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The most famous films shot in Greece

The beauty and uniqueness of Greece and the Greek islands enchant not only us, tourists and adventurers, but often also the producers of films of various genres. So let's take a look at a list of the most famous films whose scenes were shot in Greece. Maybe we'll give you a tip for tonight's film!

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

Off the coast of the peaceful and picturesque Greek island of Cephalonia, German and Italian occupation troops will one day land. And while the locals submit to the German army, the Italian unit, led by a captain named Antonio Corelli, sees their stay here more as a holiday. But Kefalonia is so beautiful that the war seems extremely distant to the soldiers, and they gradually begin to bond with the locals and get to know Greek life. Corelli, who is characterised by his mandolin, takes up residence in the house of the village doctor and soon develops a warm friendship with his daughter Pelagia. When Pelagia's fiancé goes off to fight with the partisans again, the relationship between Corelli and Pelagia bursts into full swing. But tensions in the war zone escalate in a similar way. Will the strong love between the two young people or their loyalty to their country win out?

This romantic, wartime drama about the love of two young people is set against the backdrop of World War II and was filmed on the beautiful Greek island of Kefalonia. The film was based on the 2001 book by Louse de Bernieres and stars Nicolas Cage and Penélope Cruz as the main lovers.

Zorba the Greek

In the port of Piraeus, Basil, a young Briton of Greek origin, meets Alexis Zorba, a peculiar and very distinctive Greek, who convinces Basil that he can be of great help to him and to keep him busy. Together they then sail to the island of Crete, where the film is set. Basil's main goal is to restore the lignite mine he inherited in a Cretan village, but apart from his business plans, we can mainly follow the everyday stories of Basil and Zorba - sometimes comic, sometimes tragic or amorous, but always so immediate and faithfully Greek. The most striking character is Alexis Zorba, who is supposed to embody a typically Greek character in the film. The atmosphere of the story is further enhanced by the beautiful Greek scenery and the wonderful music.

The film was made in 1964 on the Greek island of Crete and was based on the novel of the same name by the Greek writer Nikos Kazantzakis. The real model for the character of Alexis Zorba was the Greek miner Yorgu Zorbas. He was wonderfully portrayed in the film by the excellent American actor Anthony Quinn. The final scene of the film, where Anthony Quinn dances his famous "sirtaki" dance, was filmed on the Cretan beach of Stavros. A large amount of footage was also shot in the Cretan village of Kokkino Chorio and many local people also starred in the film.

The Guns of Navarone

The film is set in 1943, when the German armies are steadily advancing through Europe and have already occupied most of Greece and the Greek islands. The only exceptions are the islands of Crete and Kheros (Chrenos). And it is on the small island of Kheros that a group of two thousand exhausted British soldiers have taken refuge, but they can go no further because the only way in by sea is guarded by two large, radar-controlled German guns stationed on the island of Navarone. A group of six saboteurs is therefore sent on a dangerous mission to destroy the German guns on the spot.

The British-American drama The Guns of Navarone was based on a true story depicted in Alistair MacLean's novel. The fiml was made in 1961 and won a number of major awards. It stars Gregory Peck (Captain Mallory), David Niven (Corporal Miller) and Anthony Quinn (Andrea the Greek). Filming took place on the Greek island of Rhodes, where Anthony Quinn's bay can be found. The famous actor bought some real estate and the beach while filming there, so it was later nationalized again, but it has kept the name of the famous actor to this day.

For Your Eyes Only

The story begins with a British spy ship being sunk off the Greek islands. However, there is a device on board that Britain must recover before it falls into the hands of Russian spies. And that task is to be undertaken by none other than 007 agent James Bond.

This is one of the "Bond films" dating back to 1981 and starring Roger Moore. The film was shot in several countries - many scenes were shot in Greece, others in Italy, England and the Bahamas. The film also takes us indirectly to the island of Corfu or to central Greece, in particular you can see scenes from the Kanoni area (Corfu) and especially the beautiful monastery on top of a sandstone cliff, which belongs to the group of so-called Meteora monasteries and is located in the area of Thessaly (central Greece).

Mamma Mia!

A young girl, Sophie, is about to get married and is wondering who will walk her down the aisle because she never knew her father. From her mother Donna's diary, she discovers that there are three possible suitors. And Sophie contacts them all and invites them to her wedding. There's no shortage of fun and funny moments. And although the story is not very strong (it's all about the wedding and the search for the father), the main charm of the film lies in the songs by the famous Swedish band ABBA and its stellar cast.

Mamma Mia! is a film adaptation of the original musical, which was introduced to the public in 1999 and has since been seen by an incredible number of viewers. The film adaptation was made in 2008 and stars Meryl Streep (mother Donna), Amanda Seyfried (young Sophie) and the three "fathers" Pierce Brosman, Colin Firth and Stellan Skarsgard.

Most of the footage was shot on the beautiful Greek island of Skopelos, but it was also filmed on the island of Skiathos and on the Greek mainland (e.g. the famous scene of the women dancing and singing on the pier was filmed on the Pelion peninsula). However, some of the filming also took place in film studios (e.g. scenes from the top floor of the hotel, etc.).

The 300 Spartans

The determined and ruthless Persian king Xerxes embarks on a military campaign to conquer the entire world. However, when he prepares to attack the Greek city-states in 480 BC, the Spartan King Leonidas, a brave and respected warrior, stands in his way. But his campaign to save Greece must be approved by the Spartan religious council, which insists that the king wait until after the religious festivals. But King Leonidas cannot wait, because the only place he can stop the huge Persian army is the narrow Thermopylae Pass - the only land route to Athens. So he goes into battle with only his personal guard of 300 men.

The original, classic account of the brave Spartans' struggle dates from 1962 and is entitled "The 300 Spartans". The lead role of the Spartan King Leonidas was played by actor Richard Egan and the role of the ruthless Persian King Xerxes was played by actor David Farrar. The war scenes were filmed around the village of Perachora on the Peloponnesian peninsula and near Thermopylae itself, and others in the area around Athens.

Probably the best known to us today is the 2006 adaptation entitled '300: The Battle of Thermopylae', starring Gerard Butler (Leonidas, King of Sparta), Lena Headey (Queen Gorgo), Dominic West (Theron), Rodrigo Santoro (Xerxes) and others. The film was based on Frank Miller's comic book of the same name "300" and was directed by Zack Snyder. Expect almost no real Greek sets here though, the film is very much digitally and artistically manipulated, which was the director's intention.

The Bourne Identity

Wounded secret agent Jason Bourne is fished out of the sea at night by an Italian fishing boat. But due to severe amnesia, he has no idea who he really is and that he is still in danger. A spy film full of chases, personal battles and suspense...

The film Agent Without a Past was made in 2002 and starred American actor Matt Damon as a secret agent. The film has its own charm for Czech fans because most of its scenes were filmed in Paris and the Czech Republic (especially Prague). However, the final scenes of the film also take us to the Greek island of Mykonos.

The Big Blue

The 1988 film, known to Czech audiences as "The Magical Deep", tells the story of two childhood friends and rivals who compete to see who can better control the magical depths of the sea. The main roles of Jacques and Enzo are played by Jean Reno and Jean-Marc Barr.

The adventure film was shot on the island of Amorgos (a Greek island in the Cyclades), and in some scenes we see the island of Ios in the background.