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The Brazilian singer Laura Monteiro is murdered in her dressing-room by her jealous lover João Fernandes de Oliveira that discovered that she was cheating him with Assis and she intends to escape from him traveling to Buenos Aires with Assis. Meanwhile, Belén Moreira, who lives in Favela do Salgueiro and is a dead ringer of Laura, goes to Copacabana with her boyfriend Paulo. Two gangsters of a gang that smuggles precious stones sewn in Carnival costumes see Belén and they force the President of the Salgueiro Samba School to invite Belén to perform Chica da Silva in the Carnival parade. Her costume is prepared with real precious stones to be smuggled to Europe.Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Colorful story of love and tragedy plenty of songs with a gorgeous singer and dancer , Sara Montiel .
Singer and dancer Laura Monteiro (Sara Montiel) is killed by her old protector João Fernandes de Oliveira (Fosco Giachetti), who has found out her love affair with Assis (Carlos Alberto) . Up in the hills , Favela-girl Belén (also Montiel) is the look-alike who takes her place , unaware she is being used by a band of smugglers . Later on , some mobsters force the President of the Salgueiro Samba School to invite Belén to play Chica da Silva in the Carnival .
Musical drama full of songs and attractive scenarios , being paced in a long flashback reminiscing about her glorious spectacles when she was received like a great samba dancer , as well as her lovers , turbulent past and distresses . The film describes the social habits in Rio De Janeiro , the outskirts of the city, stands the favela Salgueiro, a neighborhood formed by hundreds of miserable huts where the poorest of the poor live and toil. Showing a lively community , being quite active preparing for the upcoming carnival in which an ensemble of singers, dancers, musicians, etc. Along with a suspenseful intrigue about a criminal gang who smuggles precious stones sewn in Carnival costumes . It achieved a big hit , thanks to its several songs , played by Sara Montiel . The film had problems with censorship due to some brief erotic elements , as when the original script was submitted to the censors, it suffered strong cuts . It contains a shimmering and shining cinemtography by Gábor Pogány . And an evocative and catching musical score by Gregorio Garcia Segura .
Sara Montiel is frankly well as one very highly sensual Kistch singer and dancer , making lavish utilization of her considerable physical assets , attractive countenance , charms and whatever acting ability was necessary . At the beginning , she won a beauty and talent contest held by Cifesa, the most influential Spanish film studio of that era . In the next four years she appeared in 14 films for Cifesa , including her first international success Locura De Amor (1948), which led to a long term-contract in Mexico. She quickly established herself as one of the most popular film actors of the decade. They starred 14 films between 1950 and 1954. Hollywood came calling and she was formally introduced to American moviegoers in Veracruz (1954), playing Gary Cooper's love interest. Later she filmed she worked at Warner Bros in Serenade (1956) with Mario Lanza, directed by Anthony Mann, who became her first husband. After starring in Samuel Fuller's Yuma (1957) with Rod Steiger, Sarita shot El Ultimo Cuplé (1957) ("The Last Song") in Spain, a musical production that turned out to be the biggest box-office success in Spain's film history. It played for over one year in the same theaters in which it opened. A similar reaction followed in Western Europe and Latin America. Sarita Montiel had become the most popular actress-singer of 1957 and a national treasure for Spain.The unprecedented success of "El Último Cuple" threw a wrench into her Hollywood career, as she was offered a multimillion-dollar contract to star in four films in Europe . Sara made her María Luján from El Ultimo Cuple , the most enticing , heartless and hot-blooded screen heroine of the Spanish cinema . Her next vehicle, La Violetera (1958) ("The Violet Peddler"), confirmed Sara's popularity and broke the box-office records set by the previous movie. The theme song from "La Violetera" became Montiel's signature song as well as ¨El Relicario¨ from ¨El Ultimo Cuple¨.
The motion picture was lavishly produced by Suevia Films/Cesareo Gonzalez that along with Cifesa were the most known production companies during Francoist period , that often financed these false but breathtaking historical spectacles . This movie was professionally realized by Rafael Gil , shooting a hastily assembled attractive picture . Director Gil took advantage of the marvelous exteriors from Andalucia . Being filmed in usual style of the forties and in stylistic scholarship , without leaving a trace the historical issues , in terms of dramatic and narrative excitement . Rafael was one of the best filmmakers from Spanish cinema , directing several classic movies , such as : ¨Don Quijote De La Mancha¨ , ¨El Clavo¨ , ¨La Fe¨ , ¨La Señora De Fatima¨, ¨La Reina Santa¨ , ¨La Guerra De Dios¨ , ¨El Beso De Judas¨ , and several others.
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