Cinema: Arrogance in Athens

It was something of a stunt when British TV Director Philip Saville went to Denmark's Elsinore Castle to make a television Hamlet, starring Christopher Plummer. Going to Greece to film Oedipus the King in an ancient amphitheater is also a gimmick, but it has paid off better. The stones of the theater at Dodona and the sere Greek hills behind them grandly evoke the atmosphere in which Sophocles himself saw his great tragedy performed. The local peasant faces among the extras give an authenticity to the hoi polloi that makeup men could never have managed.

The one problem is that Saville took...

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