Former Russian film star Nina (Melina Mercouri) abandons her career to care for her young son, Romain. On her own, the devoted mother forfeits her own happiness to ensure the boy grows to be a self-sufficient man. When the French army drafts Romain during World War II, he loses all contact with Nina, but her love never fades. Performances by Mercouri and Assi Dayan (Romain, age 25) garnered director Jules Dassin’s film two Golden Globe nods.
Jules Dassin was an Academy Award-nominated director, screenwriter and actor best known for his films Rififi (1955), Never on Sunday (1960), and Topkapi (1964).
He was born Julius Samuel Dassin on 18 December 1911, in Middletown, Connecticut, USA. He was one of eight children of Russian-Jewish immigrants, Samuel Dassin and Berthe Vogel. Young Dassin grew up in Harlem, and he attended Morris High School in the Bronx, graduating in 1929. After taking acting classes in Europe, he returned to New York. In 1934, he became and actor with the ARTEF Players (Arbeter Teater Farband), and was a member of the troupe until 1939. Dassin played character roles in Yiddish, mainly in the plays by Sholom Aleichem. But upon discovering “that an actor I was not,” he switched to directing and writing. At that time, he joined the Communist Party of the United States, but left the party in 1939, he said, disillusioned after the Soviet Union signed a pact with Adolf Hitler… read more