Black Orpheus (Orfeu Negro)
Black Orpheus (Orfeu Negro) (1959)

Black Orpheus (Orfeu Negro) is literally what its title suggests: a retelling of the "Orpheus and Eurydice" legend enacted by black performers. This time the setting is the annual Carnival in Rio de Janeiro. Orpheus (Breno Mello)… More

Directed By:
Rated: PG
Running Time:
Release Date: December 21, 1959
DVD Release Date: June 8, 1999
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Critic Score: 89% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Colorful, atmospheric, and infections, Black Orpheus takes an ancient tale and makes it fresh anew, thanks in part to its bewitching bossa nova soundtrack.

Michael Atkinson
Village Voice

An almost irrationally infectious retelling of the Orpheus-Eurydice chestnut set during carnival and feverish with hip-swiveling hustle, exploding local color, and sleeve-worn heart.

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Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal

[The film has] swirling color, the excitement of samba and the accessible joy of a fabled city, not to mention a charming Orpheus in the young Brazilian Breno Mello, and a dazzling Eurydice in the American-born dancer and actress Marpessa Dawn.

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Christopher Machell

Black Orpheus is a film to be drunk and luxuriated in, a sensational and rewarding feast for the ears and eyes.

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TIME Magazine

It is an amazing creation.

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Variety Staff

Pic is somewhat cerebral, being mainly helped by the fresh playing of the cast.

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Kate Muir
Times (UK)

In terms of sheer sun-kissed pulchritude, Black Orpheus was like nothing seen before when it exploded with its bossa nova soundtrack in 1959, winning the Palme d'Or at Cannes and the Oscar for foreign film.

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Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader

This sort of thing was considered high art not so long ago; now it seems forced and ponderously symbolic.

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Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune

One of the great musicals.

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Peter Bradshaw

An inspired reinvention of the underworld.

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More reviews for Black Orpheus (Orfeu Negro)

Flixster Audience Score: 87% Flixster User Reviews
Pierluigi Puccini
lyricism, magic, love, death, the real flavour of latin american joy for living. A tragedy in vivid colours and heavenly notes.
Devon Bott
1959's "Black Orpheus" is like some long-forgotten children's book of what the rest of the world, with it's exotic people and colorful… More
Jan Marc Macababayao
Mythological love and chaos in the world's grandest carnival, Black Orpheus is a modern adaptation of the timeless tale of Orpheus and Eurydice that feasts… More
Ken Stachnik
Gorgeous, touching, funny, beautiful and an absolute delight to watch. Marcel Camus' imaginative retelling of this Greek myth will leave you smiling,… More
Jason Robinson
I was skeptical -- I don't watch old movies. There's usually some anachronistic reference or humor that I don't get and then feel bad that I… More
Lenny Muggsy
Set in Carnaval season of Brazil so everything is overwhelming and flamboyant. The party atmosphere is set alongside alongside a modern interpretation of the… More