Saturday, January 22, 2011

That Man From Rio

I was going to see Zazie Dans Le Metro, the fourth film in the Louis Malle collection, but it's quite different from the other films, more experimental with the actors acting in a non-realistic style and some images speeded up a la Benny Hill, and it finally got a bit tiresome, so I gave up after 20 minutes and rather put in L'Homme de Rio or That Man From Rio. In a previous post I mentioned Jean-Paul Belmondo and a barfight and this is the film I had in mind.

Belmondo is a soldier on leave who arrives in Paris just in time to see his girlfriend being kidnapped. He rushes after her and they both end up in Rio de Janeiro, searching for an Inca treasure. The girlfriend is played by Françoise Dorleac, the sister of Catherine Deneuve, who tragically died just a few years after this film. Also starring Jean Servais, directed by Philippe De Broca.

This is one of those films I saw on tv as a kid and still have some nostalgic feelings for. An interesting thing about it is the influence from Tintin. There are several visual cues taken directly from the Hergé albums. Dorleac is very cute and Belmondo creates his screen persona for a lot of his work in the 70s. The direction is not much to brag about. Visually the film actually is a bit ugly, filmed in a let's get it done already-style, never bothering with things like building tension. It's far from the mastery of someone like Hitchcock. Of course, when you're twelve you don't notice any of that, you just see the story. It's still a fun film, but it's possible that it's better to see it at that age than as an adult.


  1. I loved Zazie! It is a bit overly weird, but I thought it captured the frantic mood of the book rather well. Maybe I'm just a huge Raymond Queneau fan.

  2. Hmm... well, I might give it a second try. Haven't read any Queneau books besides Exercises de style, translated into Norwegian. He wrote that famous book without the letter E?

  3. Oh, you should! I think you'd like them, his works are tragicomic and very inventive. Pierrot Mon Ami is probably my favorite. One of my most beloved novels.
    In St.Glinglin the letter X is replaced with "egg" or "eks" until the last sentence (at least in English translation), not sure if it's the one.

  4. On peut parler un peu plus que d'influence... L'homme de Rio c'est clairement du Tintin.
    N'ayant pas réussi à obtenir le droit de transposer Tintin au cinéma, De Broca a quand même décidé de faire son film...

  5. S'il a fait Tintin pour vrai, il n'y aurait pas de Françoise Dorleac, comme il n'y a pas de femmes chez Hergé. Ca serait un peu dommage, quand même! Mais bon, on verra si Spielberg arrive à faire un film aussi bien.

  6. Ha bravo...

    Oh je ne me fait pas de souci, le film de Spielberg sera surement très bien (non je n'ironise pas !)