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English --> engfpages-000 --> engfpages-f1021-3(MOV-056) Same CN
A movie Queimada/Burn! (1969) composed by Morricone
The number of the movie in chronological catalogue of the site is 69-15
Provided by friend Shimingming
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"-official" is in official catalogue
Queimada/Burn! (1969)
Queimada/Burn! (1969)
Director:Gillo Pontecorvo

Writers:Franco Solinas (story) &
Giorgio Arlorio (story) ...

Release Date: 1969

Cast Marlon Brando ... Sir William Walker
Evaristo Márquez ... Jose Dolores (as Evaristo Marquez)
Norman Hill ... Shelton
Renato Salvatori ... Teddy Sanchez
Runtime:Argentina:115 min / Italy:132 min / UK:112 min / USA:112 min / USA:132 min (restored version) / Germany:121 min
Country:Italy / France
Language:English / Portuguese
Color:Color (DeLuxe)

Original music: Ennio Morricone

Also Known As (AKA)
Burn! USA
Queimada Finland
Queimada - Insel des Schreckens West Germany
Queimada! Argentina
Quemada! Spain
Quemada, La Colombia
The Mercenary Canada (English title)
A brief

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 to much power that now threatens British sugar interests. Written by Anonymous


Directed by Gillo Pontecorvo (rated R; 132 minutes). Hoping to improve the British sugar trade, a mercenary instigates a slave revolt on the Caribbean island of Queimada. He is sent back years later to deal with the same rebels who have seized too much power and now threaten British sugar interests. Co-sponsored by the Yale Film Study Center.

It would be a far more interesting story to try and figure out, or >juxtapose, >why revolutions in the Caribbean or Latin America, >generally led to civil >war ?and dictatorship while the revolution in >North America -- as in what ?>became the USA and Canada, became >peaceful wealthy democracies. Canada never ?>had a revolution, but it >peacefully transitioned from colony into sovereign >nation without a ?>shot or a death.

The revolution in the United States was a rebellion of white people against a white monarchy. American colonists, although in the service of British interest were not slaves and were not black. Further to that the class that revolted in the US were the ruling classes of that continent so when it came to negotiate they were not treated with the same racist vehemence that colored Carribbean people were. That doesn't excuse the the brutality of the eras that followed but it certainly didn't help economic matters, which as we all know is the key to the prosperity of any society.What was very obvious in Quemada was that there was a war of independence but also class crisis : between the ruling Portuguese and the domestic non black islanders and between the black ex-slaves and everyone else.

Also Canada did have rebellions which were put down rather violently. Aboriginal efforts aside, there was the rebellions led Louis Riel in 1869 and 1885, The Upper Canada Rebellion of 1837, Quebec's Silent Revolution that led to the FLQ crisis in 1970 where PM Trudeau instituted martial law and arrested several hundred people without charge.

And what pray tell does Brando's effeteness have to do with anything? all upper-crust gentlemen of that era are effete by our standards.

This is an excellent movie for Brando and history buffs alike. There are many parallels you can make with current events concerning globalization and the role that Multinational Corporations Play.

The title comes from the name of the island is Queimada, which translates to "burnt" (ed. the name of the english version of the movie is "Burn!" ). This is quite adecuate to the ending (that I'm semi-seing right now), where Brando manages to capture the head of the rebels by burning down the island's forests. The plot evolves around an ex-slave rebellion in an island that had been previously a portuguese colony (for 200 years, as they say in the movie) and is now independent with the help of a british company, which hires Marlon Brando's character. All the "local" names are spanish but they speak portuguese, with a brazilian accent


"... The young boy who guards the captured Dolores stays with him and provides Pontecorvo with a means of allowing Jose Dolores to give his ideas expression through dialogue. Jose Dolores does not assail his captor; he tries to inspire and convert him. He tells the young man that he does not wish to be released because this would only indicate that it was convenient for his enemy. What serves his enemies is harmful to him. "Freedom is not something a man can give you," he tells the boy. Dolores is cheered by the soldier's questions because, ironically, in men like the soldier who helps to put him to death, but who is disturbed and perplexed by Dolores, he sees in germination the future revolutionaries of Quemada. To enter the path of consciousness is to follow it to rebellion.....Pontecorvo zooms to Walker as he listens to Dolores' final message which breaks his silence: "Ingles, remember what you said. Civilization belongs to whites. But what civilization? Until when?" The stabbing of Walker on his way to the ship by an angry rebel comes simultaneously with a repetition of the Algerian cry for freedom. It is followed, accompanied by percussion, by a pan of inscrutable, angry black faces on the dock. The frame freezes, fixing their expressions indelibly in our minds.."


Brando plays Sir William Walker, an Englishman dispatched to the Portuguese colony of Queimada in the Antilles, in the 1830s. He is a provocateur, sent to instigate a revolt by black workers and further British interest in the profitable sugar trade. Ten years later, he returns, an emissary for a major sugar company and intent on destroying the rebel leader he helped create. Despite his Fletcher Christian accent and terrible haircut, Brando is excellent here, but the film, which was beset with production problems and is less than coherent at times, is only fitfully rewarding


Three years before appearing in The Godfather, Marlon Brando put in a better performance in Gillo Pontecorvo's undervalued, brilliant account of a man - William Walker - paid to create war.

Borrowing the spirit of Joseph Conrad's Nostromo, screenwriters Franco Solinas and Giorgio Arlorio weave a tale about an insignifcant, Portuguese Caribbean island that has a significant amount of sugar cane. When the British decide they want access, they send in Walker with simple but diffcult instructions: foment rebellion among the black slaves who work the cane, overthrow Portuguese rule, then re-enslave the blacks and get sugar production running again.

With a cold heart, the insanely methodical and rational Walker sets to work. He picks out a rebel leader, befriends him, molds him, then sets him loose. The rebels soon take the island, create a new country, and then surrender. After his work is done, Walker disappears.

Ten years pass (in a weird, clunky montage and voice-over) and Walker is recruited by the company that owns the sugar cane production on the same Caribbean island — and therefore owns the island. It turns out that the company has been oppressing its workers and the same slave rebel leader as ten years past has risen up and is leading an armed rebellion. Finding himself on the other side of the conflict, Walker must now capture the same hero he created.

Oh, drama!

Oh, drama set to an Ennio Morricone score!

In one of the film's standout scenes, Pontecorvo lets loose Morricone over images of a triumphant rebel army marching along a beach, some dressed in the tattered clothes of the defeated Portuguese and others in nearly nothing. At first glance they look foolish, but as they get closer and we see them for longer, an aura appears and we realize just what the victory has given them: dignity. The dark skin that has up to now been a signifier of inferiority has, with dignity, become the uniform of a victorious army.

As the scene ends and the rebel leader embraces Walker, I thought, "No longer will these guys let themselves get slapped around by the white man like they did in the beginning." And I was right. As the rebel leader says near the end of the film, the freedom that is given you by a man is not freedom; true freedom is taken, not given. Pontecorvo intentionally brings together all his weapons to highlight the beach-marching scene because it is then that these slaves have taken their freedom — and it will not be easily taken away again.

In this season of political films and G. Clooney, Queimada is an example of a real political film. It chops the head off black-and-white Edward R. Murrow and blows up Stephen Gaghan's nicely photographed sandscapes.

Relevant during the Vietnam War and relevant now, Queimada ends with something along the lines of these ominous words uttered by an about-to-hang black rebel to William Walker:

"You say that it is a white man's world. This is true. But what kind of world is it? And for how long?"(See here)

More 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06
About the movie from IMDB
Overview Director:Gillo Pontecorvo

Writers:Franco Solinas (story) &
Giorgio Arlorio (story) ...
Release Date:21 October 1970 (USA) more
Genre:Drama / History more
Tagline:The man who sells war. The bloodier the battle - the higher the price. He's going to make a fortune on this one.
Plot Summary:The professional mercenary Sir William Walker instigates a slave revolt on the Caribbean island of Queimada... more
Plot Synopsis:View full synopsis. (warning! may contain spoilers)
Plot Keywords:Black White Relations / Sugar Cane / Racism / Shot In The Leg / Race Relations more
Awards:2 wins more

Additional Details

Also Known As:Burn! (USA)
The Mercenary (Canada: English title)
MPAA:Rated R for some violence and nudity. (2005 re-rating; 1970 rating GP)
Parents Guide:Add content advisory for parents
Runtime:Argentina:115 min / Italy:132 min / UK:112 min / USA:112 min / USA:132 min (restored version) / Germany:121 min
Country:Italy / France
Language:English / Portuguese
Color:Color (DeLuxe)
Aspect Ratio:1.85 : 1 more
Sound Mix:Mono (Westrex Recording System)


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 to much power that now threatens British sugar interests. Written by Anonymous (See here)

Sir William Walker is called to the island of Queimada in the Antillies to foment a rebellion against Portuguese rule, to benefit British sugar traders. He successfully turns a local porter into a revolutionary, but must return ten years hence when the same man rebels against British rulers. The teacher then becomes the pupil, as he is taught the meaning of freedom by a man in chains.(See here)


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