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Independência ou Morte (1972)

The dream of Brazilian independence, under Dom Pedro I, is expressed in the cry of "Freedom or Death" (O Grito de Independencia ou Morte), since cries were the only way to rally up support ... See full summary »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Tarcísio Meira ...
Glória Menezes ...
Marquesa de Santos
Dionísio Azevedo ...
José Bonifácio
Rubens Ewald Filho
Kate Hansen ...
Empress Leopoldina
Emiliano Queiroz ...
Manoel da Nóbrega ...
Dom João VI, king of Portugal
Heloísa Helena ...
Labanca ...
Frei Arrabida
Renato Restier ...
Barão de Mareschall
Gonçalves Ledo
Jairo Arco e Flexa
Abilio Pereira de Almeida
Maria Cláudia ...
Vanja Orico


The dream of Brazilian independence, under Dom Pedro I, is expressed in the cry of "Freedom or Death" (O Grito de Independencia ou Morte), since cries were the only way to rally up support against colonial oppression. Dom Pedro I (played by Tarcisio Meira) heads Brazil's break from his own parent's homeland, Portugal. A classic Brazilian historical costume drama epic. Written by Gonz30

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Release Date:

2 September 1972 (Brazil)  »

Also Known As:

Indépendance ou mort  »

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Did You Know?


The title ("Independence or Death!" in Portuguese) is the cry which is assumed to be said by the young prince (of Portugal) Pedro de Alcântara - son of D. João VI - when he decided to set Brazil free from Portugal. After the independence, the prince became Pedro I, emperor of Brazil. See more »


While Pedro and somebody else strolls in a park, the roof of a VW bus rushing by is clearly seen over the hedges. See more »

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Highlights in the Brazilian History
12 November 2009 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

In the Nineteenth Century, D. João VI allied to England against Napoleon Bonaparte. In 1807, when the invasion of Napoleon is eminent, the Portuguese Court flees to Brasil with D. João VI (Manoel Nóbrega), his wife Carlota Joaquina (Heloísa Helena) and their 9-year old son D. Pedro I. In 1817, the wolf D. Pedro I (Tarcísio Meira) is forced to get married with the Archiduchesse of Austria Maria Leopoldina (Kate Hansen). On 22 February 1821, the unfaithful Emperor controls a rebellion promulgating a Monarquic Constitution. A couple of months later, his father D. João VI returns to Portugal with Carlota Joaquina and the Portuguese Court and D. Pedro I is proclaimed Regent Prince of Brasil. When Portugal orders D. Pedro I to return to Portugal and leave Brasil in the condition of simple colony, he is supported by the people and on 09 January 1922 he decides to stay in Brasil ("Dia do Fico"). Portugal sends troops to Brasil, but D. Pedro orders them to return to Portugal. Then he promotes José Bonifácio de Andrade e Silva (Dionísio Azevedo) to the position of minister and personal adviser, and while traveling to the province of São Paulo in the end of August 1822 to control a rebellion against José Bonifácio, he meets Domitília de Castro e Canto Melo (Glória Menezes) and they become lovers. Meanwhile Portugal tries to transfer the power back and José Bonifácio concludes that D. Pedro I has two options: return to Portugal to be arrested or proclaim the independence of Brasil. On 7 September 1822, D. Pedro I roars "Independência ou Morte" (Independence or Death") in the bank of the Ipiranga River. Domitília receives the title of Viscountess of Santos first and then Marquise of Santos and together with the manipulative Chalaça (Emiliano Queiroz), they successfully conspire against the Andrade e Silva family. After the death of Empress Leopoldina, the popularity of D. Pedro I decreases and in 1829 he gets married with the Duchess of Leuchtenberg Amélia de Beauharnais. However, the political crises forces him to the ultimate attitude on 7 April 1831, abdicating his throne in favor of his 5-year old son D. Pedro II and leaving him under the custody of José Bonifácio de Andrade e Silva.

In 1972, Brasil lived a dark age with the military dictatorship of General Médici and the producer Oswaldo Massaini was blamed that he wanted to please the military government with "Independência ou Morte". Despite the bad reviews of the critics, this movie was one of the greatest (the second or third, if I am not wrong) box office of Brazilian movies in Brazil, meaning that people liked the movie. "Independência ou Morte" highlights a period of the wealthy Brazilian history with the most important parts of the biography of D. Pedro I. The plot is superficial regarding the intricate political background behind the actions of the Emperor and spends a long time with the romance of D. Pedro I and his most important mistress, the Marquise of Santos. Due to the restriction in the budget, the battle sequences are very short and poor. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "Independência ou Morte" ("Independence or Death")

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