Posted by: nikusjka | January 24, 2011

Never On Sunday – Pote Tin Kyriaki

never on sunday pote tin kyriaki Few days ago I was lucky to run into the old Greek movie – Never on Sunday or Pote Tin Kyriaki (Greek: Ποτέ Την Κυριακή). This black-and-white film (OMG how long time ago I last watched non-color movies? 🙂 ) made in 1960 by Jules Dassin – an American film director. Never on Sunday tells a story about Ilya, a prostitute, who lives in the port of Piraeus, Greece. She is adored by the whole city as she bring sparkles of happiness everywhere she goes. Even though she is prostitute, Ilya lives by her own laws and goes only with the men she likes. Her character is extremely independent and inspiring.

Here Homer (played by Jules Dassin) – an American tourist searching for truth – shows up. He is stunned by Ilya as everybody else and sees her as a symbol of the era. But a symbol can`t pursue a career that Ilya has, therefore he tries to change her lifestyle. He tries to educate her and show that “true happiness is in the joy of understanding”. So Ilya starts to study, stops her weekly Sunday friends gatherings and stops to work, as Homer pays her expenses.

Soon Ilya realized that she misses her old happy days and, moreover, she finds out where Homer was getting money to support her – from Mr. No Face, who was a real estate mafia and governing all the houses where other prostitutes lived. He wanted to stop Ilya from working as her rebellious example could have a bad influence on his business.

Besides the main plot, movie gracefully takes you into Greek everyday life with its dancing, singing, culture, bouzoukia and language. For example the way Ilya interprets famous Greek tragedies and ads a happy ending to all of them so  always “everybody goes to the sea shore” is just fantastic. She is fascinating woman and you really can`t stop smiling, while watching her. It`s funny and positive romantic movie and I`d for sure advice you to see it 🙂

Ilya was played by Melina Mercouri (Μελίνα Μερκούρη) a famous Greek actress, singer and later politician. She won the award as The Best Actress for this movie at 1960 Cannes Film Festival. Six years after the movie came out Melina got married to the director, Jules Dassin. She involved in politics and in 1981 and became first female Minister for Culture of Greece.

Also I realized where a lovely song from one of my favorite movies “My Life in Ruins” comes from. The part where they all sit around a bonfire and Georgia sings some song in Greek.. That song originally came from “Never on Sunday”, was written by Manos Hatzidakis (Μάνος Χατζιδάκις) and was called “Children of Piraeus” (“Τα παιδιά του Πειραιά”). This song brought Manos an Academy Award and became an international hit.



  1. Sometimes I forget how good was my Greek time, but then I look in your blog and remember it again. You are doing a great job and you write great posts! One day you should put it all in a book and I’m sure it will be a best-seller!

    • Ooooh, euxatostw Nat :))) It`s really nice and comforting to hear a nice comment from a critic like you :))) I`m sure your time in Holland is also not the worst one, isn`t it?? :)))
      But I`m glad if I managed to remind you of some nice times as well :)))
      P.S. if you think somebody else can like it too – send them a link 😉

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