Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Girl from Rio (1969)

Richard Wyler is Jeff Sutton, who many people believes is carrying ten million dollars when he's arriving to Rio. One of the believers is master criminal Sir Masius (George Sanders) who with his army of henchmen in hearses is trying to get the money. But more dangerous is Sumuru (Shirley Eaton), the crazy woman who lives in her all female city of Femina and want's to rule the world! Now both of them wants Suttons money, but maybe that was the plan all the time, because big money is big bait...

Wow, this was one fun Jess Franco-movie! A sequel to Lindsay Shonteff's The Million Eyes of Sumuru from 1967, The Girl from Rio manages to make a lot of entertainment with probably very little money. We have the good old Franco working, with lot's of pointless zooms and out-of-focus shots. But it's not that much, because most of the movie is a gorgeous and fantastic-looking spy/thriller/kitch/action-story with Franco showing his best. That man knows how to point a camera, and he likes stylish wide shots - as usual - and lot's of half-naked women. 

There's a few fights and chase scenes and all of them are competent and echoes of James Bond and all the other colorful action movies from that time. But they obviously didn't have money to use blanks, so every time someone shoots it's off screen, just with sound effects. The final is extra cheap, and if they didn't say that the places was blowing to pieces, I would just think it was some extra abstract editing and Franco being a little more creative than usual! But still, it looks damn good and the Rio-locations are beautiful. 

The actors have a lot of too. George Sanders (who took suicide a couple of years after) seem to enjoy himself surrounded with young sexy women, Richard Wyler (who I haven't noticed in a movie before) is a cool and macho hero with tongue in cheek and hair on his chest. Most of the women are quite anonymous, except Shirley Eaton who is brilliant as Sumara (they use another name in the movie, very similar, but I can't remember it now), both sexy, funny and cool. A pity this was her last movie. She gave up on showbiz after this to spend time with her family instead. A wise decision for, but not for us.

I read a lot of negative reviews of The Girl from Rio, some people even call it incompetent and lousy. Nothing can be more wrong. This is a fun, happy action movie with everything you need a boring Sunday-morning.


dfordoom said...

I was also surprised to read so many negative reviews of The Girl from Rio. Franco does light-hearted comic-book style movies so well.

Tobias Thuresson said...

Richard Wyler is super cool! Also, watch the western he did with Thomas Milian (Bounty Killer). Great stuff.

Ninja Dixon said...

Tobias: Yes, Wyler is great! I need to see even more stuff with him now!