Monday, 2 April 2012

1962 - O pagador de promessas

Brazil has been an under-developed country forever! Since I was born in 1949, I have heard about it. It certainly is a sad truth that we can't shirk from. The Brazilian dominant class has always been predators that could not see much ahead but only their pressing needs. In 1930, Brazil had a change in government that led to what they called a New Republic. After WWII, in 1946, Brazil had a new Constitution voted on and started a new virtuous cycle that ended in 1964, with the disastrous overthrown of democracy that had been so hardly earned in 1946.  

This period between 1946 and 1964 was the best period Brazil has ever known in its history. Everything good that could happen to the country... happened. There were two particular good years within this period: 1958 Brazil won Football World Cup in Stockholm in Sweden and 1962 Brazil won Football's World Cup again in Santiado de Chile. 

But was Brazil only football? No, Brazilian music has always been brillant. Believe it or not, even the Brazilian film industry was something to be praised once! 'O pagador de promessas' (La parole donnée) won the covetous Palme d'Or at Cannes Festival in 27 May 1962 in a competition that included such luminaries as Italy's 'Mondo cane', Luis Buñuel's 'El angel exterminador', Antonioni's 'L'eclisse', Pietro Germi's 'Divorzio alla italiana' and Michael Cacoyannis' 'Ilektra'.

Norma Benguel kisses Leonardo Villar in Cannes where 'O pagador de promessas' won as Best Picture.
Dionizio de Azevedo (the priest) & Leonardo Vilar (Zé do Burro).

Miss São Paulo anti-climax

The beauty pageant business in Brazil was concentrated in Rio de Janeiro. It started in the 1930s but it really picked up steam after Martha Rocha was the runner-up at Miss Universe in 1954 in Long Beach, California. Suddenly, Miss Brazil pageant became a major national event and it was moved to Maracanãzinho arena in 1958 which was packed to the rafters. Miss Brazil became huge. 

Miss São Paulo was a different story. Maybe because São Paulo is land-locked and Paulistas are not really used to seeing girls and boys in swim-suits... well, the Miss São Paulo beauty pageant had always been a lacklustre affair... downright dull and a complete anti-climax if compered to other states. 

Besides being an uninspired event there was some sort of 'bad omen' attached to it. Most Miss São Paulo contestants through the years were not beautiful or even graceful. So it sort of became common knowledge that every Miss São Paulo regardless of the year was unavoidably ugly and ungraceful. Those unfortunate girls that wore the São Paulo sash usually ended up being booed off the catwalk by the crowd at Maracanãzinho in Rio de Janeiro.

Julieta Strauss is crowned Miss São Paulo on 16 Junhe 1962 at Sociedade Hebraica (the Jewish Club) - O Cruzeiro 23 July 1962.

Miss São Paulo 1962 contest was actually a little different from previous years. The winner was Julieta Strauss, a Paulista girl of German descent who was not entirely deprived of grace. Fräulein Strauss had some charm (even though she sported a double-chin) and did the unthinkable: she was the runner up at Miss Brazil 1962 pageant held on 23rd June 1962 in Rio de Janeiro which entitled her to go to Long Beach, California to compete at Miss International Beauty pageant.

'O Cruzeiro' 23 June 1962 show Alda Coutinho, Miss Guanabara 1961 crowning Vera Lucia Saba, Miss Guanabara 1962.  
Miss Bahia, Maria Olivia Rebouças, Miss Brazil 1962 is crowned by Vera Braun, Miss Brazil 1961 #2.

For some mysterious reasons 1962 Miss Universe pageant was one of the least exciting of all time. Here's Norma Nolan, Miss Argentina who was crowned Miss Universe with no scepter. Besides, her Miss Universe sash was dumped on top of her mink coat clashing with the other sash underneath. Miss Brazil, Maria Olivia Rebouças (#5) seems out of place. Anja Aulikki Järvinen (#3), Miss Finland doesn't look too happy either. Anna Geirsdóttir (#2), Miss Iceland looks all right. Helen Liu Shiu-Man (#4) representing a fictitious Republic of China looks elsewhere.       

Sunday, 19 August 1962. 
Tania Verstak, Miss Australia wins the International Beauty Contest in Long Beach,California. Poor Julieta Strauss was overwhelmed by the competion and could not even be included in the 15 semi-finalists.
18 Aug 1962 Julieta Strauss Miss Brazil #2 wearing a super-mini-skirt braces herself to fly to Long Beach, California in search of the title of Miss International Beauty; 1st September 1962 Julieta was lucky enough to be photographed near Tania Verstak, Miss Australia who eventually became Miss International Beauty 1962. See news about Marilyn Monroe suicide. 
singer sensation Elza Soares in a hot romance with Garrincha, football sensation.
Bossa Nova at the Carnegie Hall in New York in 21 November 1962; Carlos Lyra plays his guitar.
Roberto Menescal, Chico Feitosa & Carmen Costa plus Antonio Carlos Jobim perform at the Carnegie Hall on 22 November 1962.

revista 'O Cruzeiro' 1962.

Celly Campello, Tony Campello, Germano Mathias, Hebe Camargo, Pery Ribeiro, Francisco Egydio e Isaurinha Garcia e marido Walter Wanderley; sentado como Buddah o Osny Silva. Celly Campello se casa em Maio de 1962 e fecha um período da MPB.

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