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Black Orpheus 1959 / Orfeo Negro film review

Black Orpheus 1959 film review

Black Orpheus (1959, France)

Original title
Orfeo Negro
Running time
107 minutes
French, Italian, Portuguese
Our rating
★★★★★★★★☆☆ 8 / 10

The story of the film is based on the legend of the return of deceased Orpheus, Eurydice, from the underworld. But the film’s location made Rio de Janeiro during the carnival. Orpheus is a motor tram and musician. As the carnival girl approaches the countryside, Eurydice enters the tram that Orpheus leads. The girl is convinced that she is chasing her Death and therefore escaped from her village to Rio. Orpheus is betrothed, and his fiancée Mira insists that he buy her a ring. Orpheus has no money to buy a ring, has not yet received a payout, and does not feel like he is determined to marry Mira. Upon returning home, she discovers that Eurydice has lived with her cousin, right next to his own home. It turns out that someone is actually chasing her, Death appears as Unknown with a mortal mask. Both main characters have dark skin (hence the title), but everything here refers literally to the Greek legend: the names of people, the name of the house, the name of the dog, etc. And everything happens during the Rio carnival.

The very exotic location of the legend was completely successful. Exotic surroundings increase the attractiveness of the film, and also it’s likely. In the film we hear Brazilian carnival music all the time and the rhythm of the film is perfectly connected to it. The music ceases only when Eurydice arrives at the place where he is to die. In 1960, he won an Academy Award for Best Non-English Language Film. Completely deserved, this film has a unique atmosphere, Brazilian folklore, great music, and love story.

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Creators of Black Orpheus

Marcel Camus films

Marcel Camus


Marcel Camus films

Marcel Camus


Jacques Viot films

Jacques Viot


Cast of Black Orpheus

Breno Mello films

Breno Mello

as Orpheus

Marpessa Dawn films

Marpessa Dawn

as Eurydice

Marcel Camus films

Marcel Camus

as Ernesto

Fausto Guerzoni films

Fausto Guerzoni

as Fausto

Lourdes de Oliveira films

Lourdes de Oliveira

as Mira

Lea Garcia films

Lea Garcia

as Serafina

Ademar Da Silva films

Ademar Da Silva

as Death

Black Orpheus 1959 add comment
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