Skip’s Quips: Dusting Off the Snow for a Little de Broca

Blog Sketch 082813It’s wintry days like these that make me want to watch movies such as That Man From Rio.

The tropically tinged Philippe de Broca film—a ludicrous and wonderfully affable 1964 romp through the titular city with Jean-Paul Belmondo, Françoise Dorléac and Adolfo Celi—is one of the most chipper movies ever to gild the silver screen … and also one of the most unsung. I’m not sure why de Broca has fallen by the public-estimation wayside; he was a master of light comedy, and That Man is one of his frothiest creations. It’s totally silly, with jewel thieves, egomaniacal archaeologists and other characters pursuing and/or being pursued by Belmondo’s carefree Adrien, who crosses the Atlantic in a mad chase to rescue his kidnapped girlfriend (Dorléac). Plus, there’s some sort of ancient statue that everyone’s after, because it’s the key to getting all of these riches or whatever.

Yeah, it’s a far cry from Breathless, isn’t it?

I’d recommend trying this flick on a day like today. It’s sunny, summery, full of bright music and craziness. And you’ve got the charming Belmondo and Dorléac careening through the picture. True, it’s fluff, but it’s so well done, you’ll remember it, along with vehicular color-and-design-combinations such as “pink with green stars.”

Oui, pink with green stars. That Man will explain all.

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