Black Orpheus (1959)


Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB

Original title:  Orfeu Negro

Brazil/France/Italy, 1959.  Dispat Films, Gemma, Tupan Filmes.  Screenplay by Marcel Camus, , based on the play Orfeu do Carnaval by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by , .  Production Design by .  Film Editing by .  

Gorgeous, musical film version of the Orpheus myth set during the carnival in Rio De Janeiro.  The hero is now a guitar-playing streetcar worker who falls in love with Eurydice, a young girl who has come to Rio to visit her cousin and see the festival. No matter that he already has a possessive girlfriend named Mira (whose name in Greek means fate, incidentally, a role she eventually plays in the film’s climax) who isn’t about to give her man up so easily.

Marcel Camus directs at a brisk, entertaining pace, with a musical score co-written by Antonio Carlos Jobim that catapulted his work to international stardom.

The Criterion Collection:  #48

Academy Award:  Best Foreign Language Film

Cannes Film Festival Award:  Palme D’Or

Golden Globe Award Nomination:  Best Foreign Film


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