It seems that the scenic landscape and the rich history that has drenched the very soil of this beautiful country make Greece an excellent movie set. Through the course of time, many Greek islands have hosted famous films. Mamma Mia, for example, was filmed in Skiathos and Skopelos islands in 2008 while Santorini was home to the Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life settings in 2003. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin was shot in Kefalonia. And the list goes on.
Another island that charms film producers is, of course, Mykonos. The picturesque traditional houses, the adorable Little Venice, the fantastic beaches, the legendary Windmills, and the heart-stopping sunsets comprise the ideal movie background.
Some of the movies that have chosen Mykonos as their setting and received dithyrambic comments from critics at the time (for the island’s stunning background) are:
- The Greek Tycoon (1978) – An American drama that speaks of Aristotle Onassis, a Greek shipping tycoon (hence, the name of the film) and one of the most famous men in the world. His relationship with Jacqueline Kennedy – the assassinated John f. Kennedy’s, 35th President of the US, widow – made headlines back then, so it is no wonder their courtship became a movie. The storyline focuses on the life of the world-famous businessman who managed to leave his poor upbringing behind and become a powerful businessman aspiring to be a President of the Hellenic Republic. Starring legendary Antony Quinn, who was also the leading actor of Zorba the Greek movie, and Jacqueline Bissett embodying Onassis’ wife.
- Shirley Valentine (1989) – A British romantic/comedy/drama film that has stolen the hearts of many holiday romance lovers all over the world. The story follows Shirley Valentine (played by Pauline Collins, who also played on Broadway and London’s West End stage productions), a middle-aged woman that undergoes a journey of self-discovery after her bestie won a vacation for two to Greece. Her life changes when her best friend leaves her for a guy she met at Mykonos, and she meets Tom Conti, a Greek tavern owner. An award-winning movie that was primarily shot at Agios Ioannis beach.
- The Bourne Identity (2002) – An American-German action/spy/thriller production starring Matt Damon who meets Marie (the leading woman of the plot) at Mykonos – a scooter rental business owner. Based on the novels of Robert Ludlum, the movie became a sequel featuring many different corners of the island.
- Kamaki (2005) – A comedy directed and written by the O’Connor bros and the first feature movie from them. It narrates the story of an English man (Sam), who travels to Mykonos to find a summer job. Things don’t go well, and he finds himself with a lot of troubles. Not a very well-known movie but definitely worth watching for the sake of its background setting!
- The Kings of Mykonos (2010) – An Australian motion picture comedy full of Greek dance performances that speaks the story of a man (Steve) who becomes a wealthy man overnight after an uncle he had never met leaves him the sole beneficiary of a stretch of Mykonos beach. When he tries to claim that beachfront property, though, he runs into all kinds of trouble!
There is also one more film being shot at Mykonos at the time of this writing. However, further details have not been revealed yet. All we know is that some 250 supporting actors and several big Hollywood names in ancient Greek costumes are seen gathering around the island. And, no. It is not another Greek-theme party of the many that take place here. We have checked!