October 09, 1995 12:00 PM

PBS (Fri, Oct. 6, 10 p.m. ET)

A-

This arresting, unconventional film is a biography of the 1940s movie star best known for her elaborate fruit-basket headdresses. It follows Miranda’s life from her early years as a poor Portuguese immigrant in Brazil to her extraordinary if fleeting career on Broadway and in Hollywood. The “Brazilian Bombshell” died in 1955 at 46, only hours after making a comeback appearance on The Jimmy Durante Show. But this documentary is also an unusually personal essay about Miranda’s enduring impact on Pan-American culture and on the imagination of Brazilian filmmaker Helena Solberg. Weaving together news, interviews with intimates, vibrant Technicolor footage from Miranda’s films and chimerical dream sequences featuring Carmen impersonator Erik Barreto, this film creates a portrait with both depth and flair.

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