It Happened in Athens

It Happened in Athens is a 1962 American-Greek romance comedy-drama film released by 20th Century-Fox. It is directed by Andrew Marton and features blonde bombshell Jayne Mansfield, newcomer Trax Colton, Maria Xénia, Nico Minardos, Roger Browne in his debut, and Olympic champion Bob Mathias.


In 1896 it is announced the Olympic Games will be revived and played in Athens. Young shepherd, Spiridon Loues (Colton, in a fictionalized but sometimes accurate portrayal of water-carrier Spyridon Louis), decides to enter the 26-mile marathon. Once in Athens he meets Christina Gratsos (Kalogeropoulou) a young woman from his hometown who is now the personal maid to Greece's most famous actress, Eleni Costa (Mansfield). Eleni's lover, Lt. Alexi Vinardos (Minardos), is a powerful man in Greece and a respected runner. Though Spiridon arrived after the entry date, his persistence and athletic prowess so impress the Olympic officials and Coach Graham (Mathias), that he is admitted to compete in the race.