IMDb > Black Orpheus (1959)
Orfeu Negro
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Black Orpheus (1959) More at IMDbPro »Orfeu Negro (original title)

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Black Orpheus -- Winner of both the Academy Award for best foreign-language film and the Cannes Film Festival’s Palme d’Or, Marcel Camus’ Black Orpheus brings the ancient Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice to the twentieth-century madness of Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro.

Overview

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7.5/10   5,850 votes »
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Up 55% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
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View company contact information for Black Orpheus on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
21 December 1959 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
The film that introduced Bossa Nova to the world...
Plot:
A retelling of the Orpheus and Eurydice myth, set during the time of the Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Won Oscar. Another 3 wins & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Rio de Janeiro, where myths become real See more (58 total) »

Cast

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Directed by
Marcel Camus 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Marcel Camus  writer
Vinicius de Moraes  play "Orfeu do Carnaval"
Jacques Viot  writer

Produced by
Sacha Gordine .... producer
 
Original Music by
Luiz Bonfá 
Antonio Carlos Jobim 
 
Cinematography by
Jean Bourgoin 
 
Film Editing by
Andrée Feix 
 
Production Design by
Pierre Guffroy 
 
Production Management
Roberto Bakker .... assistant production manager
Jacques Gibault .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Bartolomeu Andrade .... assistant director
Robert Mazoyer .... assistant director
 
Sound Department
Amaury Leenhardt .... sound
Raymond Pierre Lemoigne .... supervising sound editor
 
Editorial Department
Geneviève Winding .... assistant editor
 
Other crew
Silvio Autuori .... production assistant
Roger Blanché .... production assistant
Francisco A. Vilela .... production assistant
 

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Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Orfeu Negro" - Brazil (original title)
See more »
Runtime:
100 min | 107 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Eastmancolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints) | Mono (35 mm prints)
Certification:
Australia:PG | Finland:K-16 | France:U | Netherlands:14 (orginal rating) | Sweden:15 | Sweden:11 (re-rating) (1971) | UK:A (original rating) | UK:PG (video rating) (1994) | USA:PG | West Germany:16 (f)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The film's two stars, Breno Mello and Marpessa Dawn died within two months of each other almost half a century after the film was made.See more »
Quotes:
[first lines]
Benedito:[to Serafina] Serafina, look how beautiful!
See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in A Huey P. Newton Story (2001) (TV)See more »
Soundtrack:
Samba de OrfeoSee more »

FAQ

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20 out of 20 people found the following review useful.
Rio de Janeiro, where myths become real, 30 May 2006
Author: marissas75 from United States

If it does nothing else, seeing "Black Orpheus" will make you want to pack up immediately and go to Rio de Janeiro. The movie convinces you that the city's sparkling harbor and dramatic green hills must be one of the most beautiful landscapes on earth, especially when accompanied by a soundtrack of energetic samba and smooth bossa nova music. The cliffside shantytowns teem with vitality, and are never too poor to rig up an elaborately costumed samba show for Carnival. Even the fact that the movie retells a tragic Greek myth barely detracts from the overall effect. It makes Rio seem even more magical, a place where archetypal stories of love and death still hold their power.

In this version, Orfeu (Breno Mello) is a streetcar conductor who moonlights as a musician, and Eurydice (Marpessa Dawn) is an innocent country girl. The movie starts as a simple love triangle (Orfeu has an inconvenient fiancée) but becomes increasingly surreal as it progresses. Death, represented by a man in a skeleton suit, literally pursues Eurydice while going unnoticed by everyone else, who may assume he is just dressed up for Carnival. (His motivations are never explained, but perhaps he is jealous of Eurydice's youth and beauty.) The movie finds clever ways to depict the events of the original legend, and adds a wonderful sense of atmosphere, as Orfeu goes through the "underworld" in the middle of the night.

Lourdes de Oliveira and Léa Garcia give vivid supporting performances, as, respectively, Orfeu's jealous fiancée and Eurydice's exuberant cousin. I also liked the two scrappy, unsentimental street kids who idolize Orfeu.

Overall, "Black Orpheus" is a successful attempt to place a Greek myth in a modern context, retaining the story's original tragedy while adding new, contrasting flavors and rhythms. I would especially recommend it to fans of Baz Luhrmann's "Moulin Rouge," another color- and-music-saturated film with a love story inspired by the Orpheus legend.

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Black Orpheus (1959)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
This is the most beautiful movie I've ever seen!!! QandU
!!!!!!!!ARCADE FIRE!!!!!!!!! winbutlerisplayingatmaho
what male singer was the actual singing voice for breno mello? bimbim14
Marpessa Dawn MaryCherry
I don't get it redcrow84
Film Originally in Color?? yb2517
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