ⓘ Electra (1962 film)


ⓘ Electra (1962 film)

Electra is a 1962 Greek film based on the play Electra, written by Euripides. It was directed by Michael Cacoyannis, as the first installment of his "Greek tragedy" trilogy, followed by The Trojan Women in 1971 and Iphigenia in 1977. It starred Irene Papas in the lead role as Elektra, and Giannis Fertis as Orestis.


1. Plot

King Agamemnon is murdered by his wife Clytemnestra and her lover and Agememnons cousin and childhood playmate Aegisthus. Of Agamemnon and Clytemnestras children, Orestes goes into exile and safety while Electra is confined to the palace for some years and then forced to marry a peasant to disgrace her and any children.

Some years later, Electra seeks revenge with the help of her brother Orestes and their cousin Pylades. Orestes and Pylades go to a festival to Bacchus hosted by Aegisthus and, when Aegisthes challenges Orestes to a mock knife fight, Orestes uses the opportunity to kill him. Electra invites Clytemnestra to her house on a pretext where, despite Clytemnestra explaining to Electra her reasons for killing her husband and apologising for her actions towards Electra, Electra enables Orestes to stab her to death as well. At the end, the siblings feel remorseful and realise that they will be social outcasts for their action. They depart in different directions.


2. Cast

  • Theano Ioannidou as chorus leader
  • Manos Katrakis as the tutor
  • Petros Ampelas as young Orestes
  • Irene Papas as Elektra
  • Giannis Fertis as Orestes
  • Fivos Razi as Aegisthus
  • Takis Emmanuel as Pylades
  • Aleka Katselli as Klytaemnistra
  • Theodoros Dimitriou Theodore Demetriou as Agamemnon
  • Elsie Pittas as young Elektra
  • Notis Peryalis as Elektras husband

3. Awards

The film was entered into the 1962 Cannes Film Festival where it won the award of Best Cinematic Transposition. The film was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. The film also won three awards in Thessaloniki Film Festival, for best film and best director Michalis Cacoyannis and best actress Irene Papas.