Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Irene Papas, RIP



Irene Papas died on September 14 at the age of 96. Like so many actors and actresses of the past, Irene starred in PEPLUM films before moving on to critically acclaimed films. She only appeared in 8 productions, movies and TV, that would be considered PEPLUM. She made three movies by Michael Cacoyannis based on Greek Tragedies. Though her roles became more complex and layered, her two early movies, in ATTILA and THEODORA, will always be memorable to me. And her role as Penelope in the TV mini-series showed what an excellent actress she was. RIP.



Irene's first PEPLUM role was in THEODORA - SLAVE EMPRESS (1954), directed by Riccardo Freda. She played Theodora's jealous sister. She made an impression in this excellent production. The main photo above is from that movie.

 

Immediately after THEODORA, Irene appeared in ATTILA (1854), directed by Pietro Francisci, and staring Anthony Quinn. Like her role in the previous movie, it was a supporting role and she shone in all of her scenes.





Irene starred in ANTIGONE (1961), an excellent Greek PEPLUM in the old Italian style. Her next movies would follow suit but be different as well.



The first of three Greek Tragedy movies she would make with director Michael Cacoyannis, ELEKTRA (1961). This movie was more art-house style than the previous ANTIGONE. 



Irene starred in THE ODYSSEY (1968), an excellent TV mini-series with Bekim Fehmiu as Ulysses. One of Irene's best roles. She was superlative. 

 

Irene was in THE TROJAN WOMEN (1971), with an ensemble cast that included Kathryn Hepburn (below). The second Greek Tragedy movie she made with director Michael Cacoyannis.





Irene's third and last Greek Tragedy movie directed by Michael Cacoyannis, IPHEGENIA (1977). It's co-starred Panos Mihalopoulos.



Her PEPLUM productions:

THEODORA - SLAVE EMPRESS (1954)

ATTILA (1954)

ANTIGONE (1961)

ELEKTRA (1961)

THE ODYSSEY (1968; TV)

ANNE OF A THOUSAND DAYS (1969)

THE TROJAN WOMEN (1971)

IPHIGENIA (1977)


3 comments:

luv chocolate said...

She was a very good actress and starred in many movies! Maybe TCM will dedicate a day to her movies.

Ivan said...

Descanse en paz.

John said...

A very nice remembrance of Miss Papas.