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The Girl From Rio (1969)

Cast: Shirley Eaton, Shirley Eaton, Richard Wyler, more...
Director: Jesus Franco
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Rating:
Studio: Blue Underground
Genre: Cult, Foreign, Spain, Adventure
Running Time: 94 min.
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Synopsis
From Jesus Franco, the infamous director behind such exploitation classics as Sadomania and Vampyros Lesbos, comes this low-budget erotic adventure starring Bond girl Shirley Eaton as a maniacal lesbian warlord. Eaton plays Sumitra, the bisexual leader of a clan of oversexed women bent on world-domination by forcing the earth's men into servitude. The only thing standing in Sumitra's way is a tough-guy kingpin played by Academy Award-winner George Sanders. Also known as Rio 70, Future Woman, Die Sieben Männer der Sumuru, and The Seven Secrets of Sumuru, The Girl From Rio also stars Richard Wyler and Maria Rohm. ~ Matthew Tobey, All Movie Guide

Special Features:

  • Rolling in Rio - Interviews with Director Jess Franco, Producer Harry Alan Towers and Star Shirley Eaton
  • Poster and Still Gallery
  • The Facts of Sumuru
  • Jess Franco Bio

Special Features:

  • Rolling in Rio - Interviews with Director Jess Franco, Producer Harry Alan Towers and Star Shirley Eaton
  • Poster and Still Gallery
  • The Facts of Sumuru
  • Jess Franco Bio


GreenCine Member Reviews

A time capsule of Sixties camp by JEnnis April 13, 2004 - 12:46 PM PDT
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1 out of 1 members found this review helpful
The Girl From Rio is an exercise in Sixties camp humor along the lines of the lesser Modesty Blaise and the better Derek Flint films. Rio is a sequel to a previous Franco film from 1967 called The Million Eyes of Sumuru, based on the villain from the Sax Rohmer book series. (Sumuru is, unfortunately, currently unavailable on DVD or VHS.) In this film, Eaton reprises the Sumuru role, but oddly is referred to as Sumitra throughout this version. When Bond-like Jeff Sutton (Wyler) arrives in Rio after having purportedly stolen ten million dollars, he soon attracts the attention of local kingpin George Sanders as well as Sumuru. Sumuru is determined to imprison Jeff on her island, "Femina", and add the stolen wealth to her war chest in an eventual bid to take over the world with her army of scantily clad young women. The films comic plot, which often has an air of having been made up as it goes along, has, at times, incomprehensible jumps in logic. A gang of baddies - who sometimes wear masks and sometimes dont - are too easily knocked over like bowling pins. After a promising start, which seems inspired by Dr. No, the pace slackens greatly and budgetary limitations become more obvious - especially during the climax. Also, unlike those comparable more mainstream films, director Jess Franco is quite uninhibited when it comes to depicting full-frontal female nudity. Sometimes this is done tastefully and serves the plot and other times, it becomes unnecessary spectacle. There are beautiful location shots of the Rio coastline and the carnival scenes coupled with a nice Bossa Nova score seems to pay homage to Black Orpheus. And, ultimately, the title only makes sense (there doesn't seem to be a main female character from Rio present) as an opportunity to cash in on the sound-alike Jobim hit Girl From Ipanema. At best, The Girl From Rio, provides engaging and atmospheric scenes that is definitive of that time and place, and at worst, it is an odd, dubious mix that too obviously tries to capitalize on numerous trends of the period.

The DVD is well produced, featuring a recent 14-minute interview segment with Franco, Eaton, and producer Hall, as well as a brief biography of Sax Rohmer and a surprisingly comprehensive set of publicity materials from around the world.

Spy-Babes, Killer Costumes, Acting So Bad That It's Great!! by RussMeyer February 18, 2004 - 8:58 AM PST
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6 out of 7 members found this review helpful
You know, if you are a fan of "Cult" movies, you approach watching them differently than the viewer watching "typical" movies. Fans of "Cult" movies know the title they are watching is chock full of second-rate everything: acting, directing, writing, cinematography. So what's usually the attractant to these films? For me, it's the fact that a producer was able to pull a "cult" movie together for very little money. Hollywood, on the other hand, churns movies just like these out on a regular basis and spends tens of millions of dollars to produce them and then to convince us that they aren't second-rate movies.

For the most part I abhor Hollywood. But I love honesty and calling things for what they are. THAT's why I love "cult" movies. The producers know that they are pleasing a select few of the population and aren't pretentious enough to think they are doing anything MORE.

Such is the case with "The Girl From Rio". Now any other viewer less enamored with "cult" movies would think that this movie is a "Bond wannabe" that falls painfully short of it's goal. I, on the other hand, recognize it for what it is: a low budget, erotic, parody, of the international spy drama.

Jess Franco, more than anything else, is a fan of beautiful, sexy women in beautiful costumes placed in erotic situations. When you watch a Franco title, you can bet that THAT is what you are getting. "The Girl From Rio" is no different. The acting and plot points are so undeveloped, one realizes that those aren't the priorities here. It's when you see the army of beautiful babes in their erotic uniforms that you realize what this film is all about. The late 60s-style score is to die for. The Shirley Bassey-esque vocal over the swelling orchestra really accentuates this film. Oh, and Rio in the late 60s.....yummy.

Damn I love Franco.

This disc, more than any other title of his that has made it to DVD, has been done RIGHT. Franco fans get a short film on "The Making of TGFR" as well as a great poster gallery. It would have been nice to have an audio commentary from some of the principles that were in the short film but hey, you can't have it all, right?

All in all, if you LOVE Franco, you must see this film. If you have no clue how to approach the viewing of CULT movies, you should stay away from Franco and rent titles like "Giglio".

I give this DVD an "8" not because it falls short of being a high-brow, pretentious, work of art (thank god), but because it's a classic in the "Cult/Midnight Viewing" genre. For that reason, I give it an "8". Audio commentary and a few more features would have generated a "10" from me.




GreenCine Member Rating
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(Average 5.53)
32 Votes
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