As a thinly disguised biopic of Aristotle Onassis and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis – accent on thinly disguised – The Greek Tycoon has the conviction of its subject. It’s a trashy, opulent, vulgar, racy $6.5 million picture. You’ve watched the headlines, now you can read the movie.
Mort Fine’s script begins with Anthony Quinn as Theo Tomasis returning from a business trip. He greets his wife, wades through the guests at his island manor searching for his son and quickly spots Jackie Bisset with her husband Senator James Cassidy.
The story moves quickly onto Quinn’s yacht. The Cassidys are persuaded to join the affair and while the senator is immersed in conversation with a former British prime minister, Quinn lays the seeds for his own affair.
Quinn is fabulous as Tomasis, a charming, wealthy, conniving and influential tycoon. Raf Vallone as Quinn’s brother, James Franciscus as President Cassidy, Edward Albert as Quinn’s son and the always reliable Charles Durning as Quinn’s lawyer and later attorney general, all turn in good performances. As Liz Cassidy, Bisset capitalizes on her looks, but her accent seems off for the part and much of the acting is just posing.