Figure 1.--The scene from "I piso porta" shows the main boy characters. It is set in Athens during the late 1960s. A reader comments, "Note that the boy on the left is wearing more fashionable clothes than the other two". In the film his family was wealthy. HBC does not, however, note the difference here.
HBC has only limited information on the Greek movie industry. We do have some information on some individual Greek films. HBC has little information on Greek movies at this time. Greek movies are not well known in America. Movie depictions through the 1970s commonly show Greek boys wearing short pants and often sandals, although kneesocks were not as common as in many other European countries. The shorts were often quite short. We do note a Disney movie, "The Moonspinners" (1963) with Haley Mills. It is set in Greek sea side village. A boy with an important part wears the short cut short pants that were popular in Europe at the time. There are, however, many other
examples. Several interesting films were made in the 1990s. Ta delfinakia tou Amvrakikou ("The Little Dolphins of Amvrakikos Bay") is set in the 1930s and shows boys wearing sailor suits. O psylos ("The Flea") is set in a small mountain village during the 1950s and shows a boy wearing short trousers, sweater, boots, and knee socks. I piso porta ("Backdoor") is set during the late 1960s in Athens. It shows a boy wearing shorts, shirt and white dress socks.
HBC has only limited information on the Greek movie industry. We do have some information on some individual Greek films. HBC has little information on Greek movies at this time. Greek movies are not well known in America. The movie industry in Greece reached it's peak during the 1950s and the 60s. Hundrends of comedies, musicals, dramas and melodramas produced at this period. High, middle and working class boys were portrayed at the movies. The high class boys were dressed in fancy fashionable suits often with shorts. Middle class boys were wearing shirts, sweaters, shorts, sometimes blazers and shoes with ankle socks. Working class boys were wearing shorts, shirts and went barefoot, with sandals or by wearing shoes without socks.
One famous boy actor in Greece, Vassilakis Kailas, starred in a lot of melodramas where he played the role of the orphaned boy who had to work by shining shoes or selling lottery coupons in the streets in order to make money for him, his little sister and/or his sick mother. In the movies he was always wearing shorts, a white shirt and shoes but not socks. Vassilakis Kailas was born in 1953. He start acting at the age of 4 years when the director Michalis Kakoyanis saw him at the entrance of his house. He was living at the same block of flats with actor Dimitris Horn and actress Eli Lambeti. He acted in 117 movies from the late 50s to the early 70s. Most of the movies were melodramas where he played the poor working boy. In his movie most of the
times he was working as a shoshine boy. His most memorable movies are "O loustrakos" (The shoeshine boy) and "O emporakos" (The little merchant).
HBC has obtained the following information about individualGreek films.
"Captain Correli's Mandolin" was shot in Kefalonia island in Ionian Sea. Some boys playing stunt roles.
The "Chorafas Family" was one of his last films made by famous Greek child actor Vassilakis Kailas who played in a large number of melodramas.
I earini synaxis ton agrofylakon ("The four seasons of the law") by Dimos Avdeliotis. The film is set on the island of Chios, 1960. Following the sudden death of the local rural guard, the
council of the village of Tholopotamos pressures the district agronomist to appoint a new man in the place of the deceased. The available rural guards refuse to go to this village, which has a
bad reputation, and where their colleague died in the line of duty. When the village of Tholopotamos resubmits its request and what's more offers a financial incentive, four of them volunteer for the post. The agronomist appoints and subsequently dismisses one after another
when each of the four fails in his mission. Several schoolboys appear at the movie. They all wear the owl badge school hat, blazers, shirts and sweaters. Most wear short trousers.
I piso porta ("Backdoor") directed by Giorgos Tsemberopoulosis was set in Athens during the late 1960s. It shows a boy wearing shorts, shirt and white dress socks. Note that the boy on the left is wearing more fashionable clothes than the other two. In the film his family was wealthy (figure 1). The film is set in Athens during 1966. Greece is wavering between reform and self-destruction. Thirteen year-old Dimitris unexpectedly loses his father when the new government stops construction of a monstrous 12-story high
rise in the center of Athens. On seeing his pampered mother collapsing Dimitris gets carried away by his prematurely grown-up appearance and decides to skip childhood in order to stand by her and continue his father's work. A brutal coming-of-age ritual follows. But when
he feels ready to shoulder his responsibilities he must claim his mother from the arms of an up-and-coming star of the political scene. A series of minor and major betrayals will propel Dimitris to a
revolutionary act of vengeance that will change the course of Greek
"Mikres Aphrodites" (Young Aphrodites) was made in 1963. The cast included Takis Emmanuel, Stathis Giallelis, Yannis Jeannino,
Vangelis Joannides, Constantin Papacostantinou, Eleni Prokopiou, Kleopatra Rota, Anestis Vlahos, and Zannino. It is set in ancient Greece, about 200 B.C. The movie focuses on a wandering band of shepards. They happen into a small village where there do not happn to be any men because they are away fishing. Two romances follow. Two of the shepards (a man and boy) fall in love with a oman and girl from the village. Many of the actors were acually sheepherders. The film is based on the fable of Daphnis and Chloe. The film won the Berlin Film Festival, and the International Film Critics Award. There is an English narative.
We do note a Disney movie, "The Moonspinners" (1963) with Haley Mills. It is set in Greek sea side village. A boy with an important part wears the short cut short pants that were popular in Europe at the time.
O emporakos "The little merchant" is about a poor boy (Vasilakis Kailas) who is making his living by selling combs in the streets. After the death of his mother the boy is befriended by a
poor young man and his sister. The young man is in love with a rich but
handicaped girl who, in turn, is suspecting her step mother for causing accidents in the house. A tasteless melodrama. Poor Vasilakis is wearing a shirt, a sweater, a blazer that doesn't fit him, short trousers and dark ankle socks during the freezing winter. He is seen wearing various sweaters but no long trousers. Only shorts. At the end of the movie, a rich man buys him some new clothes: A short trousers suit, with a shirt, tie, blazer, shorts and dark tall socks
(but not at knee lenght).
O psylos ("The Flea") directed by Dimitris Spyrouis was set in a small mountain village during the 1950s and shows a boy wearing short trousers, sweater, boots, and knee socks. "The Flea" is a
handwritten little newspaper published, edited and written by Ilias Seilaidis, a determined 12 year-old schoolboy who lives in a remote village in the mountains near ancient Olympia. His efforts go largely
unappreciated by his elders, who tease him and nickname him "The Flea" and his concerned parents are convinced his preoccupation with his newspaper will distract him from more serious studies and forbid him to continue it. Ilias' only allies are a quixotic eccentric and a
sensitive schoolgirl. The villagers' scoffing at Ilias' ambitions changes to admiration when an Athenian journalist shows up to do a story on Ilias. He becomes disheartened, however when he realizes much of their enthusiasm stems from hopes for increased tourism spurred by his fame and he distrusts the journalist's motives as well. In the end he chooses the road less traveled much as he always has done. As Ilias writes in his paper: "The Flea is something like a dream, the trips I want to take, to go beyond the borders of my small village. It's the wings which help me fly far away". "The Flea" is also an attempt at daydreaming, optimism and hope. A poke at our slumbering sensibility.
Figure 2.--Boys in "Ta delfinakia tou Amvrakikou" wear suspender sdhorts and often go barefoot.
Ta delfinakia tou Amvrakikou ("The Little Dolphins of Amvrakikos Bay") directed by Dinos Dimopoulos was set in a small coastal village during the 1930s and shows boys wearing sailor suits. The boy is not wearing any shoes in the film. It is set in the years
between the two World Wars in a small seaside village in Greece. Two
children, Petros and Anthoula (he is eight and she is seven) are enjoying the summer holidays. With the spontaneity and innocence of the young they gradually discover the miracle of the world
that surrounds them. They reach out to touch the stars and talk to the animals, to play hide-and-seek with the birds and frolic in the water. They also begin to utter the first verses of the eternal song of love,
even if they cannot yet understand the words. But this miraculous
celebration of life suddenly darkens when, quite unexpectedly, the two children find themselves face to face with a solitary, sick boy their own age, a social outcast because he has tuberculosis. Petros and
Anthoula discover the cruelty of the "grown-up world" where fear and
ignorance lead to the most inhuman behaviour. They decide to react, breaking down the barriers of prejudice and opening bright pathways to life that are quite inconceivable to grownups.
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