8.3/10
2,720
13 user 10 critic

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?

Director:

Anselmo Duarte

Writers:

Anselmo Duarte (screenplay), Dias Gomes (based on a play by) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
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 Roberto Ferreira ... Dede
Norma Bengell ... Marly, the Prostitute
Othon Bastos Othon Bastos ... Reporter
Antonio Pitanga Antonio Pitanga ... Coca, the Capoeira Fighter (as Antonio L. Sampaio)
Gilberto Marques Gilberto Marques ... The Galicean
Milton Gaucho Milton Gaucho ... Police Officer
Enoch Torres Enoch Torres ... Police Inspector
Carlos Torres Carlos Torres ... Coca's Friend
João Di Sordi João Di Sordi ... Police Detective (as João Desordi)
Veveldo Diniz Veveldo Diniz ... Sexton (as Velvedo Diniz)
Maria Conceição 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

Taglines:

The story of a vow that a woman broke and a man kept.

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Still remains the first and only Brazilian film to have ever won the Palm D'or at the Cannes Film Festival. See more »

Connections

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

User Reviews

 
What is a man's limit to pay a promise?
7 June 1999 | by emppgSee all my reviews

This great film, received the principal prize in Cannes and it is one of the best Brazilian films of all the times. A simple man, whose donkey was sick, gets its cure and he decides like this to pay a promise Saint Barbra, to who attributed the salvation of the animal.

Main representative of the brazilian "Cinema Novo" , the film is based on an exceptional play, and it is a realistic film, very well interpreted and driven, and it shows one on the most dramatic sides of the Brazilian people: the fidelity in paying a promise, cost what to cost!


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Details

Country:

Brazil

Language:

Portuguese

Release Date:

17 April 1962 (Brazil) See more »

Also Known As:

Payer of Promises See more »

Filming Locations:

Salvador, Bahia, Brazil

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$8,229
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Cinedistri See more »
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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