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Rio de Janeiro 'City of Splendour' (1936)

This Traveltalks short showcases the sights and sounds of Rio de Janeiro, emphasizing its Portuguese influence.


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Uncredited cast:
James A. FitzPatrick ...
Narrator (voice) (uncredited)


James FitzPatrick narrates this visit to a city on an inlet discovered by European explorers 400 years ago. We see Sugarloaf mountain from various views and travel through this city of more than 1 million people. We see its mosaic sidewalks, its many parks, and its royal palms (planted originally by Portugal's king while in exile in 1808). We visit swimming clubs and the avenida along the waterfront. The city is a haven for racial tolerance: skin color does not define social class. It ends with a visit to tiny shops where young women make butterfly art: combining glass, paint, and the wings of Brazil's 700+ species of butterflies. Many finished pieces are images of Sugarloaf. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Documentary | Short






Release Date:

12 September 1936 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


(TCM print)

Sound Mix:

(RCA High Fidelity Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

19 April 2009 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Rio de Janeiro: City of Splendour (1936)

** (out of 4)

A rather bland entry in MGM's TravelTalks series with James A. FitzPatrick. This time out we visit Rio de Janeiro where we see some famous palm trees, Sugarloaf Mountains and various other landmarks and how they've changed over the years. The beauty of the Technicolor is the main reason to watch this film as the colors leap off the screen but outside of that this is a pretty bland entry. The narration is also rather bland but the biggest problem is that nothing we see is all that special. Most of these shorts at least have a few moments that really make your eyes drop but I never got that feeling here. That's not to say there's nothing good in Rio but this short just doesn't capture it.

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