Never on Sunday

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Never on Sunday
File:Never on sunday423.jpg
Directed by Jules Dassin
Written by Jules Dassin
Starring Melina Mercouri
Jules Dassin
Giorgos Fountas
Music by Manos Hatzidakis
Edited by Roger Dwyre
Distributed by Lopert Pictures Corporation (1960, original)
MGM (2003, DVD)
Release dates
  • 1 October 1960 (1960-10-01)
Running time
91 minutes
Country Greece
United States
Language English
Budget $150,000[1]
Box office $4 million (rentals)[2]

Never on Sunday (Greek: Ποτέ Την Κυριακή, Bote Tin Kyriaki) is a 1960 Greek black-and-white romantic comedy film.

The film tells the story of Ilya, a self-employed, free-spirited prostitute who lives in the port of Piraeus in Greece, and Homer, an American tourist from Middletown, Connecticut — a classical scholar enamored of all things Greek. Homer feels Ilya's life style typifies the degradation of Greek classical culture and attempts to steer her onto the path of morality, while at the same time Ilya loosens the uptight Homer up. It constitutes a variation of the Pygmalion plus "hooker with a heart of gold" story.[3]

The film stars Melina Mercouri and Jules Dassin, and it gently submerges the viewer into Greek culture, including dance, music, and language (through the use of subtitles). The theme song and the bouzouki theme of the movie became hits of the 1960s and brought the composer, Manos Hadjidakis, an Academy Award.

It won the Academy Award for Best Song (Manos Hadjidakis for "Never on Sunday"). It was nominated for the Academy Awards for, respectively, Best Actress in a Leading Role (Melina Mercouri), Best Costume Design, Black-and-White, Best Director (Jules Dassin) and Best Writing, Story and Screenplay as Written Directly for the Screen (Dassin). Mercouri won the award for Best Actress at the 1960 Cannes Film Festival.[4]



When Bote Tin Kyriaki, Italian Title Mai Di Domenica was first released in Italy in 1960 the Committee for the Theatrical Review of the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities rated it as VM16: not suitable for children under 16. In addition, the committee imposed the following revisions: 1) the lines said by soldiers to the prostitute on the battle cruiser while bargaining the price will be modified; 2) the scene in which the soldier and prostitute, framed as naked from the waist up and sitting in bed talking, will be deleted; 3) the scene in which the protagonist is showering and talking to the prostitute will be shortened, in particular when he pulls the towel revealing her breasts and the sexual intercourse that follows. [5] Document N° 33379 signed on 26 November 1960 [6] by Minister Ruggero Lombardi.


Never on Sunday was released in a Region 1 DVD by MGM Home Video on July 1, 2003.


  1. Tino Balio, United Artists: The Company That Changed the Film Industry, University of Wisconsin Press, 1987 p. 127
  2. "All-Time Top Grossers", Variety, 8 January 1964 p 69
  3. Christopher Bonano, Gods, Heroes, And Philosophers, p. 53
  4. "Festival de Cannes: Never on Sunday". Retrieved 2009-02-18.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Italia Taglia Database of the documents produced by the Committee for the Theatrical Review of The Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities, from 1944 to 2000.
  6. Italia Taglia Database of the documents produced by the Committee for the Theatrical Review of The Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities, from 1944 to 2000.

External links