Melina Mercouri plays Illia, a character who makes prostitution seem like a carefree Utopia.She lives in a version of Greece where there only appear to be 5 women, and they are all ladies of the night. Into this extraordinarily male fantasy comes Jules Dassin, a deluded American idealist who wants to save Illia from herself. Naturally, he doesn’t have a hope, and Greek enthusiasm (think My Big Fat Greek Wedding on steroids) will inevitably overcome his anti-fun attitudes. Obviously, the picture has dated quite noticeably, and makes Pretty Woman look like a gritty expose. But the point of the film is cheerful good humour, and it is for this reason that it is beloved. I found the good cheer a little relentless, but that’s me being churlish.
A very clean, clear mono. There is no background noise or hiss, and the sound is actually quite warm. The famous bouzouki score comes through just fine, and I really didn’t miss the stereo. I certainly didn’t miss the distortions that are frequently part and parcel of mono-to-stereo conversions.
The print is terrific shape. There is virtually no damage. What problems there are consist of occasional flickering and slight picture shuddering, but these moments are few and far between.There is virtually no grain. The black-and-white is almost perfect, with no edge enhancement problems. Though the widescreen is not anamorphic, the 1.66:1 ratio hardly makes this necessary.
Nothing here except the theatrical trailer. The menu’s main page is scored.
Though unlikely to work on audiences the same way that it did in 1960 (when, as has been pointed out, its free and easy approach to sexuality was a jolt coming out of the 1950s), this is still a significant release, and its appearance on DVD is welcome.