Electra (1962 film)

Electra (Greek: Ηλέκτρα Ilektra) 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.

Directed byMichael Cacoyannis
Produced byMichael Cacoyannis
Written byMichael Cacoyannis
StarringIrene Papas
Giannis Fertis
Aleka Katselli
Manos Katrakis
Notis Peryalis
Fivos Razi
Takis Emmanuel
Theano Ioannidou
Malaina Anousaki
Theodoros Dimitriou
Theodore Demetriou
Elsie Pittas
Petros Ampelas
Kitty Arseni
Thodoros Exarhos
Elli Fotiou
Afroditi Grigoriadou
Kostas Kazakos
Music byMikis Theodorakis
CinematographyWalter Lassally
Edited byLeonidas Antonakis
Release date
  • 1962 (1962)
Running time
110 minutes


King Agamemnon is murdered by his wife Clytemnestra and her lover and Agememnon's cousin and childhood playmate Aegisthus. Of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra's 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.



The film was entered into the 1962 Cannes Film Festival where it won the award of Best Cinematic Transposition.[1] The film was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.[2] The film also won three awards in Thessaloniki Film Festival, for best film and best director (Michalis Cacoyannis) and best actress (Irene Papas).[3]

See also


  1. "Festival de Cannes: Electra". festival-cannes.com. Archived from the original on 2012-01-18. Retrieved 2009-02-22.
  2. "The 35th Academy Awards (1963) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Retrieved 2011-11-01.
  3. "awards 1962". Thessaloniki Film Festival. Retrieved 20 August 2015.

Electra on IMDb

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