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Black Orpheus

Black Orpheus

1959
Romance, Comedy
1h 40m
1960 Academy Award Winner and winner of the Palme d'Or at the 1959 Cannes Film Festival, Marcel Camus's Black Orpheus retells the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice against the madness of Carnival in Rio de Janeiro. With its magnificent color photography and lively soundtrack, this film brought the infectious bossa nova beat to the United States. (Criterion Collection)
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Your probable score
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Black Orpheus

1959
Romance, Comedy
1h 40m
Your probable score
Avg Percentile 58.97% from 496 total ratings

Ratings & Reviews

(496)
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Rated 31 Oct 2008
75
63rd
Some of the most beautiful cinematography and intense use of color in movies ever. Though the narrative drags at times, the beauty and honesty of some scenes can't fail to capture the esence of the original myth. A joy to watch.
Rated 24 Feb 2011
75
65th
It's 115 degrees outside with 100% humidity, let's dance.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
70
48th
Beautiful to watch, but overrated by any standard of storytelling.
Rated 03 May 2008
73
36th
A decent adaptation of a classic story, but despite the music and all the carnaval hoopla it never really captivated me.
Rated 12 Aug 2009
90
92nd
Superfunastic and musicalicious.
Rated 29 Aug 2007
65
47th
Hypnotic and worth watching, but has a cold center at the heart of all the hot emotions.
Rated 02 Mar 2008
60
36th
# 801
Rated 06 Mar 2008
70
66th
Good music.
Rated 07 Jun 2008
60
62nd
Score based on distant memory.
Rated 12 Jun 2008
0
1st
isso fede, isso fede, ISSO FEDE!!!!
Rated 19 Dec 2008
57
14th
863
Rated 10 Dec 2009
80
92nd
4/5
Rated 15 Jan 2010
55
10th
904
Rated 09 Apr 2010
50
33rd
I know perfectly well how acclaimed this movie is. I have just never been that impressed with it, not even the much-heralded soundtrack. Believe it or not, the Jim Henson "Storyteller" TV show did a better job with the Orpheus legend IMHO than this or Cocteau's film, and I went through a Greek mythology phase when I was a kid. So sue me :-)
Rated 02 Dec 2011
52
4th
#960
Rated 13 Dec 2012
67
28th
the kids! http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=jnz_c-eskoM#t=73s
Rated 05 Jan 2015
5
70th
very enjoyable. it's good that it didn't take itself too seriously, unlike cocteau's version, because the orpheus legend is very, very stupid. the constant rhythms helped a lot.
Rated 29 Feb 2016
13
69th
Star Rating: ★★★1/2
Rated 23 Dec 2016
5
22nd
Orpheus adapted to Brazil favelas during carnival. Dancin' niggas in the street, almost musical like. Extremely screechy to me. A strange form of the poverty porn subgenre.
Rated 09 Jun 2017
74
57th
Undoubtedly one of the most vivid films of all time thanks to its exuberant color and its fantastic soundtrack, BLACK ORPHEUS turns a well-known Greek myth into a sensory exaltation. The film's magnificence is tempered by the way it tends to ogle its characters and their culture as exotic fetish objects--there's a scene where a voluptuous bombshell literally sambas into and out of a courthouse--but it's still worth bearing to experience the movie's hedonistic rapture of the senses.
Rated 29 Mar 2018
70
41st
Fabulous music and a vibrant setting make this film go down easily. That said, I couldn't help but wonder if we weren't getting a rather sanitized version of life among the poor, one that focuses purely on celebration and washes right over the deprivation of that world. The classic story is thinly drawn here, and while the bit in the missing person's office is appropriately creepy/despairing, the rest of the film seems to skim the surface of its emotional territory in favor of a good time.
Rated 30 Jun 2018
60
49th
A bit overrated. So exotic and drunk in Brazilian music and colors it almost forgets to tell a decent story. Camus also can't quite direct his cast. Last 30 minutes are really powerful, though.
Rated 28 Jul 2018
73
70th
Lots of colors and carnival music. The story was mess. I've got the symbolism but it did not save much.
Rated 04 Mar 2019
60
24th
The ludicrous amount of padding and music really start to become grating after a while. And still, the movie feels rushed. It is fine, but nothing extraordinary.
Rated 18 Jun 2019
30
8th
Not the good kind of sleep inducing
Rated 25 Jun 2019
62
23rd
All the carnival, music and dance scene's sure do swing, making it a vibrant movie. But they serve very little function for the plot, thereby taking the pacing out of what is a very simple story. Beside while the movie have quasi-documentary/neorealist intentions by setting the story in a real setting, that setting is clearly shown from a Western romanticized view. Which takes away from the intention of showing the real Rio de Janeiro.
Rated 10 Feb 2020
80
68th
This retelling of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice set in Rio de Janeiro is one of the most joyously colourful and musical films I have ever seen. It's fair to say that at least somebody is dancing in about 95% of the film. The soundtrack is primarily bossa nova by Antonio Carlos Jobim and Luiz Bonfá ... music that was set to transform North American jazz after Charlie Byrd visited Brazil the year after this film was released.
Rated 04 Aug 2020
60
72nd
Saw this in class. The myth of Orpheus but from the perspective of the Favela. Not bad.
Rated 18 Oct 2020
75
83rd
The movie makes clever deviations to the Orpheus myth changing the context of various moments to fit the setting in cool ways; albeit, it lacks much of the gravitas and tragic hubris that elevated the original story. I'm also not really big on some of the weird metaphorical shit like how death was personified by a guy in a skeleton suit which takes off the edge of Eurydice's death in the original. Still, it stands on its own with beautiful, well-shot scenery and a lively cast of characters.
Rated 13 Jan 2021
8
89th
Carnaval! A visual and aural marvel with a near-perfectly executed sense of setting and a wonderfully layered use of diegetic sound. It's a retelling of Orpheus' retrieval of his wife Eurydice from the underworld, and to its credit, the film knows when to stick to the original myth and when to wander off. This film shines brighter in my estimation with every viewing.
Rated 25 Jan 2021
65
64th
This really is Carnival in film form; the music, dancing and costumes are fabulous. It looks and sounds superb, all except for the constant shouting (everyone seems unnecessarily hysterical, but then again Hermes does say that "no one can resist the madness!"). It seems likely that Jodorowsky saw this as a young man as the carnivalesque nature of his films (remembering that he is Chilean) is evident in Camus' film. Watching this made me long even more for Orson Welles incomplete "It's All True".
Rated 13 Jan 2024
85
71st
Every frame is bursting with color and life. One of the most visually beautiful films I've seen. Makes up for the meandering story and spandex man personifying death. Wonderfully charming side characters abound
Rated 19 Feb 2024
85
94th
Tropical modernism capped off by a wonderful conclusion.

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