l'homme de rio (Philippe de Broca). 114 minutes. Subtitled. March 26 at 1 pm at Cinematheque. For venues and times, see Indie & Rep Film, page 101. Rating: NNN Rating: NNN
Françoise Dorléac can be considered France's answer to James Dean: an actor of huge gifts and considerable charisma who died at an early age. (Coincidentally, they both died in car accidents when only 24 years old.)
Dorléac was Catherine Deneuve's older sister, and the two starred together in several films, including Jacques Demy's musical bonbon Les Demoiselles De Rochefort, which caps Cinematheque 's four-film mini-retrospective of the actor's work this week.
Included in the series are films by François Truffaut (La Peau Douce) and Roman Polanski (Cul-De-Sac), but it was Phillipe de Broca 's L'Homme De Rio that provided Dorléac with her breakthrough role in 1964.
It's a madcap comedy-adventure with a plot as silly and entertaining as something from a Tintin comic book. Dorléac plays an archaeologist's daughter who gets kidnapped, drugged and taken to Rio to help her captors locate one of three Amazon statues. Jean-Paul Belmondo , at the height of his career, plays her fiancé, who tries to rescue her.
Husky-voiced and with the gamine beauty of an Audrey Hepburn or an Yvette Mimieux, Dorléac displays terrific comic timing here. She's a frisky, good-time girl who's up for anything, including a sexy samba dance with a little Brazilian shoeshine boy named Sir Winston ( Ubiracy De Oliveira ).
It's great fun -- and proof that Dorléac should be better known outside France.