Never on Sunday is a 1960 Greek black-and-white romantic comedy film. The film tells the story of Ilya, a self-employed, free-spirited prostitute who lives in the port of Piraeus in Greece, and Homer, an American tourist from Middletown, Connecticut - a classical scholar enamored with all things Greek. Homer feels Ilya's life style typifies the degradation of Greek classical culture and attempts to steer her onto the path of morality, while at the same time Ilya loosens the uptight Homer up. It constitutes a variation of the Pygmalion plus "hooker with a heart of gold" story.
The film stars Melina Mercouri and Jules Dassin, and it gently submerges the viewer into Greek culture, including dance, music, and language (through the use of subtitles). The signature song and the bouzouki theme of the movie became hits of the 1960s and brought the composer, Manos Hadjidakis, an Academy Award.
It won the Academy Award for Best Song (Manos Hadjidakis for "Never on Sunday"). It was nominated for the Academy Awards for, respectively, Best Actress in a Leading Role (Melina Mercouri), Best Costume Design, Black-and-White, Best Director (Jules Dassin) and Best Writing, Story and Screenplay as Written Directly for the Screen (Dassin). Mercouri won the award for Best Actress at the 1960 Cannes Film Festival.