8.3/10
2,079
11 user 8 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:

Writers:

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

Photos

Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Barren Lives (1963)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A poor family in the Northeast of Brazil (Fabiano, the father; Sinhá Vitória, the mother; their 2 children and a dog called Baleia) wander about the barren land searching for a better place... See full summary »

Director: Nelson Pereira dos Santos
Stars: Átila Iório, Maria Ribeiro, Orlando Macedo
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The story of a famous Brazilian criminal, called The Red Light Bandit because he always used a red flashlight to break in the houses during the night. Working alone, he also used to rape his female victims.

Director: Rogério Sganzerla
Stars: Helena Ignez, Paulo Villaça, Pagano Sobrinho
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Eduardo Coutinho was filming a movie with the same name in the Northeast of Brazil, in 1964, when there came the military coup. He had to interrupt the project, and came back to it in 1981,... See full summary »

Director: Eduardo Coutinho
Stars: Eduardo Coutinho, Tite de Lemos, Ferreira Gullar
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Union leader's son doesn't want to engage in a strike, because his wife is pregnant, thus disregarding his father's tradition of political activism.

Director: Leon Hirszman
Stars: Gianfrancesco Guarnieri, Fernanda Montenegro, Carlos Alberto Riccelli
Adventure | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Fictionalized account of the adventures of hired gunman Antonio das Mortes, set against the real life last days of rural banditism. The movie follows Antonio as he witnesses the descent of ... See full summary »

Director: Glauber Rocha
Stars: Geraldo Del Rey, Yoná Magalhães, Othon Bastos
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Eldorado, a fictitious country in Latin America, is sparkling with the internal struggle for political power. In the eye of this social convulsion, the jaded journalist Paulo Martins ... See full summary »

Director: Glauber Rocha
Stars: Jardel Filho, Paulo Autran, José Lewgoy
Macunaima (1969)
Fantasy | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Our story begins with Macunaima's miraculous birth to an old woman in a tiny jungle settlement. Born full grown, he discovers his life's purpose which leads him and his family/followers on ... See full summary »

Director: Joaquim Pedro de Andrade
Stars: Grande Otelo, Paulo José, Jardel Filho
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Brazilian baroque. The young son that ran from his dominant family, descends into decadence and then returns to the nest. With melodramatic themes of tyrannical fathers, incest, fierce ... See full summary »

Director: Luiz Fernando Carvalho
Stars: Selton Mello, Raul Cortez, Juliana Carneiro da Cunha
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A man lives in conflict as he deals with his friends and love interests against the backdrop of São Paulo.

Director: Luiz Sérgio Person
Stars: Ana Esmeralda, Eva Wilma, Otelo Zeloni
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The Caravana Rolidei rolls into town with the Gypsy Lord at the mike: he does magic tricks, the erotic Salomé dances, and the mute Swallow performs feats of strength. A young accordion ... See full summary »

Director: Carlos Diegues
Stars: José Wilker, Betty Faria, Fábio Jr.
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

In a small city of Brazil, a woman named Flor marries a man named Vadinho, but once married she finds that he is a good-for-nothing. She works teaching cooking and he takes all of her money... See full summary »

Director: Bruno Barreto
Stars: Sônia Braga, José Wilker, Mauro Mendonça
Pixote (1981)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The life of a boy in the streets of Sao Paulo, involved with crimes, prostitution and drugs.

Director: Hector Babenco
Stars: Fernando Ramos da Silva, Jorge Julião, Gilberto Moura
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Leonardo Villar ... Zé do Burro / Donkey Jack (as Leonardo Vilar)
... Rosa
... Olavo, the Priest
... Bonitão / Handsome
Roberto Ferreira ... Dede
... 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
Edit

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) »

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 June 1962 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Payer of Promises  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

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 »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Poor technique, great script!
22 May 2003 | by See all my reviews

Others already mentioned that the film's production values are low - and that's true. But the story of Nicolau (not credited - but it's the donkey's name) and Jack, his owner has more to it than you may think. At first, it's like a comedy about a credulous man who likes his donkey to the point of promising an incredible masochist thing to his God, if the donkey survives an illness. Than, as Jack fulfills his promise, and he gets to look so much like the historical figure of Jesus Christ, trouble erupts. Conservative priests and social-minded, exploitative newspapermen fight over a donkey and a cross, and the problem turns out as a satirical approach to the 1960s socialist class-struggle in Latin America. The story is set in Brazil, but it could be elsewhere at the epoch, though you have plenty of folk music and some dancing that are absolutely a Brazilean trademark. Not to be missed, even if the copy is slightly chopped off by the 1962 military censorship in Brazil.


9 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 11 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page