Brazilian Films List for collectors

Este post está escrito apenas em inglês pois os períodos e os nomes dos filmes são claros.  Solicite a tradução, se desejar. Trata-se de uma seleção de fimes brasileiros, desde a década de 30, para quem se interessa por uma filmografia brasileira, com foco histórico.


rolo de filmeA Norwegian friend of mine surprised me telling that he had a collection of Brazilian movies. When he named them, I noticed a very precise information on our Brazilian classic movies. I would like to complete his list, as a token of affection and also as an important information for those who love movies. If someone does not agree with the selection, please complete it in order we can build together a very representative reference for Brazilian movie collectors.

From the ‘30s

Limite (1931)/ Limit – It is about a man and two women that are lost in the ocean. Limit is a silent movie but its photograph and filmmaking art is something one must watch.

Ganga Bruta (1933) / Rough Gangue. Its director, Humberto Mauro, is considered one of the fathers of the Brazilian movie. It is about a love triangle and it explores the human condition, our need for love and the drama in each one lives. Other movies of this period were called chanchada, a kind of musical comedy, as The Voice of Carnival (1933), the first movie with Carmen Miranda. Sound was introduced in Brazilian movies at this time.

From the ´40/50s

In these decades we started to talk about a Brazilian movie industry that hired technicians from abroad and produced films with international quality.

O Cangaceiro (1953) – The Bandit (or The Brigand) – This movie, whose director was Lima Barreto, won the “Best Adventure Film” award at the Cannes Film Festival in 1953. It is a vey known movie abroad and our first international success. There was a remake of this movie in 1997. From the ´60s

Deus e o Diabo na Terra do Sol (1964)/ God and the Devil in the Land of the Sun (literal title). Masterpiece of the director Glauber Rocha, the movie is about religious and political fanaticism in Brazil´s northeast. It had a strong international influence.

Rio 40 Graus (1955) – Rio 40 Degrees. Its director, Nelson Pereira dos Santos, used Italian filmmaking techniques and started what we called “Cinema Novo” (new cinema) in Brazil, a productive phase.

Terra em Transe (1967) – Land in Anguish. The story takes place in a fictional province called El Dorado, where a populist political candidate runs afoul of the established interests and Paulo, the idealistic intellectual, must choose sides. The movie was banned in Brazil, in 1967, as it was considered subversive and irreverent to the Catholic Church. Afterwards, it was released on the condition that a certain character, a priest, received a specific name. Prizes: Luiz Buñuel and Fipresci at the XX International Movie Festival, Cannes, França, 1967.

O Pagador de Promessas (1962) – The Payer of Vows. The movie won the Golden Palma at the Cannes Film Festival. It is an interesting movie on the strong religious beliefs of the Brazilian people.

Vidas Secas (1963) – Barren Lives. Eight international prizes, this movie is based on a novel of Graciliano Ramos, an important Brazilian writer. It is about a northeastern family that lost their home by drought and walks from a land to another, trying to survive. It represents what we called “Cinema Novo” movement, very much centered on Brazilian problems like violence, poverty, regional and rural conflicts and so on. Barren Lives make the connection between the Cinema Novo and the movie production that would come later.

Os Fuzis (1964) – The Guns (or The Rifles). The plot takes place in an extremely poor region in the Northeast of Brazil, where a group of soldiers try to stop the population from sacking a food deposit. It was directed by Ruy Guerra, born in Mozambique but living in Brazil at that time. The movie has a good photography treatment, with a very strong visual and a good soundtrack. It is presented in dull sepia (not full color).

O Dragão da Maldade contra o Santo Guerreiro (1969) / The Dragon of Evil against the Saint Warrior also known as Antonio das Mortes. Glauber Rocha, the Director, is someone that a Brazilian hates or loves deeply. Its films, with many prizes (Antonio das Mortes received a prize for the direction of Glauber Rocha, during the Cannes Festival) need someone really interested to interact with them but, if it happens, you will be gratified with this interaction.

From the ´70s

O Bandido da Luz Vermelha (1968) – The Red Light Bandit. Directed by Rogério Sganzerla, this is a story of a famous Brazilian criminal, called Red Light Bandit as he used a red flashlight to break in the houses during the night and rape is female victims. The movie was shot four years after the beginning of Military Dictatorship.

Macunaíma (1969). The end of last decade brought the Tropicalist movement, with strong influence on our music, theatre and art scenes. The order was avoid foreign influence. Macunaíma, by Joaquim Pedro de Andrade, is a symbol of this movement. Macunaíma is a lazy hero. He is so lazy that started talking just when he was 6 years old. Living in the forest, moves to the city, living incredible adventures in a funny movie. Based on the 1928 novel by Mario De Andrade that is considered one of the founding texts of Brazilian modernism.

Dona Flor e seus Dois Maridos (1976) / Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands – Bruno Barreto. This movie had a remake made in USA (Kiss me Goodbye), directed by Robert Mulligan. The script was based on Jorge Amado novel. Dona Flor is married to Vadinho, a hot lover. Flor is a subservient wife who gives cooking lessons because she is well known in town for her good cooking. They have a great sex life but, unfortunately, he dies. Flor has a 2nd marriage, with a pharmacist, a man that is completely different from Vadinho. Unhappy, she “calls” her first husband, and he really comes as a spirit, to satisfy her. You will have many funny moments and a good picture of the Brazilian culture with this movie.

From the `80s

In the 1980’s, the production of movies was not in a big phase, despite some good movies can be referred, with an emphasis on political issues, as:

Eles não Usam Black-Tie (1981)/They Don’t Wear Black-Tie. Directed by Leon Hirzman, it tells the story of a strike in the industrial area of São Paulo;

Memórias do Cárcere (1984)/Memories of Prison. Directed by Nelson Pereira dos Santos, it is based on a book by Graciliano Ramos, and presents the life of political prisoners.

A Hora da Estrela (1985)/The Hour of the Star. Directed by Susana Amaral and based on a novel by Clarice Lispector, it is about a girl that comes from the northeast to the southeast, as many persons have done in Brazil. She suffers the impact of the big cities life.

From the ´90s

Carlota Joaquina, Princesa do Brasil (1995) /Carlota Joaquina, Princess of Brazil. This is the first movie directed by Carla Camurati and it represents the first step in a new stage of Brazilian filmography.

O Quatrilho (1995) – Nominated for Oscar, it tells the story of two of the hundreds of families that came from Italy to Brazil in late 19th century and beginning of the 20th, looking for a better life. In my opinion, this is one of the best Brazilian movies.

And others like:

Baile Perfumado (1996)/Perfumed Ball; Os Matadores (1997); Estorvo (1999)/Turbulence (English Title) and so on. Let´s post something about modern movies later.

Sources for research: Information (Portuguese) on Brazilian movies (1897-2007): Download O Pagador de Promessas:


5 Responses to “Brazilian Films List for collectors”

  1. Henning Jacobsen Says:

    Hello from Norway,

    I read your list of brazilian movies with great interest. As a collector of movies from all continents of the world, I have also gathered some from your country. But living in Norway, it is not easy to get relevant information about what is produced. Some very few are shown at the cinema here – or on our national TV channels. Nevertheless, I try to learn more from internet, and from my few friends in Brazil. Therefore, my comments to your list must clearly be judged as an outsider’s look:

    The 60s: My first meeting with the cinema of your country was through the movies of the great Glaube Rocha. It was a breathtaking experience. I have 3 of his films in my collection, that you also mention: Deus E O Diabo Na Terra Do Sol (1964), Terra Em Transe (1966) and O Dragao Da Maldade Contra Santo Guerreiro (1969).

    The 70s: Unfortunately, this is a blank decade in my collection.

    The 80s: My rediscovery of the brazilian movie, is due to Hector Babenco and his movies Pixote: A Lei Do Mais Fraco (1981) and O Beijo Da Mulher Aranha (1985). Later he went to New York to make Ironweed (1987).

    The 90s: For me this was the decade I got to know Walter Salles and his movies: Terra Estrangeira (1996) and his famous Central Do Brasil (1998).

    My brazilian movies from after millenium: Walter SAlles: Abril Despedacado (2001), Diarios Di Motocicleta (2003) and Dark Water (2005 – filmed in Los Angeles), Fernando Meirelles: Cidade De Deus (2002) and Constant Gardener (2005 – filmed in Berlin), Karim Aïnouz: Madame Satä (2002), Sergio Machado: Cidade Baixa (2005) and Andrucha Waddington: Casa De Areia (200%).

    I am aware that these movies are amongst the most published and marketed internationally and that they might not be representative of brazilian filmmaking as such. This is why I like to learn more, also from other parts of your film industry. My problem is only that I need english subtitles, since I still have not learned the portugese language…

    I am glad to receive some comments…

    Henning Jacobsen, Oslo, Norway

  2. In some of the Scenes in Bruno I cannot believe Sacha Cohen as able to pull them off without laughing.

    • educadoresurbanos Says:

      You´re absolutely right despite the movie in Brazil is being criticized for a lot of people… They say he goes too far…

  3. imdb…

    […]Brazilian Films List for collectors « Blogging movies[…]…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: