Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||John Brahm|
|Produced by||Joe Pasternak (uncredited)|
|Screenplay by||Aben Kandel|
Edwin Justus Mayer
Stephen Morehouse Avery
|Story by||Jean Negulesco|
|Music by||Frank Skinner|
|Edited by||Philip Cahn|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|Budget||over $448,000 or $450,000|
French financier Paul Reynard (Rathbone) is sentenced to a ten-year term in a South American penal colony for bank fraud. His wife Irene (Gurie) and Paul's faithful servant Dirk (McLaglen) travel to Rio de Janeiro to arrange for Paul's escape. But once she's landed in the Brazilian capital, Irene falls in love with American engineer Bill Gregory (Cummings). After his escape Paul realizes that he's lost his wife forever to a better man. Seeking revenge, he prepares to shoot Bill in cold blood, but Dirk intervenes and kills Reynard instead.
In July 1938 Universal announced the film would star Danielle Darrieux who they had under contract and who had made The Rage of Paris for the studio. In October Universal said James Stewart would appear opposite Darrieux in the movie and Joel McCrea would play a role intended for Stewart, Destry Rides Again. In January Hedda Hopper reported that Darrieux did not want to return because she did not like the script for Rio. In March Joe Pasternak insisted that no one else would play her role.
The Los Angeles Times called it "a well made melodrama... Rathbone scores heavily... Cummings... received applause lasst night for his work. He should move a lot nearer the top after this performance."
The New York Times said it was "an unmistakable B buzzing like an A" due to Brahm's direction which built "characterization, avoiding the obvious wherever that is possible and digging beneath the externals for psychological elements of suspense and drama... a handful of exceptionally telling sequences... a character gallery of constant interest."