Cacoyannis Michalis

Greece, 1955


The story of a fiercely independent young woman, who wishes not to compromise. Stella, who sings at Paradise nightclub, lives a guiltless, turbulent life characterized by passionate love affairs and assertiveness. While with Aleko, the son of a wealthy family, she decides, as is her habit, to break up with him before feelings wear off. When she finally meets Milto, a young football player, she seems to change. Even though, at first, she avoids Milto’s advances, she later gives in to his charm. To be with him she imposes her own terms. No matter how much she loves him, she mostly values her freedom. However, there comes a time for her to choose and it is then that things become complicated. Melina Merkouri’s gripping performance and radiating presence established her as a major actress and emblematic female figure. Kakogiannis masterful direction deeply rooted on ancient Greek tragedy made this film an all-time classic.


Cacoyannis Michalis

Michael Cacoyannis, the son of Angeliki and Panayotis Cacoyannis, was born in Lemesos, Cyprus, in the 11th of June 1921.

He studied Law, as well as, Art & Direction in London.  In 1947, he began his career as a stage actor, in England. Soon after his short-lived stage career he turned to direction. In 1953 Cacoyannis returned to Greece, and in 1954 he directed Sunday Awakening This was the  starting point of his international career. Stella, the Girl in Black, the Last Lie, his trilogy:  Electra, Troades and Ifigenia, and Zorbas are some   of Cacoyannis films. These were screened in acclaimed, world-known festivals and were awarded in various categories.

Cacoyannis collaborated with Greece’s greatest actors, as well as, with famous and well-respected American and European actors.


  • 1954 / Windfall in Athens
  • 1955 / Stella
  • 1956 / A girl in black
  • 1958 / A matter of dignity
  • 1960 / Our lost spring
  • 1961 / The wastrel
  • 1962 / Electra
  • 1964 / Zorba the Greek
  • 1967 / The day the film came out
  • 1971 / The trojan woman
  • 1975 / Attila 74
  • 1977 / Iphigenia
  • 1986 / Sweet country
  • 1992 / Up, down and sideways

    1999 / The cherry orchard


Director: Michalis Cacoyannis

Writing Credits: Iakovos Kabanellis – Michalis Cacoyannis

Screenplay: Michalis Cacoyannis

Cinematography: Costa Theodorides

Music: Manos Hadjidakis

Film Editor: George Tsaoulis

Cast: Melina Merkouri (Stella)
Giorgos Foundas (Miltos)
Alekos Alexandrakis (Alekos)
Sofia Vempo (Maria)
Tasso Kavadia (Alekos’ Sister)
Costas Kakavas (Antonis)


  • Athanassatou I., Greek cinema, 1950-1963. Athens: Finatec, 2001.
  • Athanassatou.I, Ellinikos kinimatografos,1950-1963. Athens: Finatec, 2001
  • Athanassatou, Gianna. _Ellinikos kinimatografos 1950-1967: Laiki mnimi ke ideologia. Athens: FINATEC, 2001.
  • Cacoyannis, Michael. Stella: To Senario.Athens: Kastaniotis, 1990
  • Cacoyannis, Michael, 36th Thessaloniki International Film Festval, Kastaniotis, Athens,1995.
  • Moschovakis, Antonis. “O kinimatografos” Epitheorisi Tehnis 16 (1956): 356
  • Soldatos, Giannis. History of Greek Cinema : 1900-1967 Athens, Aegokeros, 2002.



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