying to locate for years! It is based on the tragic Greek myth of a woman who falls in love with her stepson. Read more
Published 2 months ago by CLB
5.0 out of 5 stars Must See Classic 1962 Modern Retelling of Greek Tragedy
This is a classic movie, a must see for any fan of true, great cinema.

In stunning black and white, with beautifully realized visuals supporting the story, and one of... Read more
Published 2 months ago by HeartlandLiberal
4.0 out of 5 stars Movie: Phaedra
I have wanted to see this movie for years, and finally found it on Amazon. It wasn't as good as I had hoped- no subtitles for the hearing impaired either. Read more
Published 3 months ago by K West
4.0 out of 5 stars Phaedra
Gave it a 4 because it's really not a 5-STAR movie. I'd seen it at an off-campus theater while in college; developed a fascination with Melina Mercouri. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Ellen Morgan
4.0 out of 5 stars Your Typical Greek Tragedy
PHARDRA is one film that has Greek Tragedy written all over it. I must admit that it was well researched and well acted Mercouri and Hopkins did an amazing job in this film. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Born in Canada ...Made in Greece
5.0 out of 5 stars Phaedra
Reproduction quality was very good. The film is one I've liked since I saw it decades ago. My tastes haven't changed.
Published 4 months ago by Ron Krug
5.0 out of 5 stars Phaedra! Phaedra!
I adore this movie! As a fan of Greek mythology, I found it fascinating to see how they modernize it. Read more
Published 4 months ago by ~Mistress Twist
5.0 out of 5 stars Greece andMercouri and Euripides
vivid, brutal, shocking, electrifying and so up-to-date. Melina Mercouri is like a sensous snake,so beautiful,enchanting, melodious and dangerous. Read more
Published 6 months ago by eugenia maldonado
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