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The Given Word (1962)

O Pagador de Promessas (original title)
A simple yet devout Christian makes a vow to Saint Barbara after she saves his donkey, but everyone he meets seems determined to misunderstand his intentions. Will he be able to keep his promise in the end?

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(screenplay), (based on a play by) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Leonardo Villar ...
Zé do Burro / Donkey Jack (as Leonardo Vilar)
Glória Menezes ...
Rosa
Dionísio Azevedo ...
Olavo, the Priest
Geraldo Del Rey ...
Bonitão / Handsome
Roberto Ferreira ...
Dede
Norma Bengell ...
Marly, the Prostitute
Othon Bastos ...
Reporter
Antonio Pitanga ...
Coca, the Capoeira Fighter (as Antonio L. Sampaio)
Gilberto Marques ...
The Galicean
Milton Gaucho ...
Police Officer
Enoch Torres ...
Police Inspector
Carlos Torres ...
Coca's Friend
João Di Sordi ...
Police Detective (as João Desordi)
Veveldo Diniz ...
Sexton (as Velvedo Diniz)
Maria Conceição ...
Auntie
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Storyline

Zé-do-Burro has only one worldly possession, his donkey, that he named Nicolas and considers to have a sole like himself, a law abiding Christian just a trifle naive. During a tempest, Nicolas is seriously wounded, and Zé-do-Burro, out of despair, makes a promise: to carry a cross as large as Christ's, to the altar of Saint Barbara - the nearest being in the city of Bahia. He vows to do so in a Candomblé session, dedicated to the goddess Yansan - that in the popular belief corresponds to that Christian saint. Nicolas fully recovers from his illness, and Zé-do-Burro produces a large cross with his own hands and tools, and then carries it on foot to Bahia, accompanied by his wife, Rosa. He has to stay by the church's closed door, and the only person who comes to meet them is Bonitão, the local pimp, who offers to take Rosa to a pension while Zé-do-Burro keeps his promise of staying by the cross. Next morning, the priest is surprised but satisfied with the faith shown by Zé-do-Burro - ... Written by Artemis-9

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

cross | church | priest | reporter | brazil | See All (15) »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 June 1962 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Payer of Promises  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

First Brazilian film to be nominated for an Oscar. See more »

Connections

Referenced in To Each His Own Cinema (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A must see movie!
4 October 2014 | by (the companion galaxy just below Andromeda) – See all my reviews

A shame such an important movie has no poster here on IMDb. I wanted to add the one that is used on Wikipedia, but I would have to pay to do that. Strange.

Anyway, if you are critical of religion fanaticism, then you must see this movie! It shows what can become of fanatic people, how lack of education plays an important role in it, the arrogance of the church and the hypocrisy of our society.

Zé do Burro (Joe of the Donkey) has a soul of a child. He is a good guy, but extremely naive at the same time. His naivety is shamelessly exploited and people cruelly distort his good intentions, making an evil person out of him, when all he wanted was to do good.

The movie won the Golden Palm in Cannes and other prizes. It's a classic. Dialogs are a bit theatrical (only if you understand Portuguese), but so they used to be that time. A movie that will get under your skin.


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