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Phaedra was a 1962 motion picture directed by Jules Dassin as a vehicle for his wife Melina Mercouri, after her world-wide hit Never on Sunday. "Never on Sunday" was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1961.

Phaedra, the fourth collaboration between Dassin and Mercouri, in which she stars as Phaedra, Anthony Perkins as Alexis, her younger lover, and Ralf Vallone as Thanos her tycoon husband. Set in Paris, London and especially in the island of Hydra, Greece, a place where cars are not permitted as it is very small. The film is based on an ancient Greek tragedy by the name 'Hippolytos' by Euripides. The adaptation of the tragedy was made by the Greek writer Margarita Lymberaki. It has been adapted to melodrama concerning the rich society of ship owners and their families, but it still contains some of the tragic parts of the tragedy. Phaedra is a tycoon's second wife who falls in love with her husband's son from his first marriage, Alexis. The love is doomed from the very beginning but they are unable to handle their feelings. The movie hit the cinemas in 1962, was a smash hit in Europe, but a box-office failure in the USA.

Although Mercouri and Perkins became friends during the filming, the magazines, and especially Esquire magazine, attacked the film, because of Perkin's vulnerability. It must be noted that Phaedra was the first film that teamed Perkins which some notable older female stars.

The music was created by Mikis Theodorakis. In the soundtrack of the film which is still available in Cd format, Melina Mercouri sang two songs. The first one was written by Nikos Gatsos, a major Greek poet, and was sung by Mercouri and Anthony Perkins after their love scene in Paris. The other one was heard in the film as the main love theme. Both of the songs are popular in Greece and they have been performed by hundreds of singers and actors.




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