Thursday, 10 May 2018

1 9 5 9 - 'Pé na tabua' / 'Mulheres à vista' / 'Chofer de praça' / 'Orfeu Negro'

4 January 1959 - Cajado Filho's 'E o espetáculo continua!' starring Cyll Farney Eliana in its 2nd week.
18 January 1959 - Victor Lima's 'Pé na tábua' with Ankito & Grande Otelo plus Renata Fronzi, Nelly Martins, Bill Farr, Carlos Imperial. 

22nd January 1959 - First Zé Trindade movie for 1959: 'Mulheres à vista' with Grande Otelo, Consuelo Leandro, Carlos Imperial, Estelita Bell, Renato Restier, Aida Campos, Geraldo Meyer, Bill Farr (playing Carlos) etc.
15 March 1959 - in times of Spanish child-actors like Pablito Calvo (Marcelino pan y vino) and Joselito ('Saeta') breaking all box-office records, Brazilian cinema thought it might also strike gold with a child actor: Jose de Jesus directed by Alberto Pieralisi in 'Pega ladrão'. It probably didn't reach its intended goal because I've never heard of it... even though my favourite comedienne, Violeta Ferraz plays a featuring role in it.
15 March 1959 - directed by Rubem Biafora, 'Ravina' was supposed to be a 'serious' Brazilian movie with Elaine Page, the queen of Vera Cruz studios while it lasted (1950-1954); see Ruth de Souza, Helio Ansaldo and Celso Faria at supporting roles. Elza Laranjeira sings a tune. Avant-première at Cine Ipiranga on Tuesday, 17 March 1959 at 10:00 PM.
Eliana Lage & Pedro Paulo Hatheyer.
22nd March 1959 - OESP's cinema columnist writes his 2nd review about 'Ravina'. Unfortunately, he doesn't sign the article which was common in the 1950s. He regrets he had found too many faults in the film in his first review. In 'New considerations about Ravina' the columnist gets his knickers in a knot to explain the film actually had some flaws but it was 'good' overall. 

The fact of the matter was Brazil's lack of good film directors. Brazil's ruling class was to blame for its inability to understand what the country was really like. They would not admit that Brazil was a poor country with more than 60% of its population living below the poverty line. They would not admit almost 70% of the population was illiterate. They probably didn't even know that one of the reasons why Brazilian movies were so popular was that people didn't have to read subtitles to understand the plot like they had to do in American movies. How could one make 'good movies' in an environment like that? The 'market' just wasn't there. 'Good movies' for whom?

At the same time, cinema columnists who usually didn't care much about politics, hated Brazilian popular musical comedies because they 'pandered to the poor'. They ended up hating the Brazilian film industry as a whole. Any time they had a chance to see what they considered a 'good director' make a 'serious movie' they could not understand why the public kept away from it in droves. Those 'serious movies' were good for nothing. They did not please even the upper classes who were weaned on the American sub-culture.  

For those who lived that period may still remember how the phrase 'cinema nacional' was cause for sniggering and despising remarks from the 'inteligentsia'. They were actually wankers if you pardon my language. 'Wanking' was a national pass-time in the 1950s. Unfortunately, we still live the same situation in 2018. We have not advanced much during this long period. We're still a nation of wankers

21st March 1959 - In conformity with Brazil's Constitution each cinema house had a certain number of days in which it had to play a Brazilian-made film. To fulfill this obligation Metro Goldwyn Meyer had to allocate such days to the screening of films it did not produce and released. Here's 'Contrabando' (Smuggling) with Wilson Grey, Carlos Imperial and Waldir Maia (the only names I could recognize).
2nd April 1959 - Preview of 'Chão bruto' at Cine Marrocos. Film made by the  Sao Paulo crowd that intended to be more 'serious' in their approach to cinema than the Rio de Janeiro crowd. The article says nothing about its plot line. One doesn't know what it is about. 
5 April 1959 - directed by actor Dionizio Azevedo, 'Chão bruto' is about the lack of ownership of land and the brutality of a political system that allows violence to be employed by those who have more guns than others. It seems like an old problem that has never been solved. 

19 April 1959 - Paulista director Walter Hugo Khouri's 3rd film 'Fronteiras do inferno' with top actors Helio Souto, Aurora Duarte, Luigi Picchi, Bola Brah & Ruth de Souza. 
20 April 1959 -  actor-comedian Amacio Mazzaropi's 9th film 'Chofer de praça' is more of the same he had been presenting the public since 1952. Mazzaropi always portrayed a 'hick' that apparently is a simpleton to be deceived by everyone but that is not the case in the end. Celso Faria plays the handsome young man and Lana Bittencourt sings 'Se alguém telefonar', a young Agnaldo Rayol sings 'Onde estará meu amor' and Mazza himself croons two songs. 
Celso Farias plays a cool dude. 
Mazzaropi's inadequacies in social intercourse is always stressed in all his films. He knew the masses had the same problem. Mazzaropi would be a Brazilian counterpart of Ma & Pa Kettle in the US iconography. 

26 April 1959 Ronaldo Lupo in 'Hoje o galo sou eu' another comedy where he plays the lead with Renata Fronzi, Liana Duval, Pituca e Hamilton Ferreira as the bad-man, naturally. Ronaldo Lupo (born Ronaldo Lupovich Lito, on 18 December 1913, of Jewish heritage) was on the stage of Cine Ipiranga at 4:00 PM, 8:00 PM& 10:00 PM sessions - every day for a week - where he would talk to the public and sing a few songs accompanied by Society's Quintet (literally)... a magnificent combo according to the ad.
Pituca, a short man dances with Renata Fronzi, a big woman in all senses...

26 April 1959 - Alipio Ramos' 'Cala a boca, Etelvina' is a vehicle for Dercy Gonçalves's histrionics. According to 'Correio da Manhã' review this film is mainly a send-up of those infamous 'vestidos saco' the sack fashion that was all the rage in female dresses some time in 1959. The columnist uses the 'sack' fashion to draw all kinds of witticisms against the comedy. 
17 May 1959 - as of 1st July 1959, Fada Santoro & Cyl Farney in 'Pecado de Nina' with Renato Restier probably as the bad-man. 

7 June 1959 - Paulistania Film presents comedy 'Macumba na alta' with some of the best Teatro Brasileiro de Comedia (TBC) actors: Irina Grecco, Felipe Carone, Armando Bogus and Rita Cleos plus Fabio Cardoso, Jayme Costa and Marina Freire.
Irina Grecco & Maria Dilnah.
Irina Grecco & Fabio Cardoso. 
Irina Grecco, .... & Felipe Carone in 'Macumba na alta'.
28 June 1959 - Victor Lima's 'Espirito de porco' Zé Trindade's 2nd film for 1959. Trindade is paired with Renata Fronzi for the 1st time. Luely Figueiró acts and sings too.
Luely Figueiró, Zé Trindade & Aida Campos.

2nd August 1959 - Even though 'Orfeu Negro' was a French-Italian production set up in Rio de Janeiro's slums it is technically considered a co-production so it finds its way in these pages. Why the film was re-titled 'Orfeu do Carnaval' is a mystery to me for the official title is 'Orfeu Negro'.

wikipedia says: 'Black Orpheus' (Brazilian Portuguese: 'Orfeu Negro' is a 1959 romantic tragedy filme made in Brazil by French director Marcel Camus and starring Marpessa Dawn and Breno Mello. It is based on the play 'Orfeu da Conceição' by Vinicius de Moraes, which in itself an adaptation of the Greek legend o 'Orpheus and Eurydice', set in the modern context of a favela (slum) in Rio de Janeiro during Carnaval. The film was an international co-production among companies in Brazil, France and Italy. 

The film is particularly noted for its sound-track by two Brazilian composers: Antonio Carlos Jobim, whose song 'A felicidade' opens the filme; and Luiz Bonfá, whose 'Manhã de Carnaval' and 'Samba de Orfeu' have become classics of bossa-nova. The songs by the character Orfeu were dubbed by singer Agostinho dos Santos

Lengthy passages of the film were shot in the Morro da Babilônia, a favera in the Leme neighbourhood of Rio de Janeiro. 
Congratulations to this OESP reviewe of 'Orfeu Negro'. I am so used to reading blandness and skulduggery I was surprisingly pleased with this particular article. The only time the writer backslides to the 'business as usual' of his class is when he calls 'pitoresco' (picturesque) the lives of people who live the slums of Rio. How can one be so detached and cold from the reality of other people's? Apart from this the writer was a 'good boy' and saw through the whole thing. 
9 August 1959 - By mid-1959, Dercy Gonçalves was a top star: 'Minervina vem aí!' sees her as a maid from hell; it first opened in São Paulo and on 31st August 1959 it opened in Rio de Janeiro. 

16 August 1959 - since 'O cangaceiro' (The bandit) won critical acclaim at Cannes Festival in 1953, Brazilians producers could not think of anything else but make more films about the same subject matter. Brazilian movie companies produced 2 types of movies: musical comedies (which were really popular at the box-office) or this type of 'Brazilian westerns' which pleased very few people. 'Crepusculo de ódios' starred Italian actor Luigi Picchi & Aurora Duarte, who especialized in this sort of 'Brazilian westerns'. See Carlos Zara as the 'other guy'. 
Carlos Zara.

23rd August 1959 - Eurides Ramos' 'Pecado de Nina' which catapulted Fada Santoro to stardom... 

 30 August 1959 - 2nd week for 'Pecado de Nina'... and premiere for 'Minervina vem aí!'... 

13 September 1959 - While 'Orfeu Negro' was still playing in the cinemas, 'A felicidade' with Agostinho dos Santos was the best selling single while 'A felicidade' with Maysa was # 5. 
13 September 1959 - Watson Macedo's 'Aguenta o rojão' was a Zé Trindade vehicle who plays a character called Mané Fogueteiro

Uma das coisas mais difíceis que há é falar seriamente de alguém como Zé Trindade. Dificil, porque Zé Trindade é a graça que desponta em cada gesto, em cada frase; é mais ainda, é a verdadeira anedota que o povo sai contando em todos os cantos do Brasil. Zé Trindade é do Povo, porque é o cômico que diz as graças do Povo. Zé Trindade em cena é o próprio povo brasileiro; sabido como o diabo. Onde se mete consegue o sucesso e não é de hoje que faz sucesso no disco. É um dos maiores faturamentos da Columbia e notem que só agora saiu êste 'Aguenta o rojão', que é melhor do que tudo que ele já gravou. 

Eu dou um doce, se você não gostar da 'Quadrilha para inglês ver', 'Quadrilha do escuro', 'Casamento bossa nova'... de todas as músicas, porque em cada uma delas háo que interesse, o que faça rir, o que convide a dançar. Baiano burro nasce morto. Zé Trindade está vivo e, 'muito vivo' que é, vai ganhando sucesso, vai faturando sucesso em tudo que faz. A sorte é nossa, que temos Zé Trindade não somente no radio ou no cinema, no teatro ou na TV. Zé Trindade está no disco. Podemos botá-lo debaixo do braço e sair com ele para onde quisermos. Zé Trindade está conosco. Vamos ouvi-lo. Mas ouçamos sabendo que ele sabe que canta pior do que ninguém. E já isso é engraçado. Divirtam-se. Francisco Anísio.
Annabella & Reginaldo Farias.
bad man Aurelio Teixeira is overweight and looking like Sergeant Garcia in  Disney's 'Zorro'.

30 August 1959 - Condor Filmes presents 'Aí vem os cadetes' shot at Academia Militar das Agulhas Negras-RJ in technicolor; with Adriano Reys, Lilian Fernandes & Agildo Ribeiro.
Adriano Reys 
Lilian Fernandes in Copacabana.
3rd October 1959 - more than a year after Brazil won FIFA's World Cup in Stockholm, Sweden, Oswaldo Sampaio's 'O preço da vitória' (Victory's price) deals with the dramas involved in winning such a sports competition. Maria Dilnah who was topped the female billing in 1957's 'Absolutamente certo' heads the cast. See radio MC Randal Juliano too.

25 October 1959 -

1st November 1959 - Based on Abilio Pereira de Almeida's successful play 'Moral em concordata' starring Odete Lara, Maria Della Costa and Jardel Filho. 

1st November 1959 - comedienne Alda Garrido's greatest hit: 'Dona Xepa' with Odedte Lara, Colé, Zezé Macedo, Herval Rossano, Nino Nello.

25 November 1959 - show-girl-and-comedienne Sonia Mamed stars in 'Aí vem a alegria' with Renato Restier, fellow show-girl Carmen Verônica and Francisco Negrão.

29 Novembro 1959 - Watson Macedo tries something different with 'Maria 38'; his niece Eliana Macedo still plays the main role but this time she's not such a goody-too-shoes and saccharine as usual. She plays a G-rated prostitute who's known by the calibre of the gun she carries in her purse. John Herbert plays a nice cop who's always trying to give good counsel. It doesn't ring true and Watson doesn't even try it... they're all white kids trying to pass as Black people from the slums. Maybe that's why it is called a 'comedy'. A farce would be a better description.
'Correio da Manhã' columnist Valério Andrade acts like those evangelists trying to save people's souls from eternal damnation. They keep harping on the same key ad aeternum to no avail...

19 December 1959 - circus clowns Carequinha & Fred do it again with 'O palhaço o que é?' (What is a clown?) with Sonia Mamed, Hamilton Ferreira, Nancy Wanderley plus Yara Cort3es, Francisco Anisio,

20 December 1959 - That was a big year for Zé Trindade with his 3rd major release: 'Massagista de madame' with Renata Fronzi as the major socialite, Nancy Wanderley as Trindade's bride, Costinha as the sleuth who'll make waves, Aida Campos, Iris Bruzzi and a whole school of capoeira practicers.

26 December 1959 - Carlos Manga's 'O homem do Sputnik' is considered one of the best musical-comedy ever produced in Brazil. That goes to show that as late as December 1959, the genre was still as strong as ever. And it also proves that the Brazilian musical-comedy popularity went into a deep decline almost overnight. It all happened all of a sudden when 1961 turned into 1962.
27 December 1959 - After show-girl-comedienne Sonia Mamed had her film released on 25 November 1959, here comes another show-girl - Virginia Lane with her own film: 'Anjo do lôdo'. Neither one of the other has made a mark but their simple existence is something interesting.
27 December 1959 - Talking about show-girls here Sonia Mamede comes again in 'O cupim' with Oscarito.

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