COLUMN: 8 Famous Movies Filmed in Greece and the Greek Islands — Every Movie Has a Lesson (2023)

COLUMN: 8 Famous Movies Filmed in Greece and the Greek Islands — Every Movie Has a Lesson (1)

by Maria Barnes

The Greek islands have a well-deserved reputation for being among the most amazing places on the planet. They combine the warmth of the southern sun, the Mediterranean Sea's freshness, and the mountain rocks' beauty. Exotic fruits, delicious wine, cheeses, and seafood - a fantastic diversity of these delicacies add to Greek residents and travelers’ everyday life bright colors and flavors. It is no wonder that these lands have always attracted artists and, starting with the 20th century, filmmakers to live and create there. As a result, a lot of movies are connected to this area. These are mainly dramas, love stories, and comedies. We offer you a list of the most popular and exciting films made in Greece and the Greek Islands.

"Greece has an ancient culture, which had a significant impact on Western society’s art, language, philosophy, politics, and sports. Every year 11 million tourists visit the country. Holidaymakers are attracted by the mild climate, sandy beaches, nightlife, historical sites, and nature’s beauty. I spend every summer in Greece. Watching movies that remind me of these places is a perfect idea for stay-at-home winter nights. - John Crawford, marketing director of LinksManagement service, thanks to which you can buy backlinks with guaranteed quality.

Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (2003)

COLUMN: 8 Famous Movies Filmed in Greece and the Greek Islands — Every Movie Has a Lesson (2)

This follow-up to the successful first part of the series about Lara Croft was filmed mainly on the Greek island of Santorini. According to the plot, after the earthquake, the Luna temple emerged after being hidden from human eyes for many centuries. As it turns out, the long lost treasures of Alexander the Great are revealed in the temple: they attract treasure hunters, including Lara Croft (who works for British exploration of MI-6) and her nemeses.

In the movie scenes, you will see many Santorini archipelago locations. The population of the main island is only 15,000 people. But since it became highly popular with tourists, the island welcomes hundreds of thousands of visitors from all over the world. Santorini is admired for its beaches that spread for dozens of kilometers. On the rocky terrain are houses of locals and numerous hotels with picturesque views.

COLUMN: 8 Famous Movies Filmed in Greece and the Greek Islands — Every Movie Has a Lesson (3)

This film is based on the novel by the writer Louis de Bernieres, which depicts the early days of the second world war. The action takes place on the Ionian Islands of Greece, presented to a viewer as a beautiful nameless narrative at the beginning of the film.

The story emanates from historical events of the Italian occupation of Ionic islands in 1943. These tragic events and breathtaking scenery of Kefalonia are used as a set for unraveling complicated relationships between peaceful island inhabitants and men of war. And, of course, the central focal point is a romantic one, portrayed by Nicholas Cage and Penelope Cruz are leading actors of the movie.

Part of the filming took place in Kefalonia, which is nowadays a top-rated destination among tourists and travelers looking for romantic getaways. This place is famous for its numerous bays with sandy beaches, where the water is emerald, which is not often found in Greece, famous for its rocky cliffs. The directors have successfully managed to show the charm of tranquil Greece against the background of World War II.

Summer Lovers (1982)

COLUMN: 8 Famous Movies Filmed in Greece and the Greek Islands — Every Movie Has a Lesson (4)

Summer Lovers is a youth romantic movie. The main characters’ summer romance takes place on the island of Santorini in Greece. Santorini's characteristic snow-white houses on the island's rocky shores were the most distinctive elements of this movie's theatrical posters. There are many picturesque places in Greece, but the film creators managed to spot the best-fitting locations. The directors aimed to emphasize youth yearning for freedom, the atmosphere of summer and warmth, and romance. Often, the dialogues of main characters were set on sandy beaches.

Some scenes were shot at real excavations in Greece. During the shooting, professional archaeologists who were actually working under the camera lenses found several artifacts dating back over 3500 years. The director of the film claimed that choosing Santorini as the major location was not a coincidence. According to the scriptwriters, this place enticed them with its nature and architecture, inspiring to reflect on youth love and summer romances' essence.

Mamma Mia! (2008)

COLUMN: 8 Famous Movies Filmed in Greece and the Greek Islands — Every Movie Has a Lesson (5)

This musical film is the result of a successful international co-production. Mamma mia! would definitely be of particular interest to ABBA band admirers since it is all set around their songs.

The filmmakers decided to film most of the scenes on a Greek island called Kalokairi (a fictional name and the real island is called Skopelos). This is probably one of the most commercially successful movies made in the Greek islands. But after the Mamma Mia! premiere, the island of Skopelos saw a significant increase in its tourist flow ( probably, fans of the ABBA).

In the film’s shots, you can see numerous churches and temples, about 300 of which can be found on the island. Many buildings we see in this movie have been preserved since the 3rd-5th century AD. This adds to the unique authenticity of the film.

The Big Blue (1988)

COLUMN: 8 Famous Movies Filmed in Greece and the Greek Islands — Every Movie Has a Lesson (6)

Luc Besson made this amazing movie in 1988. The narrative acquaints us with the life story of two freedivers who broke the world record of diving to depth without any equipment. The story is partly real, as it is based on the lives of two divers - Enzo and Jacques. As it quite often is with the art world, in the film, their achievements are exaggerated. But this film has not made their stories simplified or less attractive. Most of the scenes were filmed in the waters near Amorgos Island in Greece. This location was chosen for a reason. According to the directors, this is where the Mediterranean Sea has an unusual shade; thus, many beautiful diving scenes were filmed. The film has received many international awards, even though it failed in primary distribution.

The Bourne Identity (2002)

COLUMN: 8 Famous Movies Filmed in Greece and the Greek Islands — Every Movie Has a Lesson (7)

Film critics highly praise the thriller starring Matt Damon. It is a story about a special agent, who constantly gets into trouble in different parts of the world. The shooting was partially held in Mykonos, Greece. This small town is famous for its beautiful and atmospheric berth and its new port. Only 4000 inhabitants live in this picturesque city. Every year the place is visited by many tourists who admire the cozy atmosphere of Greek maritime architecture.

Pepper Bristle (2003)

COLUMN: 8 Famous Movies Filmed in Greece and the Greek Islands — Every Movie Has a Lesson (8)

The 2003 film tells the story of the protagonist, whose grandfather owns a spice shop in Istanbul. Over time, the whole family will be deported to Greece, but the main character’s grandfather stays in Turkey with his shop. This film shows the national food culture of Greece in all its glory. After a while, the protagonist named Phannis begins to spend more and more time in the kitchen, cooking various dishes and helping others to prepare national Greek and Turkish dishes. You will not see many of Greece’s tourist beauties, but the narrative fully reveals the theme of the Mediterranean kitchen.

Mediterraneo (2001)

COLUMN: 8 Famous Movies Filmed in Greece and the Greek Islands — Every Movie Has a Lesson (9)

The Italian film portrays eight soldiers who found themselves on one of the Greek islands during World War II. They survived the shipwreck, so they had to stay on the island and temporarily settle: learn to live there and establish contacts with locals. This film has won many international awards. In all its glory, you can see the architecture and culture of the Greeks in the mid-40s.

2021, Editorial, Column, GUEST EDITORIAL

Don Shanahan



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