Anthony Quinn: An Original (1990)

TV Movie   |    |  Documentary

Born in Mexico, he became the main family provider when his father died in an accident. So began the story of a man who had a "thousand jobs" before acting in a film of Cecil B. DeMille - ... See full summary »

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13 October 2014 | duke1029
| From Anthony to Zorba
Tony Quinn was a magnetic, charismatic performer born in Mexico of an Irish grandfather. In this documentary he is well- remembered as Zampano the bestial strongman of Fellini's "La Strada" and as Zorba, Kazantakis's philosophical humanist in Michael Cacoyannis' "Zorba the Greek." Quinn's characters are the most Rabelaisian in film history: outrageous, raunchy, crude in every way, deliberately stubborn when he believed in the truth, relentless against hypocrisy, and against all forms of popular opinion; but, at the same time he was capable of profound insight into the human condition.

He won well-deserved Oscars for "Viva Zapata" in 1952 and "Lust for Life" in 1956 stealing every scene from the films' nominal stars, Marlon Brando and Kirk Douglas, a difficult task. Winning the lead actor award eluded him. I'm surprised he only won the two Oscars as he was deserving in the leads in "Zorba the Greek" and "La Strada." Quinn's private life was tempestuous: a long list of lovers, including Katharine DeMille, daughter of Cecil, whom he met on the set of his first film "The Plainsman" in 1936. The couple suffered tragic loss when their son drowned in the swimming pool of neighbor W. C. Fiels, a pool that Quinn had urged the comedian to fence in.

Quinn's last film was released posthumously in 2002. Besides his film legacy, he left the world ten children by three wives and scores of great screen moments to cherish. This biographical documentary reminds his fans of the loss of a great actor and screen personality.

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Plot Summary




Release Date:

10 September 1990


English, French, Portuguese, Spanish

Country of Origin


Box Office


$550,000 (estimated)

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