Black Orpheus (1959)
"Orfeu Negro" (original title)

PG  |   |  Drama, Music, Romance  |  21 December 1959 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 6,794 users   Metascore: 81/100
Reviews: 63 user | 54 critic | 8 from

A retelling of the Orpheus and Eurydice myth, set during the time of the Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro.


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Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »



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Credited cast:
Marcel Camus ...
Fausto Guerzoni ...
Lourdes de Oliveira ...
Ademar Da Silva ...
Alexandro Constantino ...
Waldemar De Souza ...
Jorge Dos Santos ...
Aurino Cassiano ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Maria Alice
Ana Amélia
Elizeth Cardoso
Arlete Costa


In the heady atmosphere of Rio's carnival, two people meet and fall in love. Eurydice, a country girl, has run away from home to avoid a man who arrived at her her looking for her. She is convinced that he was going to kill her. She arrives in Rio to stay with her cousin Serafina. Orfeo works as a tram conductor and is engaged to Mira - as far as Mira is concerned anyways. As Eurydice and Orpheus get to know one another they fall deeply in love. Mira is mad with jealousy and when Eurydice disappears, Orfeo sets out to find her. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The film that introduced Bossa Nova to the world...


Drama | Music | Romance


PG | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

21 December 1959 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Black Orpheus  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Barack Obama notes in his memoir Dreams from My Father (1995) that it was his mother's favourite film. Obama, however, didn't share his mother's preferences upon first watching the film during his first years at Columbia University: "I suddenly realized that the depiction of the childlike blacks I was now seeing on the screen, the reverse image of Conrad's dark savages, was what my mother had carried with her to Hawaii all those years before, a reflection of the simple fantasies that had been forbidden to a white, middle-class girl from Kansas, the promise of another life: warm, sensual, exotic, different." See more »


[first lines]
Benedito: [to Serafina] Serafina, look how beautiful!
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Referenced in Cinemania (2002) See more »


A Felicidate
Written by Antonio Carlos Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes
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User Reviews

Take me back to Rio de Janeiro
11 October 1999 | by (Chicago, IL USA) – See all my reviews

Truly a magical film! Black Orpheus (Orfeu Negro) transports you and makes you long for the Rio of the late 50s (slums and all). Marcel Camus has taken a classic tale of eternal love and transplanted it into "modern times" flawlessly. It has it all -- love, suspense, myth, music, dancing, tragedy -- set amidst the frenetic backdrop of the carnival. I'll always thank the friend who introduced me to this film.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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