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Burn! (1969)

Queimada (original title)
During a slave revolt in 1844, a British mercenary aids an Antilles island-colony gain its independence from Portugal but years later he returns there to manhunt a local rebel army leader and former friend.


Gillo Pontecorvo


Franco Solinas (story), Giorgio Arlorio (story) | 2 more credits »
5 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »




Complete credited cast:
Marlon Brando ... Sir William Walker
Evaristo Márquez ... José Dolores (as Evaristo Marquez)
Renato Salvatori ... Teddy Sanchez
Dana Ghia ... Francesca
Valeria Ferran Wanani Valeria Ferran Wanani ... Guarina
Giampiero Albertini Giampiero Albertini ... Henry Thompson
Carlo Palmucci ... Jack
Norman Hill Norman Hill ... Shelton
Thomas Lyons Thomas Lyons
Turam Quibo Turam Quibo ... Juanito (as Joseph P. Persaud)
Álvaro Medrano Álvaro Medrano ... Soldier (as Alvaro Medrano)
Alejandro Obregón Alejandro Obregón ... Engl. Major (as Alejandro Obregon)
Enrico Cesaretti Enrico Cesaretti


The professional mercenary Sir William Walker instigates a slave revolt on the Caribbean island of Queimada in order to help improve the British sugar trade. Years later he is sent again to deal with the same rebels that he built up because they have seized too much power that now threatens British sugar interests. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The man who sells war. The bloodier the battle - the higher the price. He's going to make a fortune on this one.


Action | Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some violence and nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Marlon Brando in his autobiography says that Gillo Pontecervo was one of the three best directors he ever worked with. The other two were Elia Kazan and Bernardo Bertolucci. See more »


The action takes place on a fictional island in the Caribbean, which would belong to Spain (in the film it points to Portugal, because Spain was going through a military regime and the director was afraid that the film would be censored). The plot is based, in part, on the history of Haiti. The original script referred to a Spanish island, and this can be confirmed by the fact that most of the characters keep their Spanish names, like José Dolores instead of the correct José das Dores. Therefore, the film can be seen as an example of ethnic and linguistic stereotyping in relation to Portugal. See more »


Ship Captain: There are only about 5,000 whites here. The population's mostly black or mulatto. The blacks, of course, are slaves; except for a handful who's owner's freed them for one reason or another.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The complete version of this film runs 132 minutes. A 112-minute version under the title "Burn!" was released in the USA and the UK. See more »


Referenced in Stars of the Silver Screen: Marlon Brando (2011) See more »

User Reviews

Watch the original
31 March 2013 | by renegauSee all my reviews

This version (presently available on DVD and US release) is the edited one. Like so many foreign films at the time, was edited for "American audiences". Since the studio had the rights to the film, there was nothing Pontecorvo could do, but watch his masterpiece reduced to nothing. 22 minutes were cut. In addition the DVD version is very poor. The aspect ratio has been changed, and the copy is very poor. As a result of the cuts, the subtle undertones of the relationship between the main characters was altered, as well as the political undertones. Pontecorvo had already conceded the change of title and script change (Spanish island to Portuguese island) because Generalisimo Franco's protest, and his threat not to allow distribution in Spain. It's ashame that at this point the directors cut version is not available , at least as an alternative to the average viewer. It is available , in the Italian DVD . It's in Italian language, with Brando's voice dubbed. The dubbing in this case doesn't take away from Brando's performance (his personal favorite). It has English subtitles. Pontecorvo himself edited this version before his death. It's quality is much better, and has the original aspect ratio. Occasionally shown at art festivals. My rating applies to this version . The real masterpiece .

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Italy | France


Italian | Portuguese | English

Release Date:

21 October 1970 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Burn! See more »


Box Office

Gross USA:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

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