Pão de Açúcar (1964)

  |  Comedy

Pão de Açúcar (1964) Poster

Pamela Jones, an American actress on holiday in Brazil meets coffee plantation owner Claudio DeSantis, falls in love with him and they get married. After living at his ranch for some time ... See full summary »


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8 January 2015 | OldFilmLover
| Surprising Near-Unknown 1960s Cosmopolitan Romantic Comedy
I had never heard of this film (English title on DVD: "Instant Love"), and I have it only because it came as the 4th item in a set of four Romantic Comedies in a Turner DVD set. The other 3 comedies were all from the 1940s, in black and white; this one, in color and from 1964, was a good change of pace.

The atmosphere of the 60s pervades this film. With the scenes of jets and international travel, the beautiful shots of the Brazilian cityscape and harbor and mountains, the breezy upbeat music, the great color photography, the bouncy theme song by Neil Sedaka and the actual appearance of Sedaka in a nightclub act in one scene -- this has that light 60s feel all the way.

Rhonda Fleming, an underrated actress often spoken of primarily for her stunning beauty rather than for her dramatic talent, shows that she is more than a pretty face in this film, and does a wonderful job as the American woman who marries a Brazilian man on "love at first sight" without taking into account the possible cultural differences between Brazilian and American males.

The film balances its treatment of the serious side of marriage (especially intercultural marriage) with light romantic comedy, with the comedy element predominant. It is not primarily physical comedy (though there is some of that), but more a comedy of manners and of situation. Fleming's nerdy American would-be lover is nicely contrasted with her macho Brazilian husband.

There is nothing deep about this film, but it's entertaining -- beautifully filmed, with perfect period music and great costumes etc. -- and the story is paced briskly and therefore keeps up one's interest. It holds its own with much of the medium-quality 1960s romantic comedy filmed in America, Britain, France, etc. It surely deserves at least a 7 out of 10; the 4.9 average currently showing on the IMDb is ridiculous. You give a 4.9 to a cruddy low-budget 1950s sci-fi flick, not to a polished, urbane romantic comedy like this. Probably a 7.2 would be a more accurate estimate of the film's quality.

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