Rio das Mortes

1971 [GERMAN]

Action / Comedy

Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN

Top cast

Rainer Werner Fassbinder Photo
Rainer Werner Fassbinder as Hannas Tanzpartner
Hanna Schygulla Photo
Hanna Schygulla as Hanna
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
800.94 MB
German 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 27 min
P/S 0 / 3
1.45 GB
German 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 27 min
P/S 1 / 3

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by jaibo7 / 10

Male mythic dreams, female alarms

After the heavy-handed Brechtian devices of a number of his early films, Fassbinder really begins to get going in this made-for-TV piece about a couple of working class men who share a boyhood dream to search for treasure in Rio das Mortes in Peru. The dream they share is a typical storytelling "call to adventure" and the film delineates their deadbeat and usually hopeless attempts to raise the money for the venture - their economic situation is too hopeless for them to save, selling their possessions and cashing in their inheritances doesn't add up to much and attempts to finance the trip as a business venture and a research expedition fail due to their hopeless inabilities. But luck arrives in the form of a widow with more money than sense, who stumps up the finance and so off they go. What we've seen of them doesn't inspire much hope for their adventure...

All the while, their male story is ironically counterpointed with the hopes, dreams and aspirations of the live-in girlfriend of one of the men, played by the extraordinary Hanna Schygulla. She goes to college and takes part in a feminist theatre-piece (the conclusion of which is "women's own behaviour is the best evidence of their oppression") but learns little, as she dreams of placating her nagging mother by marrying and having lots of kids. All of that is made nonsense of by the dream-journey of the men, which she almost kiboshes by nearly shooting them at the end, a quirk of fate saving them.

Fassbinder, to my mind for the first time successfully, moulds his early obsession with the homo-social exclusion of the female in male friendships into a contemporary melodrama of some verve and wit. His story, a classic "quest myth", is ironically set in a society seething with casual misogyny, violence, class contempt, economic want and ignorance. Gritty realism is used to undermine the high-falutin dreams of the men, but the film suggests that lucky twists of fate might save a dream - all Fassbinder leaves men with is faith in turns of a friendly card; all he leaves women with is incompatible hopes of settling down with their menfolk, who shaped the patriarchal world in which they're subservient to ideals to which men's inmost dreams are opposed.

Reviewed by planktonrules2 / 10

The emperor has no clothes...

Rainer Werner Fassbinder is a writer/director whose body of work varies more widely than just about any other. Some of his films, such as "Mother Küsters Goes to Heaven", are brilliant and some are absolutely terrible and self-indulgent ("Querelle" comes to mind). There just is no categorizing of this enigmatic man's work. Yet, oddly, there are also some disciples of the man who talk about his films like they are ALL brilliant works of art--even though the average viewer would never sit through many of his films. Imagine Joe Average watching AND ENJOYING such Fassbinder films as "The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant"--it just isn't going to happen! And, because practically every film he made is adored by a small but loyal crowd, I am reminded of the tale of the Emperor's New Clothes! In the case of "Rio das Mortes", it's official--Fassbinder is, so to speak, absolutely naked!

While I realize that the production quality of Fassbinder's films are not usually up to Hollywood standards (partly, I think, because he made so many, many films so rapidly in succession),even by Fassbinder standards "Rio das Mortes" looks cheap. The print is ultra-grainy and the film looks as if it was filmed with an 8 or 16mm camera. It was steady (fortunately),but it just had poor resolution.

As for the acting and story, unfortunately, they were actually much worse than the poor camera-work. The acting, in many cases, was terrible--with actors doing about as well as you'd expect from community theater--but no better. There also was a pretty meaningless fistfight that made me laugh--as the blow obviously never connected! As for the plot, it never engaged, as you really never cared about these two fist fighting friends. Part of it was the script and part of you just wondered why these two flakes with absolutely no training wanted to sell everything to move to Peru to try to find some Incan treasure (though sometimes the idiots referred to it as 'Mayan'!). As for the film's ending involving the Robert Plant-like leading man and his sexy but screwy girlfriend with a gun, it just made my brain hurt.

Frankly, there's nothing to like about the film. Nothing.

Reviewed by zetes8 / 10

Well worth checking out

Excellent early Fassbinder about two shiftless young men who decide, seemingly on the spur of a moment, that the next big step in their lives will be an extended expedition for treasure in Peru's Rio das Mortes region. One of their fiancées (Hanna Schygulla, as gorgeous and as great as ever) finds the notion stupid and wants to put a stop to it. It's a droll comedy and has a ton of great sequences. This is the first film in a Fassbinder bender I'm going on. I'm planning on seeing all of the films of his that have recently been released on DVD. I've been thinking a lot about this particular auteur lately. I don't think that enough time has passed since his untimely death to allow his career to be taken into proper perspective. Fassbinder reminds me a lot of Rohmer, Ozu, Godard and Bresson. He's in his own little world in his films (a world which changed a lot in the 13 or so years during which he was active),and a lot of people are still misunderstanding it as overly theatrical, or stilted, or otherwise. The more films one sees by him, the more one gets adjusted to this universe. I think Rio das Mortes is best appreciated by Fassbinder's fans, and is unlikely to make any new converts (start with Ali: Fear Eats the Soul, Fox and His Friends, and The Marriage of Maria Braun).

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