The Garota from Ipanema

This is a screenplay for a short film that starts and ends in Liverpool, but which gets down to its nitty gritty in parts of Rio de Janeiro. The film starts in Probe,  a record shop in Liverpool. I first went into Probe in the late 70s asking for a record I'd heard John peel playing on Radio 1 (Zanti Misfits?).

The staff there told me to fuck off and laughed at me: "why don't you write to fucking John Peel and ask him for his copy". I never did.

I was writing the story at the time John Peel died, October 2004. It is dedicated to him.


There is a synopsis as well as the screenplay (these links will open up as PDF files with Firefox, Safari & I.Explorer, but with Opera right-click on them and choose Save Linked Content As...)


Certain events in the story did take place, when I spent 3 weeks in Rio in 2003 and later in Leicester, of all places. It wasn't for another year that I realised that there was story to be had. I'll pinpoint some of what did happen, assuming that you have downloaded and read the screenplay. If you haven't, the rest of this page will make no sense.

The character HIM is wearing a t-shirt when he meets BETHÂNIA in Probe, which he had bought in a shop in Ipanema. Yes, I bought that t-shirt (see below). In fact I was buying several, for my sister, my nieces and my parents. Guess where? The shop is in Ipanema, and is run by the actual original Girl from Ipanema (see below). She complimented me on my Portuguese and I like to think she flirted with me a bit. All good public relations, after all. But the next time you hear the song "The Girl from Ipanema", ask yourself how many people you know were flirted with by the girl who inspired the song: I know of a single person, me. What else? He meets some girls on a terrace in Ipanema. I met those girls, and the good (& innocent!) time He has with them until they get in the car was the good (& innocent!) time I had with them. Once HE gets into the car HE starts panicking, pleading with them to let HIM out. That was true. Both He & I got out of the car in Copacabana. However what happens to the girls after that in the story didn't however happen in real life. I know, because me and one of the girls emailed each other for a while. All of the story set in Liverpool is fiction. I later met a Brazilian girl in Leicester who was from Copacabana. It turned out she was from the street where I had stayed. She had been in England so long that she didn't know that a metro station had opened up in Copa or that there was a pension in the street. That, too, found it's way into the story, as part of HIS & BETHÂNIA's flirting.

I have a few photos from that time in Rio and here are some which refer to the places mentioned


Here's the Bofetada, the actual bar in Ipanema, where the Brazilian flashbacks kick off

This is Modern Sound, the Copacabana record shop/bar/restaurant/live jazz venue mentioned in the story. The person in the background in the white t-shirt is me. The tall guy to the right of him hiding from the camera is Oliveira, the meanest coolest caipirinha maker-shaker anywhere

This is the northern, tackier end of Copacabana, where the tragedy happens at a filling station. There is, in fact, no filling station here, but the setting would be suitable dodgy.


The t-shirt from Ipanema.

It has a facsimile on it of Vinícius de Morães' handwritten Brazilian lyrics to the Girl from Ipanema.

 The shop belongs to Helô Pinheiro, the flesh-and-blood woman who inspired the song

or or

Copyright © 2005/6/7/8/9 by Denis Murphy. All rights reserved. Revised: 04 Oct 2012 03:56 .