A woman on the run from her spurned lover arrives in Rio de Janeiro where a streetcar conductor falls for her – but then the jilted man reappears, revenge-minded. It’s the ancient Greek legend of Orpheus and Eurydice reset in Brazil during Carnavale, with samba music everywhere.
"Orfeu Negro" (1959; English title "Black Orpheus"). French director Marcel Camus' bittersweet valentine to Rio and Carnaval, It won 59's Cannes' Palme d'Or and the Oscar for Best Foreign Film, with joyous cinematography and samba/bossa nova soundtrack. It takes the ancient Greek myth of Orpheus and sets it 50s Rio. With moving Breno Mello as Orfeo (a streetcar conductor/musician) and Marpessa Dawn as innocent Eurydice, capturer of Orfeo's heart. The Criterion Edition DVD is superb.