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Malandro (1986)

Ópera do Malandro (original title)
In 1941, Brazilian government was aligned with Nazi movement, in spite of being against the popular desire. In Lapa (Rio de Janeiro), the rascal, pimp and smuggler Max Overseas explores the... See full summary »


Ruy Guerra


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Edson Celulari ... Max Overseas
Claudia Ohana ... Ludmila Struedel
Elba Ramalho Elba Ramalho ... Margot
Fábio Sabag Fábio Sabag ... Otto Struedel
J.C. Violla J.C. Violla ... Geni
Wilson Grey Wilson Grey ... Sátiro
Maria Sílvia Maria Sílvia ... Victoria Struedel
Cláudia Jimenez Cláudia Jimenez ... Fiorella
Andreia Dantas Andreia Dantas ... Fichinha
Ilva Niño Ilva Niño ... Dóris
Zenaide Pereira Zenaide Pereira ... Dorinha Tubão (as Zenaide)
Djenane Machado ... Shirley Paquete
Katia Bronstein Katia Bronstein ... Mimi Bibelô
Lutero Luiz ... Porfírio
Bernard Seygnoux Bernard Seygnoux


In 1941, Brazilian government was aligned with Nazi movement, in spite of being against the popular desire. In Lapa (Rio de Janeiro), the rascal, pimp and smuggler Max Overseas explores the cabaret singer and prostitute Margot, the former mistress of the chief inspector Tigrão. When the daughter of the cabaret owner Otto Struedel, Ludmila Struedel, leaves her boarding school and returns to her family, she proposes Max to be her husband and partner in a legal importation company of their own. But Margot and Tigrão do not accept the idea. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

brazil | 1940s | See All (2) »


Comedy | Musical


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Brazil | France



Release Date:

1985 (Brazil) See more »

Also Known As:

Malandro See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


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Did You Know?


References Casablanca (1942) See more »


Written by Chico Buarque
Performed by Claudia Ohana
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User Reviews

Very Brazilian
20 March 2003 | by Prof_LostiswitzSee all my reviews

Very enjoyable, not to be taken too seriously. Setting this slice of lowlife in Rio at about the time of Pearl Harbour was inspired, since it shows the conflict between the democrats like the malandro (hustler) and fascists like the cabaret-owner Otto Strudel. The sexy bits are perfectly choreographed, proving once again that the Brazilians are the only people who can make intelligent erotic movies.

This movie is based on a stage-musical by Chico Buarque, which must have been a real treat. The movie incorporates the dance-numbers very effectively, especially the duet where Ludmila Strüdel (Claudia Ohana) and Margot `energetically' dispute their claims to the malandro's affections. Another great dance-number, a tango, occurs in the dingy warehouse where Max and Ludmila are about to be married; the police-chief (a childhood friend of the malandro) is to perform the ceremony, but then he turns up in his official capacity to arrest everybody. None the less, the happy-go-lucky Cariocas are able to salvage a happy ending at the last moment.

If you thought the movie musical had had the biscuit, check this one out (also Pennies from Heaven, 1981).

Ruy Guerra, the director, is one of Latin America's foremost cinematographers, best known among gringos for Eréndira (starring his sometime wife Claudia Ohana). She also stars in this one as Ludmila Strüdel, and you can see that she has a lot of what it takes. Ruy Guerra is also an actor; he played the good-guy Pedro de Ursúa in Herzog's `Aguirre, the Wrath of God' and got to be imprisoned by the mad Kinski-Aguirre. I shall definitely be looking out for more of his works in future.

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