Saturday, 29 November 2014

1960


10 January 1960 - daily 'O Estado de S.Paulo' (OESP) Sunday review says 'Tudo azul' (Everything's all right) which is back in town after 8 years - was first exhibited at Cine Art Palacio in 1952. Judging by the sheer number of cinemas - 21 theatres only in S.Paulo - that showed the film was a really crowd-drawer. It was a vehicle for singer Marlene who was at the pinnacle of her popularity in 1951-1952. 'Lata d'água' which is featured in the flick turned out to be Marlene's greatest hit ever.


24 January 1960 - daily OESP cinema columnist praises Milton Amaral who directed Mazzaropi's 'Jeca Tatú' as he did also 'Chofer de praça' in 1958. He also extols the presence of Marlene França who had appeared at German flick 'Die Windrose' before. Actually the 'high brows' at Estadão would not despise Mazzaropi's kind of cinema because he was Paulista (those hailing from São Paulo city or state) as they did with the so-called 'Carioca cinema' - movies made in Rio de Janeiro, Brazilian capital city. São Paulo's intelligentsia was actually parochial and narrow-minded. If there ever were to be a competition between São Paulo and Rio cinemas, Rio would win hands down. São Paulo was naive and hill-billy. Rio was witty and cosmopolitan. São Paulo was conservative and square. Rio was advanced and sexy. São Paulo's accent was ugly and its grammar attrocious. Rio had swing and its accent was pleasant. 

Francisco de Souza & Marlene França


18 February 1960 - Cine Metro presents Violeta Ferraz in 'Minha sogra é da polícia' (My mother-in-law is a police woman) in which rock'n'roll plays a major part in the sound-track like Lana Bittencourt singing 'Alone', Carlos Imperial with 'That's rock', El Cubanito with 'Ai, cosita linda', Paulo Molin with 'Sereno', Cauby Peixoto, Mario Mascarenhas & others.

As usual, the biased OESP movies-columnist dismisses the musical-comedy as 'chanchada' (schweinerein) claiming it's been done only with the foul intention of making a profit. Jee, in what planet did he live on? He disparages the director Aloizio T.de Carvalho as the one who wrote 'Sereno' sung in the movie by Paulo Molin - as if writing a song was a demeaning occupation. His colonized-head didn't make any sense.

As 'Minha sogra é da policia' was made in 1958, I guess Cine Metro re-released it to comply with a law that made it compulsory showing a Brazilian production a number of days per year.



21 February 1960 - even though the OESP columnist thinks 'Pé na tábua' is a new film it was actually released in January 1959 by Herbert Richers its producer. However dismissive of 'Carioca musicals' he is, he still sees some good in comedians Ankito, Renata Fronzi, Grande Otelo and ingenue Nelly Martins, who plays a handicapped girl. The columnist also praises the direction of Victor Lima, who he considers a very good director as well as an excellent screenplayer.

Band leader Ruy Rey performs 'Torero', singer-actor Bill Farr sings 'Carioca '58' (B.Farr-Bruno Monteiro-Ary Monteiro); Grande Otelo sings 'O progresso é natural' (G.Otelo-A.Pinto) and Ankito sings 'Pé na tábua' (A.Pinto-Lemos Pereira).


7 February 1960 - Argentine director Carlos Hugo Christensen's 1959 production 'Meus amores no Rio' is back at Cine Picolino.


20 February 1960 - Brazilian flicks with popular performers like Zé Trindade & Dercy Gonçalves were advertised 3 or 4 weeks in advance to build up expectation among the crowd. 'Entrei de gaiato' was a winner. It had all the elements to be a top box-office seller. It had top-comedian Zé Trindade with his double-entendres, it had Dercy Gonçalves the most popular Brazilian comedienne by far; and a lot of Carnaval hits like 'Me dá um dinheiro aí' (Gimme some money now). 
Zé Trindade plays Januário Jaboatão to Dercy Gonçalves's Ananásia da Emancipação. Their character names were deliberately unusual to elicit a few laughs from the public as soon as they were uttered. 


27 March 1960 - re-release of J.B.Tanko's 1954's 'A outra face do homem'. OESP's cinema columnist praises the film which is utterly unusual. Maybe it's because the flick was the recepient of the trophy Saci for best film of 1954 - a yearly award that daily 'O Estado de S.Paulo' (here referred as OESP) granted to the best productions - a sort of a Brazilian Academy Award.

Maybe that's one of the reasons why OESP spurned musical comedies; because only dramas entered their list of nominees. They wanted to be 'serious people' granting awards to 'serious film makers'. That was a really difficult task in a country with two-thirds of its population illiterate or half-illiterate.

Actually I was flabbergasted when I read somewhere that daily OESP did not bestow a Saci for 'best film category' in 1955 because it deemed the year 'too poor' in film productions to deserve a trophy of 'best of'. Imagine if the Hollywood Academy of Arts & Sciences did the same in the USA?

And to think that Nelson Pereira dos Santos's 'Rio 40 graus' is a 1955 production. Maybe the daily from São Paulo thought it would not grant a 'best picture of the year' to a production that carried the name of Rio de Janeiro on its title. Parochialism taken to the limit. 

27 March 1960 - at adults-only Cine Aureare the release of 1952's 'O preço de um desejo' (The price of a desire). 


27 March 1960 - a Brazilian person who was born in the 1980s or 1990s and is an adult in the 2010s cannot underestand how Brazilian films could be so popular in the 1950s and 1960s. The were hugely popular. Especially because there was no TV and two-thirds of the country's population were illiterate and only went to the movies when they did not have to read subtitles in foreign-language movies. Musical comedies were constantly being re-released even after only a few months of their premiere. They were a sure-fire way of getting good box-office receipts. José Carlos Burle's 'Barnabé, tu és meu' (1951); J.C.Burle's 'Tres vagabundos' (1952); Jorge Ileli's 'Amei um bicheiro' (1952); J.C. Burle's 'Carnaval Atlântida' (1952); Carlos Manga's 'Nem Sansão, nem Dalila' (1954); Carlos Manga's 'Matar ou correr' (1954) and Eurípedes Ramos's 'Três recrutas' (1953).


10 April 1960 - film made in 1955, based on the legend of Brazil's main object of religious faith: Nossa Senhora d'Aparecida (Our Lady of the Appearance) a smallish statue of a Madonna that was fished from the bottom of a river by some fishermen who could not find fish. After they recovered the statue things started picking up for them. They made up a little makeshift chapel for it and from thence wonderous things happened broadening the appeal of such a small object until it became so famous the Vatican decided to bestow a sainthood on it. This flick made a hit in a country that was 95% Catholic then. I remember seeing it in 1960 when I was 11 years old. It actually had 3 different titles: 'Padroeira do Brasil', 'Cavalgada da esperança' and 'Nossa Senhora d'Aparecida'. Child actress Graça Maria made a splash playing the little blind girl who recovers her sight due the intercession of such a powerful Entity.


24 April 1960 - It is hard to belive that there was a time in Brazil - this very April 1960 week - when 9 Brazilian films were being shown at the same time in a city like Sao Paulo. They were: 1. 'O mistério da Ilha de Vênus' (Voodoo Island); 2. 'Yalis, a flor selvagem' (Vergine del Roncador); 3. 'O batedor de carteiras' (1958); 4. 'Matemática: zero, Amor: dez'; 5. 'O ébrio' (1946); 6. 'Na Garganta do Diabo'; 7. 'Padroeira do Brasil' (Nossa Senhora d' Aparecida); 8. 'Fronteiras do inferno' (1959); 9. 'Pequeno por fora'.


'O mistério da Ilha de Venus' ('Voodoo Island' or 'Naked love') - a Brazilian-USA co-production. OESP columnist is really glad that Brazil is finally catching up with the rest of the world that have associated themselves with Hollywood as soon as WWII ended. Brazil (always according to his gospel) was the only country left behind. Brazilians with a colonized mind always think that just being near the 'metropolis' (Hollywood, USA) is beneficial to their well-being. Maybe that's why they welcomed the US intervention in the Brazilian political process in April 1964 - a military coup d'etat that destroyed Brazilian democracy for the next 50 years.

The columnist says that the showing of 'Voodoo Island' in Phoenix, Arizona for only one week had already made enough money to cover the Brazilian cost of the production. There was also an avant-premiere at Cine Regencia on Rua Augusta in which 41.5% of those polled found the flick excellent and 32.2% found it good. The action happens in a Central America island with a lot of voodoo. Brazilian great actress Ruth de Souza has the chance to play a voodoo witch. Music was supplied by Enrico Simonetti.


24 April 1960 - a 1958 production 'O batedor de carteiras' directed by Aloisio T.de Carvalho is shown in S.Paulo in 1960. It is really hard to believe that popular comedies made in Rio were not shown in S.Paulo before. It doesn't make any sense at all. Why would a film company not release a major production in the 2nd biggest city in the country? It would be like an American film playing only in Los Angeles and kept out of New York.

OESP columnist dismisses it as the very first vehicle for Trindade's ascent to superstardom. But this is actually a good comedy made even funnier by the presence of great comedienne Nancy Wanderley not to mention superb Violeta Ferraz.

Tragic torch-song queen Maysa sings 'Meu mundo caiu' (My world has tumbled down) in a very tasteful scenery.

24 April 1960 - a musical comedy made in Rio but treated differently by the OESP columnist because it was directed by Argentine emigré Carlos Hugo Christensen starring his wife Susana Freyre as in 'Meus amores no Rio'. The columnist says 'Matemática: Zero, Amor: Dez' is actually a re-rash of 'La pequeña señora de Perez' (Quero casar com sua mulher) that Christensen filmed in  Argentina in 1944 with Mirtha Legrand & Juan Carlos Thorry. Music by Roberto Corte Real and Lyrio Panicalli. Corte-Real was Columbia Records's A&R man so he brought teenager Sergio Murilo to sing and act in the flick plus Tito Madi, who was #1 with 'Menina moça'; Lana Bittencourt, Luis Claudio, Alcides Gerardi and Trigêmeos Vocalistas.

Brazilian actress Vanja Orico & Italian actor Ettore Manni 

24 April 1960 - it is decried as a semi-documentary done by Italians who came to Brazil in search of exotic locations that they found at Serra Roncador, close to Rio Araguia in the heart of the country. Hence the original name of 'Vergine del Roncador' (Roncador's virgin). It all started when Lima Barreto's 'O cangaceiro' made a splash in Cannes in 1952 and 'Muié rendeira' became a worldwide hit. Actress Vanja Orico stayed back in Europe and made a career for herself in films and night-clubs where she sang Brazilian folklore in many languages. 'Yalis, a flor selvagem' was directed by Francesco de Robertis who was the right-hand man to Roberto Rossellini in 'La nave bianca'. Ettore Manni is Vanja's leading man.


24 April 1960 - According to the OESP columnist, 1946's 'O ébrio' (The drunkard) was the most popular film ever made in Brazil until 'O cangaceiro' in 1953. It was based on a song written by singer-song-writer Vicente Celestino who was married to Gilda de Abreu who wrote the screen-play and directed the flick. It had been re-released in 1949, 1957 and now in 1960.  


24 April 1960 - Walter Hugo Khuory's 'Fronteiras do inferno' a 1959 release is back in a double-feature at Cine Jussara with Helio Souto, Luigi Picchi, Aurora Duarte, Victor Merinov, Ruth de Souza etc.


28 April 1960 - Aloisio T. de Carvalho's 'Pequeno por fora' (Small on the outside) synopsis:  When their rich uncle from Portugal announces he's coming to Rio for a visit, Nancy & Walter get into a panic for they had told him a lie saying they had a lovely boy just to get a pension off him. The couple then arrange a circus dwarf to pass off as their son but the uncle ends up staying longer than originally planned.

The story line is almost unbelievable but it could have turned out to be a good farce. But apparently the end result was not really good judging from the review written by Pedro Lima, from Rio de Janeiro's 'Diario da Noite' (9 February 1960). I wouldn't believe the OESP columnist but I have to bow down to the reviews written in Rio. Meio-Quilo, the circus dwarf who played the 'kid' was dubbed by Germano. It is hard to believe comedienne Nancy Wanderley was not effective in the film; she used to be funny even with her mouth shut. She could do no wrong. Wanderley was married to Francisco Anisio who plays a role in the film too and would eventually become the top comedian in Brazil for almost 50 years until his death in 2012.

Walter D'Avila was a real fine comedian too. I wonder what could have gone wrong with so many talents together in one film.

Musical numbers: 'Só Deus' (Jair Amorim-E.Gouveia) performed by Maysa; 'De Araraé' with Jackson do Pandeiro & Amira ; 'Bolha d'agua' (Jorge de Castro-Wilson Baptista) plus 'Mangueira, meu berço' with show-girl Angelita Martinez 'Canção do pescador' with Trio Guarany (Polydor); 'Balada à lua' (Aloysio T.de Carvalho) with Mario Gil (Continental); 'Rosa caída' with José Luciano & seu conjunto; 'Tamanho não é documento' (Lamartine Babo-Eneas Machado de Assis) plus 'Sereno' (Aloysio T.de Carvalho) with Sexteto Prestige.

Quando sabe que o tio rico de Portugal vem ao Rio de passagem, um casal (Nancy Wanderley & Walter D'Avila) se vê em apuros: como arranjar um garoto que passasse por filho, cujo nascimento haviam anunciado astuciosamente a fim de obterem uma grana do tio? Contratam por algumas horas os serviços de um anão de circo (Meio-Quilo), mas o tio é forçado a demorar-se mais tempo e o anão resolve aproveitar-se do fato.



1st May 1960 - Walter Hugo Khuory's 'Na Garganta do Diabo' was universally praised as Brazilian cinema's the greatest hope. It had all the traps to be a great film but seen in hindsight it didn't actually make good business at the box-office. Maybe it's because it had to do with the Southern part of Brazil and the genocidal Paraguay War in which Brazil, Argentina & Uruguay allied themselves against Paraguay and all but destroyed the country. It isn't a pleasant matter to watch. Maybe Brazilians were more used to the kind of violence one was suppose to expect from 'cangaceiros' - bandits from the Northern part rather than Southern misery. 

22 May 1960 - another Herbert Richers production, 'Pistoleiro Bossa-Nova' (Rio, abril 1960) with Ankito & Grande Otelo directed by Victor Lima. dismissive OESP columnist finds something praise-worthy in the comedy though quoting previous ouvres by Mr. Lima like 'Espirito de porco' and 'De pernas p'ro ar'. 'Além da já provada desenvoltura para o gênero da trinca Renata Fronzi-Ankito-Grande Otelo, 'Pistoleiro bossa-nova' conta com excelentes interpretes do 'cinema sério' de S.Paulo, a dançarina Lyris Castellani, Ana Maria Nabuco e, principalmente Aurélio Teixeira, ator consagrado com um Saci conferido por esse jornal ao melhor ator coadjuvante de 1... (?).


15 May 1960 - 1956's 'Colegio de brotos' is re-released at Cine Coral. 


3 July 1960 - at Cine Art Palacio, 'A viuva Valentina', the latest comedy by Dercy Gonçalves with Jayme Costa, Catalano, Herval Rossano, Mara Di Carlo and Trio Irakitan. 

Wilson Grey, Francisco Dantas, Mara Di Carlo, Dercy Gonçalves, Herval Rossano & Jayme Costa.




7 July 1960 - At Cine Maraba, 'Pintando o sete' (Painting the town red) the latest Oscarito comedy. Even though Oscarito was 54 years old (he was born in 1906) he still played relatively young characters and was still the best Brazilian comedian by far. OESP columnist praises the director Carlos Manga plus the screenplay & scenography done by Cajado Filho who staged José Lewgoy's  famous dream sequence in 1952's 'Carnaval Atlantida'. 



24 July 1960 - at Cine Marrocos 'O palhaço, o que é?' (What's a clown?) with an all-clown cast headed by Carequinha and Fred, an older clown; with Sonia Mamede, Hamilton Ferreira, Nancy Wanderley, Fabio Sabag and others. 


28 August 1960 - Mazzaropi must have made a lot of money in 1960 judging by the many films he released. Lana Bittencourt, Conjunto Farroupilha and Claudio de Barros sing their latest hits in 'As aventuras de Pedro Malasartes', a folkloric character Mazzaropi put on the silver screen. 



11 September 1960 - At Cine Art Palacio another Herbert Richers's production: 'Vai que é mole' with Ankito, Grande Otelo, Jo Soares, Renata Fronzi, Renato Restier, Aurelio Teixeira, Anilza Leoni and the usual cast of suspects. Make sure not to mistake this flick with J.B.Tanko's 1959's 'Entrei de gaiato' in which Linda Baptista sings a song called 'Vai que é mole' (Haroldo Lobo-Milton de Oliveria) and it's a much better comedy. 


1st October 1960 - Odete Lara plays a hooker selling her body on the corner of Rua Amador Bueno in S.Paulo.


9 October 1960 - Roberto Faria's 'Cidade ameaçada' finally premieres at Cine Paisandu.


23 October 1960 - Adults-only Cine Aurea premieres 'Sexo e vida', according to OESP (Estadão) is only a sensacionalist 'local production' looking for a fast-buck. Cizinha Moura a young rock singer who had a mid-sized hit called 'Brotinho Lili' appears as 'who knows what' in this pre-pornography flick.

to Carlus Maximus to Ricardo Santos: Imagina que encontrei anúncio de filme nacional chamado 'Sexo e vida', e tendo, no elenco, Cizinha Moura. Fiquei cabreiro! Haveria duas Cizinhas nesse mundo? Depois achei outra citação assim: Cizinha Moura (Brotinho Lili)... Agora, eu não sei o que a 'brotinho Lili' estava fazendo nessa espécie de filme!

from Ricardo Santos to Carlus Maximus: Ihhh, não acho estranho, não. A Cizinha era lindona. E aí nesse filme ela só aparece cantando 'Brotinho Lili' numa cena de baile. As outras 'atrizes' é que são suspeitas, tudo vedetinha, ops, coristas... rs. Outra coisa: pelas suas pesquisas dos anos 1959 a 1962, você deve estar vendo muita coisa com 'strip-tease', não é? Eu e Gabriel Gonzaga até já conversamos sobre a quantidade de shows e filmes que tinham a ver com esse tema. Foi uma onda de uns 2 anos e passou. Hoje (2014) seriam classificados de burlescos. O Brasil entrou tarde nisso, coisa la dos anos 1910-1920 em Paris ou Berlin.

from Carlus Maximus to Ricardo Santos: Nossa, só Você teria sabido de todas essas coisas. Então, você, de certa maneira, salvou a rePUTAção da Cizinha Moura... rs. Olha o que eu achei no Estadão de 1 Janeiro 1961:

Cizinha Moura sings accompanied by The Beverlys 
Cizinha Moura & The Beverlys, a vocal group 


31 October 1960 - The OESP (Estadão) cinema columnist believes Ronald Golias to be a better comedian than Zé Trindade but time has proved him utterly wrong. Golias movies are unwatchable whereas Zé Trindade's pithy maxims are still funny today, more than 50 years after they've been uttered. What one suspects is regional parochialism on the part of the columnist as Mr. Trindade hailed from Bahia whereas Ronald Golias was from S.Paulo, a supposedly 'better place'. The columnist always enphasizes the difference between films made in Rio (supposedly of a lesser quality) and those made in S.Paulo. That's a lot of bullshit, anyway. 

Here's what he writes about Golias and Zé Trindade: ... um grupo de interpretes dos melhores e mais simpáticos que o cinema carioca poderia mobilizar estão em mais esta 'comedia carioca de costumes' feita especialmente para lançar e firmar como cartaz de cinema o cômico de TV Ronald Golias. Em tudo isso há uma vantagem imediata e inegável: o alijamento momentâneo da comicidade tipo Zé Trindade

Ronald Golias may have been effective on TV but he was terribly boring on the silver screen. Golias's idiosyncratic speech - he munched on his words - got lost in the not-so-good sound-systems of Brazilian movie theatres that were not up-to-date because most of the films shown in the country were spoken in foreign languages anyway so people read subtitles instead of listening to the dialogues - so cinema owners couldn't be bothered to keep their sound equipament in good order. Golias spoke a kind of cant while Zé Trindade spoke his lines with the best articulation possible even if it was a little off-colour. 


Ronald Golias had something of an odd-ball in his appearance 
Golias painted his eye-brows like Groucho Marx; 


14 to 20 November 1960 - Watson Macedo's 'Samba em Brasilia' was so magical I still think it's the best Brazilian film I have ever seen. I was 11 years old when I saw it and it took me to fairy land...

27 November 1960 - popular actor Helio Souto produces, directs and stars himself in 'Conceição' where he uses all the tricks in the book to make it pay. Whether it was a hit or not it is hard to tell beacause it has vanished from most reference books available. If one goes by the Estadão's columnist's opinion then one is completely lost for he has got a colonized frame-of-mind praising the foreign stars in the flick (Bulgar actress Miriam Rony and French 'starlet' Anick Malvil) and trying to put down Brazilian 'show girl' (he deams her a 'vedette') Norma Benguel who turned out to be a first-rate dramatic actress when she moved on to the Italian cinema later on in the decade. Colonized minds can only see good when they look up to their colonizers.

Musically it must have been really exciting because it mirrors the 1960 hit parade to the hilt. Fancy watching rock singer Wilson Miranda sing 'Long tall Sally' in Portuguese ('Bata baby') or seeing Paraguayan musician Luis Bourdon play his heavenly harp. Not to mention virtuoso guitarrist Poly playing the background music... that's heaven to my ears.

I should also mention the presence of Walter Avancini who later on became the best TV soap-opera operator in this country and Mario Benvenutti who proved his worth in many Brazilian 'serious' movies.

Vera & Henri-Georges Clouzot in 1953.


18 December 1960 - Brazilian actress Vera Clouzot dies in Paris;

Simone Signoret & Vera Clouzot in 1954's 'Les diaboliques'

Paris


25 December 1960 - reviews of 'A morte comanda o cangaço' plus 'Cacareco vem aí'


28 December 1960 - 'A morte comanda o cangaço' premieres at Cine Ipiranga, the best cinema-house in the city.