American intellectual Homer Thrace (Dassin) visits Greece hoping to understand why this ancient island nation, which birthed Plato and Aristotle, has lost its former glory. After meeting Ilia (Mercouri), a headstrong, free-spirited prostitute in the port city of Piraeus, Homer is hopelessly captivated and endeavors to school her in the cultural heritage of her homeland.
Ousted from Hollywood during the blacklist years, noir director Jules Dassin ("Rififi") fashioned this buoyant, flavorful romantic comedy with real-life wife Mercouri, and scored a direct hit. As Homer, Dassin is an awkwardly earnest presence, desperately longing to cultivate the confident, effervescent Ilia, who is beloved by the town's sailors and unable to see the ugliness in Greek tragedies like Medea. Mercouri, in her star-making role, really turns on the charm, making "Never on Sunday" a vivacious, bona fide Grecian delight.