The actor of Greek cinema who made a career as a frame
His name may not say anything to the public, but his face everyone agrees has seen somewhere
These are the times when you see someone, you are sure that you have seen him somewhere, since his face is so familiar to you, but you do not remember where. This is somewhat the case with him Velissariou Kontogianni, the actor who made his own -unorthodox, successful career- in Greek cinema.
And she is the man who is the link between her great cinematic successes Finos Film. Really, have you ever wondered what the movie "Treasure of the Blessed One" has in common with that "There is also philotimos"? The answer is in a! Frame!
The "Charalambos" that was to shine as a black and white photo
It was in October 1959, when the movie "The Treasure of the Blessed One" was released in cinemas, starring the duo Georgia Vassiliadou and Vassilis Avlonitis. It was a box office success, grossing 54.899 tickets, and to this day is one of the public's favorites.
And we may not have seen him "alive" in the film, but the supposed treasure of the late Charalambos and the times that Vassiliadou mentioned him in the film, were enough to include him in the protagonists. Of course, it was also the frame of the deceased with the chewy mustache, in front of which there were several scenes. So, "Charalambos" automatically became a familiar figure in the consciousness of the spectators.
The career as a… frame
The "Treasure of the Blessed" stood… gourmand for Velissarios Kontogiannis. And his participation as a… frame, paved the way for others of a similar role. Thus, the most observant will remember him in other productions of Finos. After all, the roles of the staff were different each time.
In the movie, "The Lady of the Lord" is Uncle Kostis of Eva (Gely Mavropoulou), who introduces him to her husband Mina (Dinos Iliopoulos) as the savior she inherited, thus wanting to cover her financial scams. In fact, here too Kontogiannis with the characteristic chewy mustache has his own plans, while he is still blessed.
The role of the deceased in the frame continues in other Finos Film films. Thus, in 1965 we see him again hung on the wall, in the movie "There is also philotimos" as the father of Andreas Mavroyalouros (Lambros Konstantaras), who has passed away.
Of course, there were two films in which he does not have a specific role, but his now famous frame serves as a set decor. Thus, we see him in the movie "Marina, Clearchos and the short" hanging on the wall of the store maintained by Nikos Rizos, but also in the movie "The enemy of the people" with Nikos Kourkoulos in the mayor's office.
The "secret" of Finos
Velissarios Kontogiannis appeared in a total of 7 films of the film company as a frame. And it was not long before the mystery of who the man with the chewy mustache really was was created. Even if he is a real person, many wondered.
And the mystery was solved by Finos herself, who explained that it was the actor Velissarios Kontogiannis, who was used by the company as a decor. In fact, it was said that his portrait was - for an unknown reason - in the warehouse of Finos and that it was the idea of the set designer of the production company, Marcus Zervas, to use it as a frame in his films. Of course, the only thing that changed each time was the frame.
Of course, the actor had also played "live" roles, such as in the movie "The Atsidas", where he played the father of Martha Karagiannis. In total, Velissarios Kontogiannis appeared either as a role or as a… frame in seven Finos Film films. And there were many who called him "the man of Finn".