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  • Criterion Collection: Black Orpheus [Blu-ray] [1905] [US Import]
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Criterion Collection: Black Orpheus [Blu-ray] [1905] [US Import]

23 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Language: Portuguese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: NR (Not Rated) (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003N2CVOK
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 70,824 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By C. O. DeRiemer HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on 11 July 2007
Format: DVD
"Morning, such a pretty morning.
A new song is born,
Singing of your eyes, your laughter, your hands.
There will be a day when you come
From the strings of my guitar
That only your love sought.
A voice comes and talks about kissing,
Kisses lost in your lips.
Sing, my heart, happiness is back
In the dawn of this love."

And so Orpheus (Breno Mello), a happy-go-lucky trolley conductor in Rio de Janeiro, and Eurydice (Marpessa Dawn), a young girl from the country who has come to stay with her cousin in a Rio slum high on a mountain overlooking the city, fall in love. Please note that elements of the plot are discussed. Orpheus is handsome, confident and loves women as much as they love him. When he discovers Eurydice, however, she becomes all he has ever wanted. But Eurydice, caught up in her joy with Orpheus, still is frightened of a man masked as Death who she is convinced intends to kill her. But carnival is starting. There are costumes to buy and masks to wear, dancing to practice, life to be enjoyed. Through it all, the hot, sensual bossa nova beat of Antonio Carlos Jobin's and Luis Bonfa's music permeates everything.

The movie is so lyrical, so innocent and so joyous as it starts that it's easy to hope that in this version of the Greek myth there will be a different ending. There is not. But the intensity of carnival carries us along. The happiness and spirit of the friends and neighbors of Orpheus captures us just as much as the music. The almost child-like passion of Orpheus and Eurydice is so open and true, we realize that it can't last.

One of the most lyrical passages is early in the movie when Orpheus begins to play on his guitar a song he has written. Two scruffy little boys are with him.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By B. Alcat on 22 Mar. 2006
Format: DVD
This film, directed by Marcel Camus and based on a play written by Brazilian writer Vinicius de Moraes, updates the tragic Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, setting that hauntingly beautiful and tragic story in Brazil against the vibrant backdrop provided by the Carnival of Rio de Janeiro.
In “Black Orpheus”, Orpheus (Bruno Mello) is a trolley car conductor, a samba dancer and outstanding musician. He is also a womanizer who is being dragged into marriage by his latest girlfriend, Mira (Lourdes de Oliveira). Something unexpected happens, though: Orpheus meets a newcomer to Rio, Eurydice (Marpessa Dawn), and falls in love with her. Eurydice arrived to Rio seeking refuge in the house of her cousin from a stalker that wants to kill her. However, when she meets Orpheus, Eurydice also falls in love with him and his songs.
The story of the two lovers develops during the Carnival, and despite the problems provided by Mira, the discarded girlfriend, and the stalker that frights Eurydice and represents Death. The musical score, composed by Antonio Carlos Jobim and Luis Bonfa, provides an excellent support to the story and adds just the right finishing touch. It is something that along a great plot, a wonderful cast, and a very good director, manages to make this film something that you will enjoy, remember, and probably recommend to others.
In think that this is one of the best films I have seen, and I regret the fact that is not more well-known. Of course, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Belen Alcat
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By "claireodeon" on 2 Mar. 2002
Format: VHS Tape
this is the most magical brazillian musical rendering of the myth based in carnival in brazil. magical, fabulous evocative music, georgous to look at, this is what can happen to a classsical myth in the hands of an artist.
The music was haunting and the film works on many symbolic (in the jungain sense) levels, with dream like states, and as a film about love and death it should be.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 28 Dec. 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A must for serious fans of Brazilian cinema. This superlative film is filled with classical references, beautiful music, joy, passion, pain and loss. The honest yet sympathetic depiction of working-class 1950s Rio de Janeiro is thoughtful and moving. Fabulous photography, too. First rate.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By schumann_bg TOP 50 REVIEWER on 21 July 2012
Format: DVD
Black Orpheus won the Palme d'Or at Cannes, but in many ways it seems a bit dated, particularly in a certain naivety of tone which is very different from the style of films today. Having said this, the leads are very winning, Rio has an air of enchantment, and the Carnival is shown as quite ambiguous because of the story that is grafted onto it: it is both exciting, with its pulsating rhythms coming to dominate more and more, and threatening, in that you can disappear in a crowd or be pursued, and no one will notice. The first dance sequence between Orpheus and Eurydice gets a real sense of elation, and is perhaps the high point of the film. This and other sequences really need the big screen to make their full effect, and as such represent cinema in its purest state. The gold disk face carried down the hill and then disappearing against the fantastic landscape, for instance, needs the sense of infinite blue space and haze, just as the street scenes need to teem with movement and colour in a way that overwhelms the viewer. The two actors have remarkable grace and I love Orpheus's gold lattice top and micro-skirt (for want of a better word). Eurydice is more simply dressed but looks dazzling and has a face that could indeed launch a thousand ships ... I think I would prefer a version that somehow got more psychology into it, but maybe this would run counter to the myth ... I would like to see it remade by someone like Andre Techine, perhaps: with all the light and colour still but more subtlety in the characterisation.
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