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Azyllo Muito Louco (1970)

A new priest comes to a Brazilian coastal town and builds an insane asylum. Eventually the whole population ends up in the asylum.


Nelson Pereira dos Santos, Machado de Assis (story "O alienista")
1 nomination. See more awards »


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Credited cast:
Nildo Parente Nildo Parente ... Father Simão Bacamarte
Isabel Ribeiro ... D. Evarista
Arduíno Colassanti Arduíno Colassanti ... Porfírio (as Arduino Colasanti)
Irene Stefânia Irene Stefânia ... Porfírio's lover (as Irene Stephania)
Leila Diniz Leila Diniz ... Eudóxia
Ana Maria Magalhães Ana Maria Magalhães
Nelson Dantas Nelson Dantas ... The Accountant
Manfredo Colassanti Manfredo Colassanti ... The Judge (as Manfredo Colasanti)
José Kléber José Kléber
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Gabriel Archanjo Gabriel Archanjo
Marco Fernando Botino Marco Fernando Botino
Roberto Castro Roberto Castro
Roberto Delachaume Roberto Delachaume
Roberto Ferreira Roberto Ferreira
Jose Paulo Gibrail Jose Paulo Gibrail


Based on 19th century story "O Alienista" by great Brazilian writer Machado de Assis, the film is a free adaptation, telling the story of Catholic priest Simão Bacamarte who comes to the small town of Serafim to investigate on the phenomenon of madness and ends up putting most of its inhabitants in an asylum, making things get out of control. Written by fabreu

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama







Release Date:

29 November 1974 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

O Alienista See more »

Filming Locations:

Parati, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Version of Vila do Arco (1975) See more »

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User Reviews

Gotta be total nuts to enjoy this trash
30 May 2017 | by Rodrigo_AmaroSee all my reviews

From the series embarrassing ourselves in Cannes again. Brought on by the same director who provided the equally frustrating and awful "O Amuleto De Ogum", Mr. Nelson Pereira dos Santos creates in "Azyllo Muito Louco" ("A Crazier Asylum") one of the most excruciating films of all time, with no redeeming qualities whatsoever. This free adaptation of Machado De Assis work "O Alienista" (the book is regarded as a classic but it's one of his few I couldn't even finish, or maybe I did and don't remember) is a mess from the very first minutes but as a hopeless viewer who believes in a film all the way towards its conclusion I sat through it all and it didn't get better. It's no use to call it a junk or trash or ridiculous. It's pointless using those words. But trust me, it's terrible.

The psychedelic was so trendy back then in music, literature and films that Mr. Santos seemed to provide such input with this thing but he didn't gave us a purpose for it. Brazil, 19th Century and this is the story of Father Simão Bacamarte (Nildo Parente, excellent character actor in many TV series but he's the lead in this film) and his administration of a wrecked church of a coastal town and whose first initiative is to develop an asylum for the mentally ill people of the region. However, his definition for insanity and crazed acts expands the more he gets acquainted with the town's people and he conducts the arrests of more and more people. One clear dumb example: there was this black guy who inherited a fortune from a relative and he decided to give it to those who ain't got much in their lives. He was sent to the asylum. And when a relative of his, her nephew I guess, explains the whole ordeal, trying to defend him she also gets committed to the place. Simão's place consists of brainwashing, in this case, a system where he chants repetitive words to make the "patients" truly believe they're insane and no longer responsible for their acts. But the game will turn on him...

Well I wonder...If the idea was to tell us that people of authority in Brazil were corrupt, perverted and crazier than the average respectable citizen but they're the ones in charge, so basically they can do whatever they want, I respect that idea and I believe in it. This is truly what's this all about. True then during the final days of monarchy and it's even more true now during our current political crisis revolving impeachments, new governments and absurd laws which doesn't favor the majority. If that's the idea...which means the deeper message, the whole background is marvelous, specially if we consider this was done during the military regime and the people in charge of the nation failed to see it, with no censorship at all and went sent this film to Cannes, a more intellectual audience who knew exactly the excrement that was going on in here. However, the foreground of such idea is terribly, miserably and awfully executed; it doesn't conquer viewers, it arranges detractors.

This is first class torture, being the soundtrack the most stupid and painful experience I've ever heard. Santos uses scary noises in between dialogues, music scratches from scene to scene, dragging on and on at times while trying to create a suspense effect, and the film fails to decide if it's a drama, a comedy or pure satire. It fails on all accounts. The priest is deranged from the get-go, abuses of power though he firmly believes he's curing people and saving them from worst destinies. Problem is: he's not doing any of that, he can't do anything like it because his views on mental issues, insanity or whatever, is too narrow minded. In one scene, he simply explains that one factor alone contributes for a person to be committed to an institution, something like without morals, ethic or similar and the person is simply crazy. If the line between sane and insane is that thin, well boy, we're in deep trouble. And who gets to constitute such laws? A man drenched in religious ideas and one who doesn't want to convert people to his basis, and he just want to have power over simple individuals. And I'm not saying such idea isn't worthy of view because it is, it feels real. The problem complicates because the writers and the director make a mess with this material, without appeal or anything interesting, one sequel replaces the other in a purposeless manner, it's all very detached, with no life to it.

My whole experience with it was as if I'm not feeling anything except pain, boredom, weariness, as if was looking to something repulsive, lacking in artistic qualities and the ones allegedly existing were poorly delivered or pretentiously presented. The film title though written in an odd fashion (Azyllo instead of Asilo) which seems to indicate an error, therefore we think of it as a comedy, isn't written wrongly. Azyllo - means asylum - was the original Portuguese language of the word back in the 1800's where the story takes place, with an Z and two L's. Well, if this was a comedy I'm definitely wasn't laughing. Avoid it all costs unless you're into inexplicable experiences. 2/10

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