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O Cangaceiro
O Cangaceiro.jpg
Film poster
Directed byLima Barreto
Produced byCid Leite da Silva
Alberto Cavalcanti
Written byLima Barreto
Rachel de Queiroz
StarringAlberto Ruschel
Music byGabriel Migliori
CinematographyH.E. Fowle
Edited byGiuseppe Baldacconi
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release date
  • January 20, 1953 (1953-01-20)
Running time
105 minutes
Box officeCr30 million ($1.5 million)[1]

O Cangaceiro (lit. "The Cangaceiro"; also known as The Bandit[2][3] and The Bandits[4][5]) is a 1953 Brazilian adventure western film directed by Lima Barreto. After some reluctance by its studio Vera Cruz, Barreto shot it in 1952. After its release it was national and international success, and won several film awards, including at the Cannes Film Festival. It was poorly received in retrospect despite being praised by the time of its release and started a subgenre in Brazilian cinema.



In 1950, Lima Barreto joined the film studio Companhia Cinematográfica Vera Cruz invited by its then president Alberto Cavalcanti. After releasing two documentaries successfully for the studio, Painel and Santuário, Barreto get the chance to direct a feature film. With the idea to shoot a film about Lampião since the early 1940s, he only commenced to shoot it in 1952 after some reluctance by Franco Zampari, Vera Cruz's founder.[1][6] Although he went to Bahia and did some research there, it was shot in Vargem Grande do Sul, São Paulo, with a production that lasted nine months due to internal conflicts.[1]


O Cangaceiro was released on January 20, 1953,[7] and was a public success; it grossed 30 million Brazilian cruzeiros (about $1.5 million) in the 24 Brazilian theaters in which it spent six weeks.[1] After its national success, it was distributed to over 80 countries, becoming one of the most internationally successful Brazilian films[6][8]—a feat uncommon in that time.[9] It led it to be considered Vera Cruz's "high point" and its "most important production" by Georges Sadoul, author of Dictionary of Films, and by O Estado de S. Paulo's Luiz Zanin, respectively.[2][8]

After winning several Brazilian awards,[7] the film was entered into the 1953 Cannes Film Festival, where it was "much liked for its original and truly national flavour."[10] O Cangaceiro won the Best Adventure Film Award,[11] making it the first Brazilian film to win a prize at Cannes,[12] and received a special mention to Gabriel Migliori's musical composition.[1] At the Edinburgh International Film Festival it was awarded the Best Film.[1]

It received mixed commentaries since its release. It was once voted the best Brazilian film in 1968 by National Film Institute's magazine Revista Film Cultura.[4] Sadoul declared, "Lima Barreto well conveys a sense of poetry of the open desert space of the Sertão and makes this story lively and suspenseful".[2] After praising its cast performances and its "thrilling" musical score, Bosley Crowther of The New York Times said, "This [O] Cangaceiro is a picture that will cause the Western fans to rub their eyes."[3] However, Cinema Novo representants—mainly Glauber Rocha—would criticize it for borrowing too much the style of American films.[4][9] Critics also went on to comment on its "sociological inaccuracies."[13]


It is the first film to mix cangaço with Western, starting a genre called "Nordestern" —an amalgam of the words "Nordeste" (Northeast) and "Western".[6][8][9] It would be followed by successful films such as Carlos Coimbra's A Morte Comanda o Cangaço (1960), Lampião, o Rei do Cangaço (1964) and Corisco, o Diabo Louro (1969), and Aurélio Teixeira's Os Três Cabras de Lampião.[6][8] It also established cangaço as a subgenre in Brazilian cinema; subsequently, cangaço would be featured as a theme from comedy—such as Os Três Cangaceiro and O Lamparina—to pornochanchada films—As Cangaceiras Eróticas and A Ilha das Cangaceiras Virgens. Also, Ruschel and Ribeiro would reprise the role of "good cangaceiro" and "bad cangaceiro" in other films.[8]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Ramos, Fernão; Miranda, Luiz Felipe (2000). Enciclopédia do cinema brasileiro (in Portuguese). Senac. p. 44. ISBN 9788573590937.
  2. ^ a b c Sadoul, Georges (1972). Dictionary of Films. University of California Press. p. 52. ISBN 9780520021525.
  3. ^ a b Crowther, Bosley (September 3, 1954). "Cangaceiro,' Made in Brazil, Has Debut". The New York Times. Retrieved June 23, 2014.
  4. ^ a b c Elena, Alberto; Lopez; Marina Diaz (2013). The Cinema of Latin America. Columbia University Press. pp. 63–69.
  5. ^ "Memory of the World: National Cinematic Heritage" (PDF). UNESCO. September 1995. p. 15. Retrieved June 23, 2014.
  6. ^ a b c d Del Vecchio, Annalice. "Um faroeste à moda do cangaço". Gazeta do Povo (in Portuguese). Grupo Paranaense de Comunicação. Retrieved June 23, 2014.
  7. ^ a b "O Cangaceiro" (in Portuguese). Cinemateca Brasileira. Retrieved June 23, 2014.
  8. ^ a b c d e Zanin, Luiz (October 17, 2010). "O cangaço está em toda parte". O Estado de S. Paulo (in Portuguese). Grupo Estado. Retrieved June 23, 2014.
  9. ^ a b c Phillips, W.D. "O Cangaceiro (1953) and the Brazilian Northeastern". In J. Miller, Cynthia; Van Riper, A. Bowdoin (eds.). International Westerns: Re-Locating the Frontier. Scarecrow Press. pp. 243–262. ISBN 9780810892880.
  10. ^ Anderson, Lindsay (1953). "Cannes 1953". Sight & Sound. British Film Institute. 23 (1): 18–20.
  11. ^ "Festival de Cannes: The Bandit of Brazil". Retrieved January 20, 2009.
  12. ^ "DVD review: Antônio das Mortes". British Film Institute. Retrieved June 23, 2014.
  13. ^ Tolentino, Célia Aparecida Ferreira (2001). O rural no cinema brasileiro. UNESP. pp. 67–68. ISBN 9788571393752.

External links

This page was last edited on 3 April 2020, at 00:21
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