That Man From Rio


2h 1964
That Man From Rio

Brief Synopsis

A pilot gets mixed up in an international search for stolen art.

Film Details

Also Known As
L'homme de Rio, L'uomo di Rio
Genre
Comedy
Action
Adventure
Crime
Foreign
Release Date
Jan 1964
Premiere Information
New York opening: 8 Jun 1964
Production Company
Ariane; Dear Film; Les Productions Artistes Associés
Distribution Company
Lopert Pictures
Country
France
Location
Brasilia, Brazil; Paris, France; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Technical Specs

Duration
2h
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Eastmancolor)

Synopsis

As airman Adrien Dufourquet embarks on an 8-day leave in Paris to see his fiancée, Agnès, two South American Indians steal an Amazon statuette from a museum and force Professor Catalan, the curator, into their car. Catalan was Agnès's father's companion on an Amazon expedition during which her father died. Catalan believes that the statuette is one of three which hold the secret to an Amazon treasure. Adrien arrives in time to see the Indians abducting Agnès, the only one who knows the location of the other statuettes, and he pursues them to the airport where he steals a ticket and boards the same plane. Adrien tells the pilot that his fiancée has been abducted, but Agnès has been drugged and does not recognize him. The pilot plans to have Adrien arrested when they reach Rio de Janeiro, but Adrien eludes the police upon arrival. With the help of Sir Winston, a Brazilian bootblack, Adrien rescues Agnès. They retrieve the first statuette, but the Indians steal it back again. In Sir Winston's car, Agnès and Adrien drive to Brasilia to meet Señor De Castro, a wealthy industrialist who possesses the third statuette. On the way, they come across the Indians' car with Catalan slumped inside, and after picking him up, they drive on to Brasilia. At a party in their honor, De Castro takes Catalan to his strong room to assure him of the statuette's safety, and Catalan, who planned the museum theft, murders him and steals the statuette. By the time Adrien discovers the body, Catalan and the Indians have abducted Agnès again and escaped in a seaplane. Adrien steals a plane and follows. In a floating jungle cafe run by Lola, the woman who financed Catalan, Adrien learns that Catalan murdered Agnès's father and that Agnès is being held in a boat. Rushing to the boat, Adrien hangs onto the side as it heads upstream and finally docks. While Catalan goes to the underground location of the treasure, Adrien kills all of Catalan's accomplices and rescues Agnès. Catalan finds the treasure, but an explosion set off by a nearby demolition crew causes him to be buried with it. Adrien and Agnès flee the jungle and arrive in Paris in time for Adrien to catch his train back to camp.

Film Details

Also Known As
L'homme de Rio, L'uomo di Rio
Genre
Comedy
Action
Adventure
Crime
Foreign
Release Date
Jan 1964
Premiere Information
New York opening: 8 Jun 1964
Production Company
Ariane; Dear Film; Les Productions Artistes Associés
Distribution Company
Lopert Pictures
Country
France
Location
Brasilia, Brazil; Paris, France; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Technical Specs

Duration
2h
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Eastmancolor)

Award Nominations

Best Writing, Screenplay

1965
Philippe De Broca

Articles

That Man From Rio


The James Bond film craze of the early sixties inspired an endless stream of pale imitations and parodies but occasionally a gem could be found amid the rubbish heap. Case in point, Philippe de Broca's That Man from Rio (1964), a tongue-in-cheek adventure tale that spoofed 007-like heroics while paying homage to everything from matinee serials like The Perils of Pauline to movie icons like Tarzan and Harold Lloyd.

In the title role is Jean-Paul Belmondo as Adrien, a French Air Force pilot who has just arrived in Paris for an eight-day furlough, intending to spend it with his fiancee Agnes (Francoise Dorleac, sister of Catherine Deneuve). Within minutes of their reunion, however, Agnes is kidnapped and drugged by thugs and taken to Brazil to locate where her late father, an archaeologist, had hidden one of three priceless statuettes. Adrien follows in hot pursuit, discovering along the way the culprit behind the abduction and the importance of the three Amazon effigies; they hold the key to a secret Maltec treasure.

Belmondo is perfectly cast as an average Joe who is suddenly thrust into extraordinary circumstances not unlike the protagonists in Alfred Hitchcock films (such as The 39 Steps, 1935) who are challenged physically and mentally. Belmondo is certainly up to the task here, whether it's parachuting into the jungle, avoiding the snapping jaws of a crocodile or outwitting a diabolical rival. As outlandish as some of the action stunts are in That Man from Rio, Belmondo remains a vulnerable but believable hero; his goofball charm and spontaneous risk-taking make him a much more human character than the super agent stereotypes that usually populate these genre films. Of course, Belmondo makes it all look easy and natural which is one of his great strengths. What other male actor of the sixties could move so effortlessly back and forth between commercial crowd-pleasers and the art cinema? From the harsh neorealism of Vittorio De Sica's Two Women (1960) to the swashbuckling giddiness of De Broca's action-comedy Cartouche (1962) to the intellectual cynicism of Jean-Luc Godard's Pierrot le Fou (1965), Belmondo remains one of the more intriguing international stars, not only for his underrated performances but his choice of films. Unfortunately, this sort of adventurous casting among popular leading men is rare today. Imagine Brad Pitt in a film by Claire Denis (Beau Travail, 1999) or Will Smith in a movie by Abbas Kiarostami (A Taste of Cherry, 1997). It's hard to picture in today's box office-driven culture.

When That Man from Rio was released, it proved to be a huge international success for Philippe de Broca who had already established his reputation in the emerging French 'New Wave' with two well-regarded romantic comedies, Les Jeux de L'amour (1960) and L'Amant de cinq jours (1961). Typical of the positive reviews is this excerpt from Bosley Crowther's column in the New York Times: "Call it a comedy thriller or a tongue-in-cheek travesty on all the archeological mystery adventure movies and all the "chase" films that have ever been made. Virtually every complication, every crisis involving imminent peril, that has ever been pulled in the movies, especially the old silent ones, is pulled in this. And they are pulled in such rapid continuity and so expansively played, with such elan and against such brilliant backgrounds, that they take your breath away."

Indeed, the on-location filming in Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia and other exotic locales is stunningly lensed by Edmond Sechan with such memorable moments as Francoise Dorleac and little Ubiracy De Oliveira (as Sir Winston, a resourceful shoeshine hustler) performing a hillside samba in Rio's shantytown. And of course there are amazing stunts ranging from a slide down a tree trunk to a barroom brawl to a wild rapids sequence to an apocalyptic finish (an earthquake) which pre-figures the villains' demise in the climax to Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981). The sensual score, mixing bossa nova with African rhythms, is by Georges Delerue and one recurring musical motif is a barely disguised rip-off of "Samba de Orpheus" from the Oscar®-winning Best Foreign Film of 1959, Black Orpheus. The script by Jean-Paul Rappeneau, Ariane Mnouchkine, Daniel Boulanger and Philippe de Broca received an Oscar® nomination for Best Screenplay (it lost to Father Goose). One jarring note is the final fadeout where our hero and heroine are rescued by workers who are clearing a road through the jungle (with the use of dynamite). Seen today, Belmondo's triumphant exit is ironic since his rescuers are clearly responsible for the decimation of the Amazon rainforests - an ecological disaster of global proportions.

While That Man from Rio clearly established De Broca as a major international director, it was his 1966 film, King of Hearts, that earned true cult status in the U.S., playing at one repertory theatre in Boston for years. The story of some mental asylum inmates who take over an evacuated village during World War I, it starred Alan Bates as an English soldier who finds himself being drawn into their strange, magical world until reality intrudes. De Broca hasn't had a comparable success outside France since King of Hearts but his 1997 swashbuckler, Le Bossu (aka On Guard) was a welcome return to the high spirits of Cartouche and That Man from Rio.

Producer: Georges Dancigers, Alexandre Mnouchkine
Director: Philippe de Broca
Screenplay: Philippe de Broca, Daniel Boulanger, Ariane Mnouchkine, Jean-Paul Rappeneau
Cinematography: Edmond Sechan
Film Editing: Francoise Javet
Art Direction: Mauro Monteiro
Music: Georges Delerue
Cast: Jean-Paul Belmondo (Adrien Dufourquet), Françoise Dorleac (Agnes), Jean Servais (Prof. Catalan), Simone Renant (Lola), Milton Ribeiro (Tupac), Adolfo Celi (Senor De Castro).
C-113m.

by Jeff Stafford
That Man From Rio

That Man From Rio

The James Bond film craze of the early sixties inspired an endless stream of pale imitations and parodies but occasionally a gem could be found amid the rubbish heap. Case in point, Philippe de Broca's That Man from Rio (1964), a tongue-in-cheek adventure tale that spoofed 007-like heroics while paying homage to everything from matinee serials like The Perils of Pauline to movie icons like Tarzan and Harold Lloyd. In the title role is Jean-Paul Belmondo as Adrien, a French Air Force pilot who has just arrived in Paris for an eight-day furlough, intending to spend it with his fiancee Agnes (Francoise Dorleac, sister of Catherine Deneuve). Within minutes of their reunion, however, Agnes is kidnapped and drugged by thugs and taken to Brazil to locate where her late father, an archaeologist, had hidden one of three priceless statuettes. Adrien follows in hot pursuit, discovering along the way the culprit behind the abduction and the importance of the three Amazon effigies; they hold the key to a secret Maltec treasure. Belmondo is perfectly cast as an average Joe who is suddenly thrust into extraordinary circumstances not unlike the protagonists in Alfred Hitchcock films (such as The 39 Steps, 1935) who are challenged physically and mentally. Belmondo is certainly up to the task here, whether it's parachuting into the jungle, avoiding the snapping jaws of a crocodile or outwitting a diabolical rival. As outlandish as some of the action stunts are in That Man from Rio, Belmondo remains a vulnerable but believable hero; his goofball charm and spontaneous risk-taking make him a much more human character than the super agent stereotypes that usually populate these genre films. Of course, Belmondo makes it all look easy and natural which is one of his great strengths. What other male actor of the sixties could move so effortlessly back and forth between commercial crowd-pleasers and the art cinema? From the harsh neorealism of Vittorio De Sica's Two Women (1960) to the swashbuckling giddiness of De Broca's action-comedy Cartouche (1962) to the intellectual cynicism of Jean-Luc Godard's Pierrot le Fou (1965), Belmondo remains one of the more intriguing international stars, not only for his underrated performances but his choice of films. Unfortunately, this sort of adventurous casting among popular leading men is rare today. Imagine Brad Pitt in a film by Claire Denis (Beau Travail, 1999) or Will Smith in a movie by Abbas Kiarostami (A Taste of Cherry, 1997). It's hard to picture in today's box office-driven culture. When That Man from Rio was released, it proved to be a huge international success for Philippe de Broca who had already established his reputation in the emerging French 'New Wave' with two well-regarded romantic comedies, Les Jeux de L'amour (1960) and L'Amant de cinq jours (1961). Typical of the positive reviews is this excerpt from Bosley Crowther's column in the New York Times: "Call it a comedy thriller or a tongue-in-cheek travesty on all the archeological mystery adventure movies and all the "chase" films that have ever been made. Virtually every complication, every crisis involving imminent peril, that has ever been pulled in the movies, especially the old silent ones, is pulled in this. And they are pulled in such rapid continuity and so expansively played, with such elan and against such brilliant backgrounds, that they take your breath away." Indeed, the on-location filming in Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia and other exotic locales is stunningly lensed by Edmond Sechan with such memorable moments as Francoise Dorleac and little Ubiracy De Oliveira (as Sir Winston, a resourceful shoeshine hustler) performing a hillside samba in Rio's shantytown. And of course there are amazing stunts ranging from a slide down a tree trunk to a barroom brawl to a wild rapids sequence to an apocalyptic finish (an earthquake) which pre-figures the villains' demise in the climax to Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981). The sensual score, mixing bossa nova with African rhythms, is by Georges Delerue and one recurring musical motif is a barely disguised rip-off of "Samba de Orpheus" from the Oscar®-winning Best Foreign Film of 1959, Black Orpheus. The script by Jean-Paul Rappeneau, Ariane Mnouchkine, Daniel Boulanger and Philippe de Broca received an Oscar® nomination for Best Screenplay (it lost to Father Goose). One jarring note is the final fadeout where our hero and heroine are rescued by workers who are clearing a road through the jungle (with the use of dynamite). Seen today, Belmondo's triumphant exit is ironic since his rescuers are clearly responsible for the decimation of the Amazon rainforests - an ecological disaster of global proportions. While That Man from Rio clearly established De Broca as a major international director, it was his 1966 film, King of Hearts, that earned true cult status in the U.S., playing at one repertory theatre in Boston for years. The story of some mental asylum inmates who take over an evacuated village during World War I, it starred Alan Bates as an English soldier who finds himself being drawn into their strange, magical world until reality intrudes. De Broca hasn't had a comparable success outside France since King of Hearts but his 1997 swashbuckler, Le Bossu (aka On Guard) was a welcome return to the high spirits of Cartouche and That Man from Rio. Producer: Georges Dancigers, Alexandre Mnouchkine Director: Philippe de Broca Screenplay: Philippe de Broca, Daniel Boulanger, Ariane Mnouchkine, Jean-Paul Rappeneau Cinematography: Edmond Sechan Film Editing: Francoise Javet Art Direction: Mauro Monteiro Music: Georges Delerue Cast: Jean-Paul Belmondo (Adrien Dufourquet), Françoise Dorleac (Agnes), Jean Servais (Prof. Catalan), Simone Renant (Lola), Milton Ribeiro (Tupac), Adolfo Celi (Senor De Castro). C-113m. by Jeff Stafford

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Filmed on location in Paris, Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia, and elsewhere in Brazil. Opened in Paris in February 1964 as L'homme de Rio; running time: 120 min; opened in Rome in 1964 as L'uomo di Rio.

Miscellaneous Notes

Voted Best Foreign Film of the Year by the 1964 New York Film Critics Association.

Voted One of the Year's Ten Best Films by the 1964 New York Times Film Critics.

Released in United States Summer June 8, 1964

Released in United States Summer June 8, 1964