The Cohen Film Collection is proud to announce that it will bring together two of the most riotous adventure films of the 1960s for their Blu-ray and DVD debut. THAT MAN FROM RIO and UP TO HIS EARS, both directed by Philippe de Broca and starring Jean-Paul Belmondo, have been digitally remastered for release on extras-packed discs on April 4, 2015. The Blu-ray will have an SRP of $49.98 and the DVD will have an SRP of $39.98.
By the mid-1960s, Philippe de Broca had established himself as one of France’s leading directors, with such hits as the swashbuckling adventure Cartouche and the sex comedy Five Day Lover. Boxer turned actor Jean-Paul Belmondo had helped usher in the New Wave as the star of Jean-Luc Godard’s Breathless. De Broca and Belmondo wound up making six films together, none more successful than THAT MAN FROM RIO and UP TO HIS EARS.
Arriving in the wake of the newly popular James Bond films, THAT MAN FROM RIO (1964) and UP TO HIS EARS (1965) were a riotous cut above the many 007 spoofs that spilled forth worldwide. In THAT MAN FROM RIO, set against the beauty of Brazil, Belmondo and Françoise Dorléac (the star of François Truffaut’s The Soft Skin and Roman Polanski’s Cul-De-Sac) are in hot pursuit of a stolen Amazonian statuette, while others pursue them for the same treasure. The colorful wide-screen comic adventure, recognized as an inspiration for Raiders of the Lost Ark, was nominated for an Oscar for Best Writing, Story and Screenplay (for co-writers de Broca, Jean-Paul Rappeneau, Ariane Mnouchkine and Daniel Boulanger). It was named Best Foreign Language Film of 1964 by the New York Film Critics Circle.
In the follow-up UP TO HIS EARS, loosely based on Jules Verne’s novel Les Tribulations d’un Chinois en Chine, Belmondo plays a bored and recently bankrupted millionaire who is convinced to allow someone to murder him so that he can leave the insurance money in his will. He’s fine with the plan until he meets a stunning stripper (Ursula Andress, Dr. No, She) and tries to cancel his deal, setting off a madcap chase across China and Tibet.
THAT MAN FROM RIO received glowing reviews upon its original release as well as its 2014 theatrical rerelease. Stephanie Zacharek of The Village Voice called it “a crazy delight! A stylish, early-’60s pastiche that folds in every adventure-movie cliché you’ve ever seen, and possibly invents a few new ones. De Broca orchestrates all this mishegas with verve and wicked wit, and in vibrant, wide-screen color.” Eric Grode of The New York Times said, “De Broca’s oddball adventure spoof … repositioned Belmondo as an unlikely adventurer who at times managed to out-Bond 007.” In her review of the original release, the New York Herald Tribune‘s Judith Crist called it “stylish, amusing and often hilarious.” “Wittier than any of the Bond spoofs that subsequently flooded the market and a good deal racier than Raiders of the Lost Ark,” said Time Out London. In its 1966 review, The New York Times called UP TO HIS EARS “a wild one, a funny one, a motion picture that the aficionado of slapstick will be talking about for years to come.”
The Blu-ray and DVD of THAT MAN FROM RIO / UP TO HIS EARS both come filled with bonus material.
THAT MAN FROM RIO extras include:
- “Silly and Serious: The Collaboration Georges Delerue and Philippe de Broca”: Interview with Stéphane Lerouge, who discusses the long friendship and collaborations between composer Delerue and director de Broca.
- “Brothers of Cinema: The Collaboration of Jean-Paul Rappeneau and Philippe de Broca”: Interview with Jean-Paul Rappeneau, co-writer of the film.
- “The Adventures of Adrien: The Catalan Affair”: Documentary on the making of the film, featuring interviews with star Jean-Paul Belmondo, co-writer Jean-Paul Rappeneau, assistant director Olivier Gérard and an unpublished interview with director Philippe de Broca.
- Original release trailer.
- 2014 rerelease trailer.
UP TO HIS EARS extras include:
- “From Cartouche to Cavaleur: The Collaborations of Jean Rochefort and Philippe de Broca”: Interview with actor Rochefort.
- “That Man From Hong Kong”: Documentary on the making of the film.
- Original French theatrical trailer.
- 2014 re-release trailer.