Brazil


1h 31m 1944

Film Details

Release Date
Nov 30, 1944
Premiere Information
St. Louis opening: 14 Nov 1944; New York opening: 16 Nov 1944
Production Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 31m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
10 reels

Synopsis

American writer Nicky Henderson travels to Rio de Janeiro to spend two weeks researching a new book on Brazil. When the local reporters discover that Nicky is the author of the unflattering Why Marry a Latin? , they treat her coldly, but she is happily greeted by Rod Walker, a diplomat and former boyfriend. Rod, who still loves Nicky, takes her to a nightclub and introduces her to famed dancers Veloz and Yolanda, but Nicky is more interested in exploring the "real" Brazil. The next day, Nicky goes to a travel agency owned by Everett St. John Everett and there meets Miguel Soares. Miguel, who is the renowned composer of the hit song "Brazil," pretends to be a tour guide when he mistakenly assumes that Nicky is a writer of travel books. After he makes a date with Nicky for sightseeing that afternoon, Miguel rhapsodizes about her beauty to Everett, who chastises him for taking time away from composing. Everett has cause to worry, as the rights to Miguel's next song, which is to have its premiere in two weeks at Carnival, have been sold to American music publisher Edward Graham. Graham has been nagging Everett about Miguel's tardiness, but Miguel assures his friend that he will be able to work once he is inspired by Nicky. Miguel takes Nicky to see many interesting sights, and although she longs to continue her tour, Rod insists that she accompany him to the lush ranch of his friend, Señor Machada. Miguel is saddened that Nicky is leaving Rio, but his attitude changes when Everett informs him that she is not a simple travel writer. Upon learning that Nicky is the author of Why Marry a Latin? , Miguel vows to make her fall in love with him and then break her heart. Hoping to get Miguel out of town, as the impatient Graham is due to arrive soon, Everett suggests that Miguel also go to Machada's ranch. Once he is at the ranch, Miguel convinces Machada, an old family friend, to pretend that Miguel speaks only Portuguese. When the astonished Nicky assumes that the non-comprehending Miguel is her tour guide, Machada explains that this Miguel, the famous composer, is the twin brother of her tour guide, and that all of the children in their family are named Miguel. Nicky quickly falls in love with the romantic, singing Miguel, but when they return to Rio, Everett again scolds Miguel for spending time pursuing Nicky instead of writing his song. Miguel, whose current melody comes from a tune that Nicky frequently hums, must again leave town when Graham arrives and demands the song. Miguel arranges for his uncle, Renato Da Silva, to take Nicky and him to his coffee plantation, but Nicky inadvertently complicates his plans by inviting Graham. Accompanied by Everett, Miguel tries to stall Graham while continuing to romance Nicky. Unknown to Everett, Miguel sincerely loves Nicky and is thrilled when she accepts his proposal of marriage. One morning, Everett, afraid that Nicky is going to be hurt by Miguel's duplicity, tells her that there is only Miguel the composer, who is toying with her affections out of revenge for her book. Heartbroken, Nicky returns to Rio, and the lonely Miguel finishes his song. Stranded in Rio due to wartime travel restrictions, Nicky attends the Carnival with Rod, and despite her dismay at hearing Miguel's song played everywhere, she enjoys a performance by visiting American movie star Roy Rogers. Miguel takes little pleasure in having won the grand prize for songwriting, but his spirits soar once more when Everett finds Nicky and brings her to the nightclub where Miguel is singing. The happy couple then reconcile as everyone sings Miguel's composition.

Film Details

Release Date
Nov 30, 1944
Premiere Information
St. Louis opening: 14 Nov 1944; New York opening: 16 Nov 1944
Production Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 31m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
10 reels

Award Nominations

Best Music Original Dramatic Score

1945

Best Song

1944

Best Sound

1944

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Composer Ary Barroso's surname is misspelled "Borroso" in the onscreen credits. According to Daily Variety and Hollywood Reporter news items, after writer Richard English spent several months in South America doing research for a Collier's magazine piece, Republic hired him to use his experiences to write an original screen story around Barroso and S. K. Russell's hit song, "Brazil." The Daily Variety item, dated April 9, 1943, stated that English intended to rewrite his screenplay after it was completed and publish it in a "national magazine...coincidental with release of picture," but it has not been determined if English carried out the plan. According to April 13, 1943 Hollywood Reporter and June 22, 1944 Hollywood Citizen-News items, the studio worked closely with various U.S. and Brazilian officials to ensure the film's accuracy in its depiction of Brazil and its peoples. Officials consulted included Dr. Raoul Bopp of the Brazilian consulate, Francis Alstock and Jackson Leighter, the liaison official of the Motion Picture Society for the Americas.
       According to Hollywood Reporter news items, Albert S. Rogell was originally scheduled to produce and direct the picture, but was suspended by the studio because of disagreements over this and future assignments. Second unit director Howard Lydecker led the camera crew that obtained a variety of background footage in Rio de Janeiro and other areas of Brazil. Included in the film are scenes of coffee plantations, Carnival and tourist sights, all of which were commented upon favorably in reviews. Dance director Billy Daniels, who also appears as a dancer in the film, was borrowed from Paramount for the production. The film received Academy Award nominations in the Music (Scoring of a Musical Picture); Music (Song-"Rio de Janeiro"); and Sound Recording categories.
       According to a November 22, 1944 Hollywood Reporter news item, Republic intended to produce a sequel to Brazil, to be entitled Rio de Janiero, which was to be directed and produced by Brazil director Joseph Santley. The news item stated that "as much of the cast as can be assembled from Brazil will be used in the new picture, with Tito Guizar almost a certainty for the starring role." Although Guizar did appear in the 1945 Republic production Mexicana, that picture was directed by Alfred Santell and did not feature any of the stars of Brazil, nor were the plots of the two films related.