Sadly the Alliance Française Classic Film Festival has just finished in Sydney and it would have been more prudent to have posted this prior to as opposed to after the festival so apologies. However Kernel Emma attended the opening night and got to see THAT MAN FROM RIO (L’homme de Rio) on the big screen. A fully restored 53yr old movie starring . It is basically a 53yr old James Bond comedy movie that will have you in hysterics. Keep your eye out – it may pop up at some independents and I can see the DVD being put out there – especially now it’s restored. It is rated PG and runs for 112mins. Huge thanks to the organisers for inviting us to attend. Enjoy Emma’s review……..all the best……Salty.


After spending the final weekend of a year living in Europe in Paris, attending the opening night of the French Classic Film Festival was a welcomed event for my return to Sydney. The third edition of the festival is a retrospective to the great actor Jean-Paul Belmondo, and it features six restored versions of his greatest films, screening across four different cities.


That Man from Rio Jean-Paul Belmondo image
Jean-Paul Belmondo



THAT MAN FROM RIO, directed by , is an adventure comedy meets romance film. It opens with thieves stealing an Amazon figurine from the Museum of Man in Paris. Ignoring jewels in favour of the figurine, the thieves make their escape, taking with them the beautiful Agnes (Françoise Dorleac) whose murdered father once possessed the second of three precious Amazon figurines. Simultaneously, Agnes’ fiancé Adrien (Belmondo) arrives home for an eight day visit only to walk right into the chaos. Adrien follows the thieves as they make their escape to Rio, attempting to rescue the flighty Agnes from her capturers, and trying at all costs to prove himself once and for all.

Beautiful shots of the Rio landscape are interrupted with James Bond style spoof chase scenes as Adrien plays cat and mouse with the villains. The crazy chase scenes and slapstick-style humour had the audience (particularly those older members) erupting into laughter, and Adrien’s attempts to romantically impress are funny to watch. The scenery in Rio is absolutely stunning, made better of course on the big screen, and the silly over-the-top chase scenes make for an entertaining, if not slightly too long, viewing experience.


That Man from Rio Jean-Paul Belmondo and Françoise Dorléac image
Jean-Paul Belmondo and



A man whose favourite things included Tintin comics and detective novels, it comes as no surprise that Jean-Paul Belmondo was cast for the role of Adrien. Thoroughly enjoyable to watch and impossible not to laugh at, Belmondo brings the film to life and illuminates the screen with his cheeky, foolish charm. The film is often silly, but Belmondo’s perfect pastiche of adventure-film clichés makes for a fun ride, and it comes as no surprise that the film was nominated for Best Original Screenplay at the Academy Awards many moons ago. The plot itself is entirely ridiculous, and Belmondo only adds to the madness with his crazy stunts and charming humour. For those who aren’t familiar with the popular French actor, the film is a great introduction and a welcome start to the film festival which honours his brilliant career.


That Man from Rio Jean-Paul Belmondo and Françoise Dorléac image
Jean-Paul Belmondo and Françoise Dorléac



It’s not every day that you get the chance to see classic films on the big screen. The French classic film festival also features; STAVISKY, a drama film based on the life of financier Alexandre Stavisky, LEON MORIN, PREIST, a popular drama/romance set in Nazi-occupied France, DOULOS: THE FINGER MAN, a stylish thriller and one of the most popular from director Jean Pierre-Melville, WEEKEND AT DUNKIRK, set on the beaches of Dunkirk and a timely choice given the recent film’s success, and PIERROT LE FOU, which is directed by the great Jean-Luc Godard – need I say more? With a fabulous catalogue of films, the festival is an excellent option for a night out, especially for those who have an interest in French New Wave cinema.


That Man from Rio Jean-Paul Belmondo image
Jean-Paul Belmondo



I had a lovely evening at THAT MAN FROM RIO, and I felt lucky to have seen such a beautiful classic on the big screen. The cinema screen really did the picturesque scenery in Rio justice, and while the film was a bit silly and long for me, it made for an entertaining experience.





Kernel Emma is documentary mad and also loves foreign and films ! She is Salty’s honorary NooooZealanderrrr writer, but she hides out in Sydney saying sex, fush and chups to everyone’s amusement.

** Images used are courtesy of various sources on Google or direct from the distributor or publisher Credit has been given to photographers where known – images will be removed on request.