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Saturday, June 3, 2017

Onassis: The Richest Man In The World (1988)

The life of shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis (Elias Koteas as the younger, Raul Julia as the older) from his early beginnings in Smyrna under Turkish rule to his rise as one of the world's wealthiest men. Based on the non fiction book, ARI: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF ARISTOTLE ONASSIS by Peter Evans and directed by Waris Hussein. As with most biopics, when you try to cram an entire life (in this case 75 years) into a two hour time span, what you get are highlights of a life rather than a detailed account. It would have been far better if the film had concentrated on just one period in Onassis' life or made it into a mini series which would have given it more time. After the first half hour which concentrates on the younger Onassis, the rest of the movie concentrates on the older Onassis and the women in his life: his first wife (Beatie Edney), the opera legend Maria Callas (Jane Seymour) and Jackie Kennedy (Francesca Annis). It is what it is and while there are considerable moments of interest (the Kennedy/Onassis marriage), it never rises to anything more than a standard biopic. Seymour is particularly good (she won an Emmy for her performance). With Anthony Quinn as Onassis' father, Anthony Zerbe, John Kapelos and Dimitra Arliss.

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