Ill met by moonlight

‘Ill met’ is the opposite of ‘well met’, an archaic greeting meaning ‘It is fortunate that we meet’, or simply ‘nice to see you’. This means that “Ill met by moonlight” could mean:  ‘It’s bad luck that we have met when the moon was shining’.








This is the explanation I found for this strange title that I never understood. It is the title of a film (1957) and Mikis Theodorakis wrote the music for it.

Opening theme (old recording!):

There are several moments in the film with nice soundtracks as well, but mostly these are too short, and/or mixed with voices, text.

There is a soundtrack, mixed with voices and other sounds, that I filtered anyway, because the song is an old Cretan song: “Πότε θα κάμει ξαστεριά“, or: “When will the skies get clear”, the best known as a song by the beloved Cretan Nikos Xylouris:

To be compared with this sound track from the film, and how absolutely great it should be if there would be ever a concert with this song, and a big choir and an orchestra, together with Cretan musicians, playing the Cretan lyre, the Cretan laouto, and of course Cretan dancers, traditional dancers!

The song following now seems to be a Cretan folk song as well, but I cannot find it in a new version on YouTube. Maybe later. So, here it is, a song, sung when there is a kind of a party in the film:

And the last track to be added here is the end of the film:



A true story from Crete in WWII

The film is based on historical facts, written down in the book Ill Met by Moonlight: The Abduction of General Kreipe by W. Stanley Moss, in 1950. The film shows also a Crete of a long time ago: 1957, that is 60 years ago! The traditional music of the Cretans, and their natural hospitality, are also very nice to watch, and experience. Mikis Theodorakis lived on Crete, and I can imagine that it was a very nice challenge for him to mix the so well known traditional Cretan sounds with classical music orchestration.

The video here contains the full film and a part of the same film, again. The end of the film is at 1:40:01 not at 2:27:03





During World War II, the Greek Mediterranean island of Crete was occupied by the Nazis. British officers Major Patrick Leigh Fermor DSO (Dirk Bogarde) and Captain Bill Stanley Moss MC (David Oxley) of the Special Operations Executive (SOE) land on the island. With the help of the local Cretan resistance in April 1944, they kidnap General Kreipe (Marius Goring), the commander of the island. They take Kreipe across rough country to a secluded cove on the far side of the island, where they are picked up and taken to Cairo, the Middle East headquarters of British forces.




The book

“Ill Met by Moonlight: The Abduction of General Kreipe” is a non-fiction partly-autobiographical book, written by W. Stanley Moss, a British soldier, writer and traveller. It describes an operation in Crete during World War II to capture German general Heinrich Kreipe. The 2014 edition includes an Introduction by one of Moss’s children and an afterword by Patrick Leigh Fermor.










Patrick Leigh Fermor

Sir Patrick Michael Leigh Fermor, (11 February 1915 – 10 June 2011) was a British author, scholar and soldier who played a prominent role behind the lines in the Cretan resistance during the Second World War.



Additional information



Download the film from YouTube before it is removed there. This happens most of the times. So: take historical Crete in your personal maps.


About "The Music of Mikis Theodorakis"

The blog "The Music of Mikis Theodorakis" started in 2010. The not-for-profit activities of the initiator were and are to collect, create and publish information about the MUSIC of the Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis via YouTube, Google+, Twitter, and this blog. Sources for this information are utterly strictly related with Mikis Theodorakis' Music only. The icon is a bouzouki. It is Greece's national symbol for freedom. During the Regime of the Colonels (Military Junta, 1967-1974) the bouzouki was forbidden. Mikis Theodorakis used this authentic Greek instrument in almost all his compositions, and Greeks were listening to Theodorakis's music in the underground scene, during the Military Junta time.
This entry was posted in Books, Europe, Film music, Films, Greece, Mikis Theodorakis, Music and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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