Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB
Original title: L’Homme De Rio
Italy/France, 1964. Les Films Ariane, Les Productions Artistes Associés, Dear Film Produzione. Screenplay by Jean-Paul Rappeneau, Ariane Mnouchkine, Daniel Boulanger, Philippe de Broca, dialogue by Daniel Boulanger. Cinematography by Edmond Sechan. Produced by Georges Dancigers, Alexandre Mnouchkine. Music by Georges Delerue. Production Design by Mauro Monteiro. Film Editing by Francoise Javet
Jean-Paul Belmondo is wonderful as a happy-go-lucky soldier who arrives at his girlfriend’s house during a 7-day leave and just manages to witness her being kidnapped. He follows her abductors to Brazil and rescues her, but before going back home they need to solve the mystery of stolen artifacts that were the reason she was taken in the first place. Lots of twists and turns in the delightful, Oscar-nominated screenplay, plus an adorable performance by Françoise Dorléac (the elder sister of Catherine Deneuve) as the kidnap victim who can’t follow the mystery through without occasionally stopping to dance with the locals or enjoy the beautiful scenery. The pace never stops for a minute, its zaniness only adds to the pleasure.
Academy Award Nomination: Best Original Story and Screenplay