6.0/10
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16 user 7 critic

Lisbon (1956)

Approved | | Adventure, Crime, Drama | 17 August 1956 (USA)
High stakes battle of wits and morals between gentlemen crooks, set in beautiful Portugal. A smuggler is hired to kidnap the rich husband of an American woman who's just arrived in Lisbon, Portugal.

Director:

Ray Milland (as R. Milland)

Writers:

John Tucker Battle (screenplay), Martin Rackin (story)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Ray Milland ... Capt. Robert John Evans
Maureen O'Hara ... Sylvia Merrill
Claude Rains ... Aristides Mavros
Yvonne Furneaux ... Maria Maddalena Masanet
Francis Lederer ... Seraphim
Percy Marmont ... Lloyd Merrill
Jay Novello ... Insp. Joao Casimiro Fonseca
Edward Chapman ... Edgar Selwyn
Harold Jamieson Harold Jamieson ... Philip Norworth
Humberto Madeira Humberto Madeira ... Tio Rabio
Robie Lester Robie Lester ... Singer (as Roby Charmandy)
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Storyline

In 1950s Portugal, American expatriate Captain Robert John Evans does a bit of smuggling using his fast boat. He mostly smuggles consumer goods and contraband such as cigarettes and booze. Lisbon's police inspector, Joao Casimiro Fonseca, is aware of this and often times tries to catch Evans red-handed but to no avail. At the same time, American Sylvia Merrill, wife of industrialist Lloyd Merrill, arrives in Lisbon to arrange the secret release from a Communist prison from behind the Iron Curtain of her husband. She first complains to the State Department about her husband's imprisonment but U.S. officials seem unable to make any progress to obtain his release. Sylvia Merrill contacts big shot criminal, jewel thief and smuggler Aristides Mavros, a Greek living in Lisbon, to negotiate a bribe for Communist officials and have her hubby released from their prisons. Mavros is a man with many useful connections but he's also a scoundrel not to be trusted by anyone. He figures to woo the ... Written by nufs68

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Taglines:

CITY OF INTRIGUE, MURDER AND EXCITEMENT! (original poster-all caps)


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Nelson Riddle's instrumental recording of "Lisbon Antigua" (an ancient Portuguese melody) was already on the Hit Charts before this film was made. Republic publicity sent out a story that "Director/Producer Ray Milland took a recording of the music with him and had a Portuguese orchestra adapt it for a sequence in the picture". See more »

Goofs

When dining with "Sylvia Merrill" in Alfama, she inquires about the song "Old Lisbon" (yes, "Ancient Lisbon") being played in the restaurant. "Captain Robert John Evans " tells her "It's sort of a Home, Sweet Home, for Brazilians". Only a fiendish evil crook could display such ignorance about the beautiful music composed in 1937 by Raúl Portela with lyrics by José Galhardo and Amadeu do Vale. A Portuguese classic that Amália dos Santos made famous. Nelson Riddle took it to America and made it the soundtrack for "Lisbon". See more »

Quotes

Maria Maddalena Masanet: [reading aloud an excerpt from Lord Byron's "Don Juan", Canto I, Stanza 83, to Aristides Mavros] But who, alas! can love, and then be wise? / Not that remorse did not oppose temptation; / A little still she strove, and much repented / And whispering 'I will ne'er consent' - consented.
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Soundtracks

Lisboa Antiga
(uncredited)
Music by Augusto Santos and José Galhardo (uncredited)
Lyrics by 'Raul Portela' (uncredited)
Sung by Anita Guerreiro (uncredited)
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User Reviews

 
Thin on story, but with great players who make it work
5 October 2016 | by AlsExGalSee all my reviews

This obscure adventure romance from Republic may be thin on story but is, at least, distinguished by its lovely Technicolor photography shot on location in the title city and the pedigree of its Hollywood veteran cast, Ray Milland (who also directed), Maureen O'Hara and Claude Rains. The film is further blessed with a light, engaging Nelson Riddle song, "Lisbon Antigua," which plays throughout the proceedings. The Riddle song was a radio hit at the time, and is still pretty easily recognized.

The story involves Milland as a smooth operating smuggler (his operations are always kept vague) hired by suave well bred scoundrel Rains to pick up a "package" from an American just arrived in the city (O'Hara) which will involve her kidnapped wealthy husband. The story is neither here nor there, really. The combination of visual pleasures, Riddle's musical score and a capable cast of veterans may be enough for some viewers to want to spend an hour and a half of their time with this fairly inconsequential enterprise.

Rains is always fun to watch with his velvet voice, as a suave sophisticate who is also moral corruption incarnate. He seems to be almost playing his part in his sleep this go round but a Claude Rains asleep is still a great deal more entertaining than many other actors awake.

At one point in the film Rains delicately makes reference to O'Hara of how lovely she looks and how even more lovely she would look should something unforeseen "happen" to her millionaire husband, with he, Rains, receiving a small portion of her inherited good fortune. O'Hara is shocked and outraged by the suggestion, calling him a monster. Rains, realizing his faux pas, quickly regroups, saying that "in my own clumsy fashion" he was merely attempting to pay her a small compliment for not yielding to an idea to which a less scrupulous woman might succumb.

As Rains hints at the implications of a murder he could arrange, a small smile constantly dances across his lips. His expression could almost be that of a wine connoisseur discussing a rare vintage very much to his liking. It's a small, almost throwaway moment in the film, but it's a pleasure to watch the effortless aplomb that Rains brings to the scene.


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Details

Country:

USA | Portugal

Language:

English | Portuguese | French

Release Date:

17 August 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Lisbon See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Republic Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (Trucolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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