The tragedy of a woman who - after seven years of vain searches - gave up hope of finding her husband, a knight lost in battle in Marroc with Sebastião, king of Portugal. She marries, has a...
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The tragedy of a woman who - after seven years of vain searches - gave up hope of finding her husband, a knight lost in battle in Marroc with Sebastião, king of Portugal. She marries, has a daughter by her second husband, and endures the silent reproach of an aid, Telmo Pais, the only who kept his hope that his master shall return, as well as the king... One day, a mysterious pilgrim arrives at the mansion. Written by
This film tells the tragedy of a Portuguese noble family in the early seventeenth century. Portugal had been without a king after the disappearance of King Sebastian in the Battle of Alcácer Quibir (1578) and the death of his uncle, King Henry I, who didn't leave descendants because of being Cardinal of the Church. Consequently, Portugal lost its independence, being attached by Spain and its king, Philip II. The life of Madalena de Vilhena, a Portuguese aristocrat, would be deeply affected by these events: her husband, Dom João de Portugal, disappears in the battle with king Sebastian, being presumed dead, so Madalena married Manuel de Sousa Coutinho, another aristocrat, having a daughter, Maria. Nevertheless, the fear of the return of the missing husband never ceased to haunt her...
Directed by António Lopes Ribeiro, this movie is the film adaptation of a popular play written by the genius of Almeida Garrett, one of the greatest writers and poets of Portuguese literature to date. It has a good cast of dramatic actors led by Maria Sampaio (in the role of Madalena de Vilhena), Maria Dulce (as Maria), Raul de Carvalho (as Manuel de Sousa Coutinho, later Frei Luís de Sousa) and João Villaret (as Telmo Pais).
This film is not quite a movie. We don't see in it the characteristics of the movies that we are used, as the intention wasn't to make a movie but just recording on film a play we normally see on stage. So this film is, above all, theater, and high-quality theater, with an exceptional cast, a paused and noble diction, an impeccable scenery and some lovely exterior scenes. The plot, the dialogs and the whole conception of the scenarios scrupulously follow what was written and recommended by Garrett, which leads us to say that watching this film is almost the same as reading the book or watching the play on stage. So, why it was recorded this movie? Because the cinema, at the time this film was made, its a good mean of transmitting culture, and the latest fashion as well. Thus, the recording of known theater plays was an acceptable form of cinema. Nowadays, of course, the audience no longer think so. When we want to see theater, we go to the theater. When we want to watch a movie, we don't expect to see on screen the same thing we can see on stage. Nevertheless, this film still have his merit, his elegance, his artistry and a great quality.
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