OSS 117: Lost in Rio

OSS 117: Lost in Rio
Directed by Michel Hazanavicius
Produced by Éric Altmayer
Nicolas Altmeyer
Screenplay by Jean-François Halin
Michel Hazanavicius
Story by Jean Bruce (novels)
Based on OSS 117: Nest of Spies
Starring Jean Dujardin
Louise Monot
Music by Ludovic Bource
Cinematography Guillaume Schiffman
Distributed by Gaumont
Release dates
  • 15 April 2009 (2009-04-15)
Running time
101 minutes
Country France
Language French
Budget $23,200,000
Box office $39,569,831[1]

OSS 117: Lost in Rio, in the original French OSS 117: Rio ne répond plus (literally "OSS 117: Rio doesn't respond anymore", a reference to the 1930s film F.P.1 antwortet nicht) is a 2009 French comedy film directed by Michel Hazanavicius. It is a parody of the spy film genre. The film follows the exploits of a French secret agent, OSS 117, in Brazil in 1967. This film is a sequel to the 2006 film OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies. As with Nest of Spies, the film is inspired by the novels written by Jean Bruce, and the humor is based in part on the prejudices of de La Bath, especially his clumsiness in dealing with matters of race, religion, and gender roles.


The film opens with a ski chalet party sequence in Gstaad where Hubert Bonisseur de La Bath aka OSS 117 is entertaining a Chinese countess. The party is attacked by Red Chinese gunmen working for a Mr. Lee and everyone but Hubert and the Countess are killed, with Hubert comically killing some of his own guests by accident. Returning to SDECE headquarters, Hubert is assigned to deliver a blackmail payment of 50,000 new Francs to Professor Von Zimmel, a Nazi who escaped to South America and has a microfilm list of French Nazi sympathizers.

Once in Rio, Hubert is attacked at various times by relatives of Mr. Lee's gunmen, encounters a foul-mouthed American Felix Leiter-type CIA agent Bill Tremendous, the femme fatale Carlotta, Professor Von Zimmel's luchador enforcers and eventually Mossad agents intent on bringing Professor Von Zimmel back to Israel for trial. OSS 117 teams up with Dolorès Koulechov, a beautiful Israeli Army Colonel to bring Von Zimmel to Israel in the manner of Adolf Eichmann. Their lead to Von Zimmel is his son who is now a hippie.

Throughout the film the main character has two main romantic interests. The first is a mysterious beauty Carlotta (Reem Kherici). The second is Israeli Army officer, Dolorès Koulechov, who spends most of the film exasperated at OSS 117's misogynistic, racist, colonial tendencies and has no interest in the main character, but warms up to him in the end. When asked by de La Bath why Koulechov does not like the dictatural Brazilian military government of the time, she lists its examples of totalitarianism that the puzzled de La Bath finds the same as the France of Charles de Gaulle.

- Do you know what a dictatorship is ? It's when people are communists, when they are cold with gray hats and boots with zippers. That's a dictatorship !
- Then, what do you call a country with a military leader controlling everything, a secret police, a single TV channel with every information controlled by the state ?
- I call that "France", Miss. "General De Gaulle's France..."

Throughout the film, de La Bath is forced to engage with hippies, exploration of sexuality, gender roles in different belief systems, and his personal convictions about society and prejudice.


Jean Dujardin, who plays the protagonist of the series, Hubert Bonisseur de La Bath.


The film is a sequel to the original OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies released in 2006. It attracted 260,000 viewers more than the opening of OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies. Jean Dujardin has ruled out a third movie for the time being with the rise of ISIL, feeling it to be inappropriate.[2] The only returning character is Lesignac, de La Bath's superior. However, whilst in the first movie Lesignac was played by Claude Brosset, due to his death, the character was played by Pierre Bellemare.


The film is a continuation of the OSS 117 series of Eurospy films from the 1950s and 1960s, which were in turn based on a series of novels by Jean Bruce, a prolific French popular writer. The main character in the OSS 117 series is a secret agent of the SDECE, Hubert Bonisseur de La Bath, also known by his code name OSS 117. The character is played by Jean Dujardin.

However, instead of taking the genre seriously, the film parodies the original André Hunebelle OSS 117 series and other conventional spy and Eurospy films such as Se Tutte le Donne del Mondo with its sequence on top of the Christ the Redeemer statue, and most noticeably the early James Bond series right down to the cinematography, art direction and costumes of the 1960s–1970s. For example, driving scenes are all filmed with obvious rear projection and camera movements are simple, and avoid the three-dimensional Steadycam and crane movements that are easily accomplished today. The film also parodies Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo and North by Northwest with de La Bath's clothing inspired by Harper and the set furniture inspired by Dean Martin's Matt Helm films.[3]

The film opens and closes with Dean Martin songs and reuses footage from The Greatest Show on Earth (1952) and Furia à Bahia pour OSS 117 (OSS 117: Mission for a Killer) (1965).

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External links

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