A novel by the Cretan author Nikos Kazantzakis
, made into a wonderful film in 1964
Anthony Quinn - Alexi Zorba
Alan Bates - Basil
Irene Papas - Widow
Lila Kedrova - Madame Hortense
A scared, lifeless middle class Englishman arrives in Greece to live on a small estate he inherited. He meets and is befriended by Alexi Zorba, an aging Greek with an insatiable lust for life, a ready wit and an unrivalled capacity for both drunken brawling and drunken philosophy.
Zorba's ambitious dreams and gargantuan lusts are beautifully contrasted with Basil's fears, inhibitions and reservations until at times one can't tell which one of them deserves one's pity and which one's respect. Although it is Basil who gradually comes around to Zorba's way of thinking, the latter is by no means represented as being anything but fallible, exquisitely sensitive and painfuly human.