Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, February 18, 2016


Unidentified player with Jean-Pierre Aumont
CARNIVAL OF CRIME (1962). Director: George Cahan.

"He has a marvelous sex potential."

A French building contractor named Mike Voray (Jean-Pierre Aumont) lives in Rio with his wife, Lynn (Alix Talton). As he goes to Brasilia to supervise a project, she runs off with an unknown man. Now Mike cooks up a scheme to not only find her but find out who her lover is. But before he can do so, fate takes a hand ... This odd movie begins very badly, with stock footage and a long tedious sequence (that seems to have nothing to do with the rest of the movie) in which two men wait in the jungle to kidnap someone. After that protracted and amateurish waste of time, the story proper begins and it is at least faster paced and has some interesting elements, although ultimately it isn't very good. Other characters include Mike's mother-in-law and her much younger boyfriend;  a photographer and his model; Mike's hard-drinking associate and pretty secretary; and so on. Except for the two leads (although Talton has little to do) the actors are dubbed. The zero-budgeted film winds up with what appears to be a travelogue of Brasilia with background music like you would hear in a skating rink. Had Talton [Deadly Mantis] dyed her hair blond years earlier she might have had a bigger career. She and Aumont [Hilda Crane] both give more than acceptable performances. The title refers to the "Carnivale" in Rio of which we see some footage. This is a co-production of Brazil, Argentina, Spain and the good ol' USA.

Verdict: See Brasilia and die! **.

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