Zorba the Greek (1964) Script

Be careful.


Excuse me.

He says, "Big storm. Ship must wait."

How long? I don't know.

You're traveling.

Where to, with your permission?


And you stay there long, no?

How do you know?

I watch you with all the boxes in the rain. Very funny.

I like you.

Take me with you. Will you?


Why? Why?

Will no man ever do something without a "why?" Just like that. For the hell of it.

All right, take me as a cook. I make soups like...

You like soups, no?

Well... Of course you do. You're English, no?

Half. Half?

My father was Greek, but I was born in England.

Same thing.

With your permission.



No. No, thank you. Please.

Keep the packet.

Only one.

Are you a cook?

If you need one, I am.

What I meant was, what work do you do?

Listen to him. I got hands, feet, head. They do the jobs.

Who the hell am I to choose?

Well then, what was the most recent?

In a mine. I am a good miner. I have a clever nose for the metals.

But I beat up the boss, and they kicked me out.

I'm getting awfully nervous about the boat. I think I'll...

If you like, I go ask.

No, thank you. It's... It's all right.

Well, maybe we could go together and then you could ask for me.

Sure. Give me. No. Thank you, I can manage.

He says 10:00.

Well, that's three whole hours. Damn.

Are you in big hurry? No.

Then it's all right. Come.

Roumi. That's "rum."

I'll have some tea, if you don't mind. Tea?

And you, mister, what do you do?

Me? Well, I'm a writer.

Excuse me, but you look it.

What do you write? Love stories?

No. Poetry. Essays.

What's that?


No. You think too much. That is your trouble.

Clever people and grocers, they weigh everything.

Me? If I was you, I would look at me straight and I would say:

"Zorba, come." Or, "Zorba, don't come."


That's me: Alexis Zorba.

I have other names, if you are interested. Oh, I am.

"Spaghetti," because I am long.

And "California," because I have been to America.

And "Epidemic," because every place I go, people say I louse things up.

Your health.

Listen to that bitch, the sea.

That maker of widows.

What have you got in there?


You ask such sensible questions.

It's my santouri. Your what?

My santouri.

Makes the best music.

It goes with me always.

And you, what are you go to do in Crete? With your permission.

I have some land there. It belonged to my father.

And you go to write?

Not exactly.

What, exactly?

I haven't written anything in months.

On this land, there's an old mine.

Lignite. - Lignitis! I know!

It's been idle for years.


Because I let it.

And now you want to make it work.

If I can.


I must.

Which way is it going?

What? The weighing machine.

Zorba up, or Zorba down?

Well. I was thinking...

That mine...

I'm not very rich, and I will need someone with experience.

So I... And so?

Well, although I...

I don't really know you very well...

And what I'm doing is probably mad.

It's yes.




Mister, you are a lucky man. When Zorba goes to work...

...no mine stands a chance.

Be wonderful to get down to some real work.

Also, it'll be good for the village. I understand it's rather poor.

We make everybody happy.

And we'll have fun too.

We'll swim. And we'll drink wine.

And you'll play the santouri.

What's the matter?

It's about the santouri.

We make a bargain, or I cannot come.

In work, I am your man.

But in things like playing and singing, I am my own.

How do you mean?

I mean free.


...you sign?

I sign.

Here. But I don't drink rum.

This time you will. Why start with the wrong foot?

Well, Zorba, God bless.

And the devil too, boss!

You like her, boss?


Are you all right?



Thanks, boss.

Your friend in there will be looking for you.

Incidentally, you never told me. Are you married?

Am I not a man? And is not a man stupid?

I'm a man. So I married.

Wife, children, house. Everything.

The full catastrophe.

What happened?

Be a pal, boss.

Don't make me talk.

And you?

No, I'm single.

I guess too many books.

Look! Look! A dolphin.

Why, yes.

What kind of a man are you? Don't you even like dolphins?

I hope we find somewhere to stay. Sure.

Have you never heard of Cretan hospitality?

Now, Mr. Epidemic, you behave yourself. We don't want to start another war.

Boss, if there is a widow around, don't worry.

What are they all saying? They all want us to stay with them.

Madame Hortense.

Who is that?

Who's Madame Hortense? A French woman.

She has hotel.

I am Mavrandoni.

So you come at last. I welcome you.

I'm glad to meet you. You got my letter? Yes.

Mr. Mavrandoni has been looking after our land.

This Madame. She's a widow?

How many hairs on my head?

She's a widow of the same number of husbands.



Welcome, gentlemen.

This is a great pleasure, Madame.

Two beds, Madame.

Without bugs.

Monsieur, Madame Hortense has not the bugs.

You have to admit, boss. It is big.

But she shakes it well.

This way.

They say it was my grand success.

You may not believe it, monsieur, but I was a very famous artiste.

I appear in all the most chic cabarets.

I slept in the silk sheets with real lace.

Boss, ask her to dance. What?

Make a pass. Pinch her. No.

It's only polite.


He would like to dance with you.

But he is shy.

Perhaps Madame is tired.

She is not.

Are you?

Come on.

These Cretans. They are so ungrateful.

Don't cry, my little chouchou.

They would be dead, all dead, if there was not me.

I know, I know.

No hands. Madame.


Boss. Match?


You know how I came to Crete?

With the British fleet. Yes, monsieur.

I was in love with the admiral...

...and where he go, I go.

It was here that I met the other three.

What other three?

Admirals, of course.

The French, the Italian and the Russian.

How lovely they was, my four admirals...

...with their golden epaulets and all those feathers.

Like big, beautiful cockerels!

And what beards. So soft, and curly and perfumed.

Fortunately, each has different perfume, so it was no mistake...

...even in the dark.

My little chouchou. Here, here.

My darling queen, please continue. Yes.

Me and my admirals...

...we sit on the deck...

...dressed very informal...

...and we discussion politics.

Very serious.

All the time they pour champagne over me to make me fresh.

It was summer, you know, very hot.

And in this time, in Crete...

...it was big trouble.

Revolution or something.

With my binoculars I could see the poor little Cretans...

...running in mountains with their flags.

My four admirals...

...they want to open the fire.

But I throw myself in the middle.

I pull the Italian by the beard...

You know, I was more familiar with him.

And I cry:

"Stop it, you can't kill them!

Please, Canavaro, Canavaro mio, no boom-boom!"

Canavaro? What the hell is that?

What you think it is?

Himself. Canavaro.

Canavaro mio.

Go on, my chouchou.

Again and again I stopped the boom-boom.

And what do you think I get in the end? What?

What? Tell me.

Tell me what.

Nothing! No medals!

Nothing! Please, no more boom-boom.

You are laughing. No.

At me. No, of course not.

Don't... Don't go.

That was a very bad thing we did, boss.

A poor, weak creature.

Where are you? Bouboulina?

Where are you?

My Bouboulina.


Go away.

It's me, your Canavaro.

Fine Canavaro you are.

No feathers.

No beard.

Here. Blow, my Bouboulina.

What's that, "Bouboulina"?

She was a big hero in the war against the Turks. Huh, boss?

Yes, Madame. She was like you.

A great sea dog.

You see?


Me too. I fought breasts to breasts.

But then came the bad times.

They make the peace...

...and the ship must go away.

"And me...

...what will become of me?" I cry.

Four times a widow.

They laughed, monsieur.

You men are so cruel.

In the end, they was sorry for me, so they undress me...

...they fill the bath with champagne...

...and they drop me.

Then they sit all around.

You understand that now that we was all very familiar.

And they drank all the champagne.

AII, from the top to the bottom.


And then they put out the light.

When I waked up...

...I smelled so good.

All their perfume...

...one on top of the other.

But they was gone.

Men are so cruel.




What is it?


Boss, a big, beautiful, wild widow.


Look at Mavrandoni.

He is burning.


His son is crazy in love with the widow.

But she spits him in the eye.

The more she spits...

...the more he wants her.


Look at the faces of all these.

They all want her.

And they hate her because they cannot have her.

Only one man here...





I saw her eyes when she looked at you.

Zorba, don't start. Listen.

God, who is a clever devil, today put in your hands a gift from paradise.

Don't be silly. Boss. Why did God give us hands?

To grab. Well, grab.

Boss. Yes.

Boss, listen. You go, you knock.

You say, "I have come for my umbrella."

She will say, "Please, please come in." No.

Boss. Boss, don't make me mad.

I don't want any trouble.

Boss. Life is trouble, only death is not.

To be alive is to undo your belt and look for trouble.





For God's sake, boss. Will you go back to your papers?


Get out.

Get out!


You bastard mountain!

I'll eat your guts!

What is it, Zorba?

They left axes inside, that's what.

They are so brave, every time they hear a noise, they mess their pants!

Zorba, leave them alone!

Axes cost money. I know, and I don't care!

Right now I'm just glad that nobody's hurt. That's all.

And what's more, I think you should let them go for today.


You better make up your mind. Are you or are you not a gosh darn capitalist?

I'm hungry.

We've got to find some strong trees...

...to make beams for the galleries.


You're late.

What is it, Zorba?

Out with it.


Do you trust me?

Yes, I do.

Why the hell do you?

Because you are you. But you don't understand.

My brain is not the right weight.

It... It gives me such crazy ideas.

I might ruin you.

I'll take that chance.

Say that again, boss.

Give me courage.

I'll take that chance.


Boss. What?

Do you dance? Dance? No, no.

Then get out of the way. I... I may knock you down.


That's enough!

Stop. Stop.


Zorba. Zorba!

Are you all right?


Now, I can...

I can talk again.

What on earth came over you?

When a man is full...

...what can he do?


When my little boy, Dimitri, died...

...everybody was crying.


I got up...

...and I danced.

They said:

"Zorba is mad."

But it was the dancing...

...only the dancing that stopped the pain.

You see, he was my first.

And he was only 3.

When I'm happy...

...it's the same thing.

Come inside. You'll catch cold.

With your permission.


...will you tell me what this is all about?

I got a plan. What plan?

A great, big, crazy plan.

Well, what?

I cannot tell you. Why?

I got many things to be figuring: trees, monks, machines.

Tomorrow, maybe.

Tonight we celebrate.

Come on! Don't be delicate.

Boss. What?

Come and see.

Do you remember that plan I could not tell you about?

Here it is. What is it?

It's a mountain. That one.

Oh, yes.


That's the way we'll get the trees down.

An overhead cable? You're mad.


Well, to begin with that forest doesn't belong to us.

Well it doesn't, and it does.

What does that mean?

It belongs to the monastery. The monastery belongs to God.

And God belongs to everybody. You agree?

No, I certainly don't.

All right, you will pay them something...

...but not much. How do you know?

They are friends of mine.

If it works, we will bring down the whole forest.

First we get the mine going. Then open a timber factory.

We get stinking rich, then make our own ship and sail around the world.

Aren't you going a little too fast?

Do you know how old I am?

Never mind, that's a secret.

But I have got to go fast.

You know, they... They say that age kills the fire inside of a man.

That he hears death coming.

He opens the door and says, "Come in. Give me rest."

That is a pack of old damn lies!

I've got enough fight in me to devour the world.

So I fight.

Well? Do we?

Or do we let the mountain win?

Tell me what you need.

I will need some strong wire, hooks and... And things.

I will have to go to town.

I still have to figure out the angle.

If it's not perfect, it will be catastrophe.

How long will it take you?

The way things are going, it had better be soon or not at all.

I'll give you until Christmas.

Hey, boss.

Rose water.

Boss? Well? What news?

I made a great discovery.

Stones are alive.

Well, that's fine.

Well, I wish instead you'd discover your famous angle.

I'm trying, boss.

Look, your umbrella. Never mind.

Just let me remind you that tomorrow's Christmas.

I know.

Wh..? Where are you going?

I need some wire.

Where the hell did I put it?

Won't this string do?

Excuse me.


A melomakarouna.

A what? A Christmas cookie.

Well, what's so strange about that?


But many melomakarouna inside an empty trunk is very strange.

An umbrella under a bed is also strange. All right, all right.

She came here? No. She sent them.

Now you have the proof. Now, it is very simple.

Tonight, after Bouboulina's party... Get on with your work.

Boss, you want me to beat you an egg?

It's good for the strength.

Boss, now I can tell you a secret.

All these days I couldn't work, I couldn't sleep.

And you know why? Because of the widow.

Don't get me wrong, I know she's too good for these old bones.

But to think of her without anybody...

...that was too much.

All right, laugh, but remember this.

If a woman sleeps alone, it puts a shame on all men.

God has a very big heart...

...but there is one sin he will not forgive:

If a woman calls a man to her bed and he will not go.

I know, because a very wise, old Turk told me.

A Turk? And you, a Greek, believed him?

I'm going to wash.

I thought the Greeks and the Turks never talked.

They just fought.

Don't tell me you never went to war.

I don't like that kind of stupid talk.

What's so stupid about...

...fighting for your country? Excuse me, boss.

You talk like a teacher. You think like a teacher.

How can you understand?

Of course I can.

With your head, yes.

You say, "This is right.

This is wrong."

But when you talk...

...I watch your arms...

...your legs, your chest.

They are dumb.

They say nothing.

So how can you understand? You're just making up excuses.

I don't believe you give a damn about your country.

Don't you talk to me like that!

Look, here, and here and here.

Nothing on the back!

I have done things for my country that would make your hair stand.

I have killed, burned villages, raped women.

And why?

Because they were Turks or Bulgarians.

That's the rotten damn fool I was.

Now I look at a man, any man, and I say, "He is good. He is bad."

What do I care if he's Greek or Turk?

As I get older, I swear by the bread I eat.

I even stop asking that. Good or bad, what is the difference?

They all end up the same way...

...food for worms.

And as for women, you make fun of me that I love them.

How can I not love them?

They're such poor, weak creatures.

And it takes so little.

A man's hand on their breast...

...and they give you all they've got.

Where are you, Bouboulina?

Canavaro is here.


Look what I brought you.

- Merci. Happy Christmas!

I made it myself to make her feel good.

It's me? Yes.

Merry Christmas, Madame. And also for you.

What is that extraordinary smell coming from the kitchen?

It is a big fat Turkish. A Turkish.

I hope he's not burning. Do not worry. Sit down.

We will start from the center, the belly.

Then we will take care of the other parts, later.



Aren't you feeling well?

In my age, monsieur, one is never well.

Especially on the holidays.

I drink to your health, my beautiful chouchou mermaid.

May you grow new teeth...

...and new skin...

...and throw away these stupid ribbons you wear to hide your neck.

May the Great Powers come back to Crete.

And when you rise out of the waves to greet them...

...may all their damn ships crash...

...on these round, hard rocks.

I wish it could happen, what you say.

But it is too late. No, it is not!

Please, no!

Are you all right?

You see, it is too late.

Oh, don't be sad, my little Bouboulina.

I have heard of a new doctor in Europe.

He makes miracles.

You take what the hell ever he gives you, drops or powders...

...and you become 20 again.

Maybe 25.

I will get you some.

You will? Sure.

A big bottle? A whole barrel.


What are you thinking?

Alexandria, Beirut, Istanbul.

How they loved me.



Ali Bey, Mustafa Nahas Pasha.

Suleiman Pasha. Especially Suleiman.

Those damn cats.

Well, I...


She's asleep? Yes.

Let her.

She's 20 again.

She's strolling around Alexandria, Beirut.

Look at her, smiling.

Silly old bitch. Come on.

We can't go and just leave her alone.

She's not alone. She is with Suleiman Pasha, having hell of a time.

Dirty old cow.

She is in.


And God bless you.

Where are you going? To church.

I've never been to a Greek Christmas. Boss!

No. Don't you understand? You're young, full of energy.

I don't understand what you're doing with it.

I've had enough of this. Why don't you leave me alone?

I love you, and I want the best for you.

Don't shout! Who's shouting!

There she is. She is waiting.

Cigarette. This is ridiculous.

I'm not going to stand here arguing. But, boss...

...she is waiting for you. Let's just say that I'm different...

...and I've got to go my own way.

If God went your way, there would be no Christmas.

He didn't go to church, he went to Mary. And Christ was born.

He went that way. Mary is the widow.

On a deaf man's door, you can knock forever!


Now, here's the money. Thank you.

And remember, it's all I can afford.

Poor boss, I know. Just buy what we need for the cable...

...and come straight back. Of course.

Don't get stuck anywhere on the way. I will be quick like the wind.

Five days. You promised. Boss, I promise.

Goodbye, boss.

Zorba. Zorba!

What do you want?

Don't forget me.

Yes. Goodbye.

Don't be sad. He's coming back.

They all say that.

Garçon! Champagne.

"I shall not describe you...

...the continuation.

Except to say...

...that it was long and very wild."

Very, very wild.

Next afternoon...

Next afternoon...

...I wake up.


...what do I see?

Next to me, in bed...

...the female sex...

...in person.


...and warm...

...and sweet-smelling.

So I say to myself:


...you are in paradise.

Enjoy it.

Don't move."

Imagine what luck. There's a restaurant opposite...

... and they sends us food, splendiferous food. Caviar...

... steaks, baklava, everything.

We eat and back to work, and back to sleep and so on, et cetera.


This is my good news, boss. And don't worry, I think of your business also.

But I ask you, why push things? Every day my head becomes more clear...

... and I shall be able to make the best deals.

I kiss you friendly. Me, Zorba.

P.S., I forgot to tell you. Her name is Lola.


Pardon. They told me you had a letter.

It's from him?

It's from him.

What does he say?

Read it yourself.

I cannot.

My eyes.

He says...

...he's very busy.

There is something for me?

Of course.

Read it.


"Please tell Bouboulina that I miss her."

Go on.

"Tell her...

...that every night I go back to my little room...

...and I pray to God to send me back to her...


For without my Bouboulina...

...I feel so damn miserable...

...that when I see her again I...



"I'll kneel before her...

...and ask her to be mine forever."


Yes, forever. That's what he says.

All right.

Tell him that I accept.

And please, write that he brings me...

...5 meters of white satin...

...and voile.

You see, I cannot find here.

I understand.

You are very kind.

One thing more.

You know...

...Zorba and me, we like you very much.

Will you be our witness?

It will be an honor.

I'm sorry.

Mr. Zorba.


Oh, boss.

You stink of perfume, Mr. Zorba.

Yes, I know. I scrubbed my skin for two hours, but it still smells. It's funny.

Isn't it?

Well, what's all this?

Presents. Presents!

Who the hell for? Barba Antoni, Yianni.


...is for poor little Bouboulina. I hope it's a wedding dress.

A what?

Well, you heard me.


...what have you been cooking up?

Well she was here when your letter came.

I couldn't very well read to her what was in it.

Could I?

That was not a very good joke, boss.

What about the stuff for the overhead cable?

I got everything.

Don't worry.

A gift for you.

A box of English chocolates.

Thank you.

It's all right.

Hey, no more fooling around.

Not in this place.

Now we pull up our pants and we make some money, a pile of money.

You are incorrigible.

I don't know what that means, but here.

With my compliments.

Good God.

What have you done to your hair?

I painted it. Why?

For pride. So I could go out with Lola, without making her ashamed.

He laughs. But listen, you know what?

I became young like my hair.

Stronger than a bull.

You ask Lola.

And you know that pain in my kidneys?

That's gone.

Figure that out!

By the way, boss...

...I come in last night, and you were out.

Where the hell are you?


...couldn't help.

Why do the young die?

Why does anybody die? Tell me.

I don't know.

What's the use of all your damn books?

If they don't tell you that, what the hell do they tell you?

They tell me...

...about the agony of men...

...who can't answer questions like yours.

I spit on their agony.

Who's that?

It's me.

Boss. Get her inside, quickly.


Did you get drenched?

You are cruel.

Why you abandon me?

I will make some coffee.

The whole village, they're laughing at me.

Where is my white satin?

Where is my wedding dress?

In Crete...

...you don't find the real good satin.



...I ordered some.

From Athens.


Also some white candles...

...with silk ribbons.

And pink bonbonnières.

Our wedding, my dear Bouboulina...

...will be so splendiferous...

...it will blind the world with glory.

I can no longer keep it a secret.

I have engaged the best tailors in Athens...

...to make for you a dress like nobody has seen in the East.

Or the West.

Twenty meters of white satin covered in pearls.

With the sun on one breast and the moon on the other.

In pure gold.

Me too.

I have a secret for you.

What's that?

Open it.

I'll have some coffee first. No.


You see what you've done.

Where the hell did you get these rings?

I had them made for us.

From two golden sovereign the English admiral gave me.

I was keeping them for my...

For what?

My funeral.


Please. We become fiancés.


But... We have the witness.

We have the rings.


But we have no priest.

I don't mind.

God is watching.


All right.

We go outside where God can see us better.

You, you get ready.

Witness, come on.

What do we do?

Can you sing?

Certainly not. Never mind, I can.

Weddings, baptisms, funerals, I know them back to front.

I was a boy chanter.

It's nothing.

Just a cold.

Tomorrow you'll feel better.

Next Sunday we go out, have a hell of a time.

It's Easter, you know.



You need some sun to cheer you up.

Now, my beautiful.

We pull everything away.

Listen to that...

...beautiful noise.

Like kissing.

Very sexy.

I'm jealous.

I don't want... No.

I don't know what... It's all right.



It's me, Zorba.

Don't be afraid.

He asks us to drink to her soul.

Zorba, what about the funeral?

There will be no funeral.


She was a Frank.

She crossed herself with four fingers.

But I don't understand.

The priest will not bury her like everybody else.

But that's dreadful. Why?

She is dead.

It makes no difference.

Hey, boss!


Come on. We are nearly ready.

Hey, Canavaro, you want to come and watch too?

Come on.

It's nothing. It's nothing!

The first time it always does that.

Boss, where are you, boss?

It's nothing.

Hey, Canavaro. How are you?

The lamb! What?

It will burn!

You know...

...people tell the future from this.

Can you?

Everything's fine.

We will live a thousand years.

Oh, I see a journey.

A big journey to a city.

With big houses.

How soon, boss?

I don't know.

A few days.

What will I do...

...without your company?

Cheer up.

We'll get together again.


You'll go away and stay.

With your books.

Your health.

Yours, Zorba.

Damn it, boss, I like you too much not to say it.

You've got everything...

...except one thing: madness.

A man needs a little madness, or else...

Or else?

He never dares cut the rope and be free.

Are you angry with me?

Teach me to dance.

Will you?


Did you say dance?

Come on, my boy.


Let's go.




...I have so much to tell you.

I never loved a man more than you.

Hey, boss...

...did you ever see a more splendiferous crash?

You can laugh too, huh?

Hey, you laugh!

You saw... You saw how they all ran.

Especially the monks.

The second time...

The third time was the best.

Nothing left!