Movies set in Greece

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Many movies have been filmed on location all over Greece in the past and a host of Hollywood stars have tread our sandy beaches and enjoyed our glorious sunsets. From spy thrillers to musicals, the picturesque islands and the striking capital of Athens have provided producers with the perfect backdrop for spectacular shots and cinematic blockbusters. We have selected some of those movies which we think you will enjoy and we wish you happy viewing!

The Talented Mr. Ripley 

Written in 1956, this acclaimed novel did not reach the full screen until 1999.  An intriguing psychological thriller set in the Italian Riviera and Athens, it follows the deceptions of a young man trying to emulate the life of his affluent friends, with tragic results. We love the dolce vita lifestyle of the 50s that it portrays and its talented cast of Matt Damon, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow and Kate Blanchett. 

 •Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

The Ionian island of Kefalonia during the onset of the second world war is the location for this sentimental love story between an Italian captain and the daughter of the local village doctor. The movie really put Kefalonia on the map by portraying its natural beauty and we love this movie because it brought attention to the simplicity of rural Greek life, which still exists today in many regions. 

Mama Mia

Even if you are not an Abba fan, you will be blown away by this highly entertaining musical with its fantastic cast. What is most impressive is the spectacular scenery of the island of Skopelos in the Sporades and parts of Pelion. A celebration of life, love and song, we adore Mama Mia because it has all the elements of summer in Greece and of course, a very happy ending!

Jason Bourne

The fifth instalment of the series about this CIA defector is a gripping thriller which highlights downtown Athens for a good part of the film. An exciting car chase through the narrow streets of Plaka gives a dramatic feel and puts the city on the international espionage map. In the first film in the series, Jason Bourne also visited Mykonos and that is why we love this character - you just never know where he is going to crop up next!

Shirley Valentine

Filmed in Mykonos in 1989, the film made the island more popular, not just for its idyllic beaches, but also as a paradise for dissatisfied middle-aged women. This poignant comedy showed both the romantic and pragmatic side of life and was a big hit for its raw humour and beautiful setting. We love this story because it shows how dreams really do come true in Greece!

The Big Blue

If you love watching underwater scenes, then this cult film will take your breath away and get you in the mood for some diving lessons when you visit Santorini. Based loosely on real characters, the story tells of two boys growing up on the island of Amorgos and their ambitions to outdo each other in competitive free diving. The beautiful big blue of the Aegean will make you love this movie as much as we do!

Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2

A movie which will bring you to Oia in Santorini as we follow the fate of four friends in their search for a magical pair of pants, as well as love and happiness! The scene alone of the girls riding up to the top of the island on donkeys will give you an idea of why this location is so special and has a magic all of its own. We believe that anyone who watches this movie will fall in love with Santorini!

 

Before Midnight

A low budget film with a great reviews, this movie was filmed in Mani, in the Peloponnese. Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy take us on an intimate dialogue through their 18 year relationship with the mesmerising Messinian landscape as a backdrop. It is said that the director chose the location because, “there is nowhere else better in the world to depict the nature of human relationships”. Of course we totally agree!

My Life in Ruins

This romantic comedy will appeal to all those interested in ancient Greek history as it is filmed in some of the most important archaeological sites in the country. It is also the first time that the Greek government allowed an American film crew to shoot at the Acropolis. The Greek-American actress Nia Vardalos plays a hapless tourist guide trying to satisfy the difficult tourists and will take you on a humorous adventure to Olympia, Delphi and Epidavros. A perfect trip for any graecophile!

 

Little England

Discover more about contemporary Greek cinema by watching this movie, which was also selected as the Greek entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 87th Academy Awards. Set on the island of Andros during the second world war, it shows the fate of those women living on the island married to sailors, who are often away from home, leaving the women alone for long periods of time. We are certain that you will be touched by this poignant story set in a beautiful location. 

Summer Lovers

Take a peak into how Santorini looked over 35 years ago and see if you can spot the changes! A romantic drama about three people engaging in a ménage à trois whilst on the island, you may not think much of the plot but you will definitely enjoy the scenery. Shots of Oia, the minimal architecture and the caldera are plentiful, while scenes filmed at the archaeological site of Akrotiri actually led to the discovery of real artefacts! Enjoy the movie - we are sure that you will love it!

 

 

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