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The Given Word (1962)
"O Pagador de Promessas" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  1 June 1962 (France)
8.3
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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 1,359 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 6 critic

A good but simple Christian dies, trying to keep his vow to Saint Barbara for her to save his donkey.

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(screenplay), (based on a play by), 1 more credit »
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Title: The Given Word (1962)

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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

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

Film debut of Othon Bastos. See more »

Connections

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

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User Reviews

A Latin American Masterpiece
8 January 2003 | by (Brasilia, Brazil) – See all my reviews

It is not a surprise that this movie won the golden palm in Cannes. The story of the man that carry a big and heavy cross as a promise for the healing of his donkey is the simpliest and the most beautiful. The poetic way as it is shown became the film an unforgettable classic, with Zé as the protagonist. For sure, technically it is a pre-historic film, the sound quality and editing is really bad, but it even help the audience to focus what really cares. That is not only about poverty, but about humanity. If you liked Central Station, you can't miss.


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