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April Captains (2000)
"Capitães de Abril" (original title)

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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 1,800 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 8 critic

Story of the 1974 coup that overthrew the right-wing Portuguese dictatorship--which continued the fascist policies of long-time dictator Antonio Salazar--and of two young army captains who were involved in it.


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Title: April Captains (2000)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Stefano Accorsi ...
Manuel João Vieira ...
Marcantonio Del Carlo ...
Emmanuel Salinger ...
Manuel Manquiña ...
Duarte Guimarães ...
Manuel Lobão ...
Luís Miguel Cintra ...
Joaquim Leitão ...
Canto e Castro ...


Story of the 1974 coup that overthrew the right-wing Portuguese dictatorship--which continued the fascist policies of long-time dictator Antonio Salazar--and of two young army captains who were involved in it.

Add Full Plot | Add Synopsis


Há momentos em que a única solução é desobedecer.


Drama | History | War


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Official Sites:


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Release Date:

21 April 2000 (Portugal)  »

Also Known As:

April Captains  »

Box Office


FRF 30,000,000 (estimated)


ESP 27,088,816 (Spain) (29 June 2001)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:



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Did You Know?


When the armed forces came from Santarém to Lisbon on 25 April 1974, they really did stop at red lights as in the film. See more »


The officer of the day at Escola Prática de Cavalaria, Liutenent Lobão, doesn't wear the red band at his left arm that all all officers of the day must wear to identify them as such. See more »


Grândola, vila morena
Written and Performed by José Afonso
See more »

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User Reviews

A personal disappointment
13 December 2002 | by (Kingman, Arizona) – See all my reviews

Okay, I'm not going to critique this film in depth. I note the many elogious reviews in advance of me, and as I generally like Maria de Medeiros, I have been long hesitant to make a disparaging comment - and in such fashion nearly a year has passed. But each time I see that DVD on my shelf, I sense an inner groan. Anyway, let the elogious voices override me! But for other cinephiles like me - beware.

Expressed in simplest and gentlest terms, here's my stance:

The political turmoil and overthrow providing the backdrop for this film also served as a backdrop for a certain period of my life - via newspapers I read daily in my local middle-European pub. At that time, I followed the newsreports, but never fully grasped what the heck was transpiring. The reporters tended to report either in non-partisan terms, or with a conservatism which frowned upon any groups disturbing the peace or fomenting rebellion against the establishment. Those were times when other winds of unrest swirled through Paris, Berlin, Prague, and various places in the U.S., all of whose issues I understand clearly at the time - but dictatorship or not, my papers tended to treat the govermentment of Portugal simply as the establishment - not as a well-fleshed out "evil empire", to use flippant Star War terms.

So, week after week, I read of disturbances, but never found an intelligent editorial that might provide the history behind them, or evaluate the practices and social-economic impacts of the dictatorship, etc.

So, in purchasing this film, I had at least two hopes: to finally understand the details leading up to the social unrest, and to enjoy a well-conceived drama. This film gave me neither.

The film presupposes that viewers already have ample knowledge and deep emotions regarding the historical facts. And the drama - well, as I said, I want to encourage Maria de Medeiros and the Portugues film industry, but - it was trite and shallow.

I obtained my copy of the DVD from France - "Selection Official Cannes 2000

  • Un Certain Regard". The box shows smiling clean-shaven actors, the
lead giving the victory sign in a fashion that reminds me more of the Playboy bunny. After seeing the work, I wondered what the French could have thought of it - though as a shallow piece of "cinema verite'" with sensitive ethnic content, I can understand their natural inclination to praise it for its "honesty" but...

Look at the back of the box: "Un regard chaleuruex sur la Revolution" - a warm regard? Try describing Allende's overthrown and murder with a a "warm regard"! Try it with Czechoslovakia in 1968! Try it with the whole line-up of overthrows, and civil rebellions!

Another review: Maria de Medeiros a renoue' avec son pays, son enfance et son histoire." Rubbish, rubbish, rubbish! At least for me.

I love Portugal. In all of Europe, Lisbon, Barcelona and Prague are my favorite cities. But my love for a city and a country doesn't flesh out a vacuous film. I'll hang on to my ancient VHS tapes of Capas Negras and A Cancao de Lisboa - meanwhile, I'm stuck with a zone 2 by the above title that might as well go in the trash.

4 of 20 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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