Blame it on Rio Preview

Bessy the Alligator deposits Rich and Poe on the sandy shores of the island paradise before swimming merrily about the lagoon. “It’s so blue!” exclaims Poe in wonder. “So natural and beautiful and not creepy at all, just like Steve said!” shout Rich in glee. They frolic naked about the island, wild and free. Suddenly a beautiful girl peeks out from behind a tree. “Why hello young lady,” says Rich, extending a hand to the girl. Her name is Rio and she was shipwrecked here long ago and is ignorant about the world. Thus begins an entirely platonic mentorship between Rich, Poe, and Rio. They teach her the important things in life, like how to navigate the tricky politics of the male-dominated world of police work and a patented Twin Chop. Rio shows them the sources of water, an ancient abandoned sacrifice location, and how to fish. “Excellent, all very useful,” they say as they help Rio steady the glock she’s using for target practice. Time passes and they come to consider Rio like a daughter. She’s growing up so fast and while they worry about the danger of her pursuing her dream to become a detective, they can’t help but swell with pride. Just then a rustling in the bushes startles them and they realize that they had nearly forgotten about Steve, Bessy, and the civil war on the mainland! Has it finally arrived? Instead a couple of old farts stumble out of the woods and into camp. Their eyes twinkle at the sight of Rio, now a young beautiful lady. “Hoo hoo, who’s this?” they chortle. After Rio introduces herself they nudge Rich and Poe, “guess we can always blame it on Rio, right?” Rich and Poe scowl… a war is about to begin after all. That’s right! We’re watching Blame it on Rio as a connection from Glimmer Man in our never ending chain of BMT films. This is a 1984 Michael Caine picture about an old man who gets caught up in an affair with his best friend’s seventeen year old daughter. No, I’m not kidding. That’s actually what this movie is about. It sounds terrible and upsetting. Let’s go!

Blame It on Rio (1984) – BMeTric: 28.8; Notability: 22 

(Shockingly high IMDb rating given the subject matter. The notability is about what I would expect … like 20+ means it was a movie likely released to theaters it seems like. So it is kind of the minimum number of people to have a film released to theaters.)

Leonard Maltin – 2.5 stars –  Caine has a fling with his best friend’s sexy teenage daughter while vacationing in Rio de Janeiro. Caine’s terrific, Johnson is voluptuous, Demi is obviously intimidated in topless beach scenes, and the script is kind of a sniggering TV sitcom, with a heavy-handed music score of too-familiar records. Written by Charlie Peters and Larry Gelbart. Remake of the French film One Wild Moment.

(Hmmm can I watch One Wild Moment … I hope so. I am skeptical Caine is “terrific”, but he gets to what I was thinking the film was going to be like. A television film that stumbled its way into theaters. It sounds gross by the way.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZOTSkgIP80/

(Wow. First, that trailer legit has bare breasts in it which seems crazy. Second, that is just a sequence of random scenes and jokes from the film, and then at the end it just says “I mean … come and look at beautiful shots of Rio I guess? There is probably naked ladies, and it is vaguely funny.” Really doesn’t get into the creepiness of the whole thing, you barely know that the two girls are their children!)

Directors – Stanley Donen – (Known For: Singin’ in the Rain; Charade; Funny Face; Seven Brides for Seven Brothers; Bedazzled; Two for the Road; Arabesque; On the Town; What Lola Wants; Indiscreet; Wedding Bells; The Pajama Game; The Grass Is Greener; It’s Always Fair Weather; Kismet; Staircase; Future BMT: Saturn 3; BMT: Blame It on Rio; Notes: Saturn 3 and Blame it on Rio went back to back and it basically ended the slow wind down of his career.)

Writers – Charlie Peters (screenplay) – (Known For: Ruth & Alex; My One and Only; Future BMT: 3 Men and a Little Lady; Krippendorf’s Tribe; My Father the Hero; Her Alibi; Music from Another Room; BMT: Hot to Trot; Blame It on Rio; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Hot to Trot in 1989; Notes: He was hired on to Columbia in a program developed to garner good PR For Columbia which was dealing with the David Begelman embezzlement scandal at the time.)

Larry Gelbart (screenplay) – (Known For: Tootsie; Bedazzled; A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum; The Thrill of It All; The Wrong Box; Neighbors; Oh, God!; BMT: Blame It on Rio; Notes: Created M*A*S*H. He was nominated for two Oscars, for Tootsie and Oh God!)

Claude Berri (based on an original screenplay by) (uncredited) – (Known For: Jean de Florette; Manon des Sources; Germinal; Ensemble, c’est tout; Une femme de ménage; Le vieil homme et l’enfant; Uranus; Lucie Aubrac; BMT: Blame It on Rio; Notes: Mostly a producer, and wrote a bunch of French films throughout the 70s and 80s. He also won an oscar for a short film.)

Actors – Michael Caine – (Known For: The Dark Knight; Inception; Interstellar; The Dark Knight Rises; The Prestige; Dunkirk; Kingsman: The Secret Service; Batman Begins; Secondhand Lions; Now You See Me; The Eagle Has Landed; Children of Men; Get Carter; Journey 2: The Mysterious Island; A Bridge Too Far; Youth; Austin Powers in Goldmember; Miss Congeniality; Dirty Rotten Scoundrels; Going in Style; Future BMT: Bewitched; The Swarm; Beyond the Poseidon Adventure; Sherlock Gnomes; King of Thieves; Dear Dictator; Cars 2; The Hand; Now You See Me 2; Sleuth; Mr. Destiny; The Statement; Around the Bend; Surrender; Water; BMT: Jaws: The Revenge; On Deadly Ground; Get Carter; The Last Witch Hunter; Blame It on Rio; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actor in 1981 for Dressed to Kill, and The Island; and Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Jaws: The Revenge in 1988; Notes: Was born Maurice Joseph Micklewhite in London and took his name from The Caine Mutiny.)

Michelle Johnson – (Known For: Death Becomes Her; Far and Away; Waxwork; Future BMT: Dr. Giggles; Gung Ho; BMT: The Glimmer Man; Blame It on Rio; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst New Star for Blame It on Rio in 1985; Notes: She was born in Alaska and starred in a series of non-theatrical films mostly in the late-80s and early-90s. She was Model of the Year in 1982.)

Demi Moore – (Known For: A Few Good Men; Ghost; St. Elmo’s Fire; The Hunchback of Notre Dame; One Crazy Summer; Rough Night; Margin Call; G.I. Jane; Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle; Disclosure; Mr. Brooks; The Joneses; About Last Night…; Bobby; Deconstructing Harry; Flawless; Beavis and Butt-Head Do America; Forsaken; We’re No Angels; Love Sonia; Future BMT: LOL; The Juror; The Butcher’s Wife; Indecent Proposal; The Seventh Sign; Corporate Animals; Very Good Girls; Half Light; Bunraku; Young Doctors in Love; Passion of Mind; Wild Oats; Blind; Happy Tears; Now and Then; BMT: Striptease; Nothing But Trouble; The Scarlet Letter; Blame It on Rio; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Actress in 1997 for Striptease, and The Juror; and in 1998 for G.I. Jane; Winner for Worst Supporting Actress for Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle in 2004; Winner for Worst Screen Couple for Striptease in 1997; Nominee for Worst Actress in 1992 for Nothing But Trouble, and The Butcher’s Wife; in 1994 for Indecent Proposal; in 1996 for The Scarlet Letter; and in 2001 for Passion of Mind; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple for The Scarlet Letter in 1996; Notes: Somewhat notably is quarantining with her children, husband … and ex-husband Bruce Willis? In a series of bizarre photos Bruce Willis is creeping in the background. Turns out that Bruce Willis’ wife and kid were supposed to be there as well, but got trapped in isolation due to unforeseen circumstances. Was also married to Ashton Kutcher for a time.)

Budget/Gross – N/A / Domestic: $18,644,570 (Worldwide: $18,644,570)

(Also amazingly high … what it up with like The Blue Lagoon and films like this pulling in $20+ million takes? It just seems so weird. Probably cost a mint to make, this is Michael Caine’s “I want to buy a house, what garbage film can I be in this year?” peak.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 8% (2/24): It isn’t clear who is most culpable for this creepy comedy’s sheer wrongness, but its smarmy laughs and uncomfortable romance will leave audiences feeling guilty long afterward.

(Hahahahahah, yes this is what I expected when this film was chosen. It should be hidden from the world, never to be seen again … right after we watch it I guess. Reviewer Highlight: This movie is clearly intended to appeal to the prurient interests of dirty old men of all ages. – Roger Ebert, The Chicago Sun-Times)

Poster – Aging Poorly

(What was happening with posters. Do you want me to sit and read it? Because I won’t. If you want to show me a girl in a bikini, just show me a girl in a bikini. Why the other 1000 things on the poster? Also why is the girl looking in a mirror. Someone needs to write an essay about this poster. D)

Tagline(s) – You can blame the night, blame the wine, blame the moon in her eyes, but when all else fails . . . you’d better . . . Blame it on Rio! (C)

(This is upsetting on a moral level. Slightly less upsetting on a tagline level. I mean, it’s got features of a tagline despite being like twelve words too long.)

Keyword – rio de janeiro brazil

Top 10: Bohemian Rhapsody (2018), Charlie’s Angels (2019), Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014), The Incredible Hulk (2008), 2012 (2009), Geostorm (2017), Fast & Furious 5 (2011), The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 (2011), The Money Pit (1986), Cars 2 (2011)

Future BMT: 72.2 The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 (2011), 70.3 Mr. Magoo (1997), 58.2 Wild Orchid (1989), 44.4 Delta Force 2: The Colombian Connection (1990), 30.6 Cars 2 (2011);

BMT: 2012 (2009), Geostorm (2017), Mechanic: Resurrection (2016), Blame It on Rio (1984), Driven (2001)

(The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 is so bad, and indeed has a decent part in Rio. I’m intrigued by Magoo. Magoo is probably so so bad. Rio really had a moment in the 2010’s … well I guess just Twilight came out then.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 17) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Demi Moore is No. 4 billed in Blame It on Rio and No. 1 billed in Striptease, which also stars Burt Reynolds (No. 2 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Seige Tale (No. 5 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 4 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 4 + 1 + 2 + 5 + 4 + 1 = 17. If we were to watch Surrender we can get the HoE Number down to 11.

Notes – According to contemporary news stories, special parental consent was required in order to allow the nude scenes featuring Michelle Johnson, as she was not yet eighteen at the time they were filmed. Publicity for this movie also stated that Johnson was around two months out of high school when she was cast. (Oh no no no no no no no no no no no no no)

The theatrical movie poster, featuring the rear view of a girl in a “Brazilian cut” bikini caused such a stir that an altered, airbrushed version of the same poster with a less revealing bikini was issued. (Oh God, no no no no no no no no)

Director Stanley Donen has referred to the production of this movie in Brazil as being “horrendous”. Donen has said that principal photography was marred by excessive bureaucratic requirements for personal information for the cast and crew; endless rainfall falling on days, in which the forecast said otherwise; and the late, and even non-arrival of goods, products, and services.

Yvette Mimieux and her then-husband, Stanley Donen, saw the original French movie In a Wild Moment (1977) — aka Un moment d’égarement — in Santa Monica, California, and decided that they wanted to remake it, and quickly optioned the property for an American version, which became this movie. In 2015 a French remake called Un moment d’égarement was released.

According to Allmovie, “(film) critics aptly noticed (Michael) Caine’s apparent discomfort throughout the film”. (Hahahahaha)

Final theatrical movie directed by Stanley Donen.

Michelle Johnson said during a 1984 interview that it wasn’t until after she was cast that she learned her role involved total nudity. “My parents were a bit concerned about it and I was too,” she said. “I always wanted to have a career (in film) and I wanted to make the right moves at the right time. So we read the script and we talked to Stanley to find out exactly what his intentions were for the film. My parents looked into Stanley’s reputation and seemed satisfied because he makes such quality films.” Johnson said she was incredibly nervous the first time she took her clothes off and stood around naked in front of the cast and mostly male crew. It was like hundreds of eyes were all staring at her exposed body. But once the camera started rolling, she was fine. “When I was being Jennifer, when I was really focused in on that character, I wasn’t aware that I was topless or completely naked in those scenes. That was the last thing on my mind because I was so focused. But the minute Stanley said “cut’ I was immediately aware that I was standing in front of 20 or 30 people with no clothes on and I picked up a robe and ran to my room.”

In her memoir Inside Out, Demi Moore reveals that she ended up in bed with a member of the crew one night. “Peter, a young guy who was running the second unit camera on the movie” is assumed to be Peter Lyons Collister. (This is the weirdest note I’ve read on IMDb I think)

This movie was released seven years after the original French movie, In a Wild Moment (1977). According to Randy Lofficier’s 1998 article “REMAKE… AMERICAN STYLE: American Writers Discuss the Writing and Crediting Process for Remakes of Foreign Films”, this remake “does not identify the French film and its writer, Claude Berri.”

Michelle Johnson said she didn’t even know who Michael Caine was when she was invited to audition. “This was so embarrassing,” she said in an interview when the film was released. “.So I called a friend who’s older than me. She goes to movies a lot. And she said, “Oh, that’s that Kung Fu guy.’ She was getting him mixed up with David Carradine. I immediately went out and saw “Alfie’ and “The Man Who would be King” and “Sleuth.’ I was very nervous at the audition, especially after seeing those movies.”

Sir Michael Caine performs a Greek Chorus role in this movie, which intermittently cuts to him talking to the audience from a studio shot with a gray wall background, explaining the twists and turns of the movie’s storyline. (Whaaaaaaaaaaa)

Director Stanley Donen said in a 1984 interview that he originally wanted an experienced actress for the role of Jennifer. He was looking for a young girl who was beautiful, lively, energetic and extroverted, but couldn’t find one that satisfied him who was willing to go nude. So he started auditioning new inexperienced actresses and he found Michelle Johnson. Even though she was a model, he thought it may be difficult convincing her and her parents that she would have to do nude scenes. But he said they were all fine with it. “Girls, you know, if they’re attractive, most of them are not at all unhappy about being topless,” he reasoned. “They are quite beautiful and they like to be admired.” (Oh no no no no no no no)

Demi Moore turned down the role of Lucy Lane in Supergirl (1984) to appear on this film. (I mean … uh, good choice?)

Awards – Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst New Star (Michelle Johnson, 1985)

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