Queimada (movie)

Queimada ( Burn! In its English version 1 ) is an Italian film directed by Gillo Pontecorvo , released in 1969 .


In the Caribbean Sea , on the imaginary island of Queimada in the early xix th century, the colonists revolted against the Portuguese colonial power 2 . The film follows the events with the point of view of a black slave and that of the English secret agent (played by Marlon Brando ) who manipulates him, whose mission is to bring the island into the economic domain of England. .

At first, the revolt is led by white creoles eager to get rid of the metropolis. 3 , even if the slaves support it, and helped by the English who want to replace Portugal . Then, once the new masters of the country have shown that they do not care more about the fate of the slaves than the old ones, it is the blacks who revolt. Sometimes the English help the blacks, when the government does not favor their interests (the island produces sugar which they want the monopoly of export), but, when the revolt seems to prevail a little too much, they help the government once again docile to repress it (because the contagion does not have to extend to the English West Indies).

Technical sheet

  • Title: Queimada
  • Director: Gillo Pontecorvo
  • Scenario: Franco Solinas and Giogio Arlorio
  • Production: Alberto Grimaldi
  • Production Company: United Artists
  • Music: Ennio Morricone
  • Photography: Marcello Gatti and Giuseppe Ruzzolini
  • Artistic Director: Piero Gherardi
  • Sets: Sergio Canevari
  • Editing: Mario Morra
  • Country of origin: Italy
  • Format: Colors – Mono
  • Genre: Adventure
  • Duration: 112 minutes
  • Release date: Italy : 


  • Marlon Brando : Sir William Walker, the English Agent
  • Evaristo Márquez : Jose Dolores, the leader of the revolted slaves
  • Norman Hill : Shelton
  • Renato Salvatori : Teddy Sanchez, the leader of the rich creoles
  • Dana Ghia : Francesca
  • Valeria Ferran Wanani : Guarina
  • Giampiero Albertini : Henry
  • Carlo Palmucci : Jack
  • Thomas Lyon

Around the film

The original version, in Italian , is twenty minutes longer than the dubbed version in English 1 .

The film borrows much from the history of the Caribbean and Central America . We recognize themes, elements of history or landscapes borrowed notably from Cuba or Haiti . The shooting location is Cartagena in Colombia .

The character played by Brando, an agent of the British government , is inspired in part by the real William Walker , an American adventurer (1824-1860) who tried to seize various regions and states in South America by provoking armed uprisings and who was shot in Honduras in 1860.

In the original script, the colonial power was the Spain but the director Pontecorvo, must yield to the pressures of Franco Spain and finally choose to change for Portugal after the end of the shoot 4 . ” Queimada ” means “burned” in Portuguese , the original title of the film was ” Quemada “, the same word in Spanish 1 .

Notes and references

  1. ↑ a , b and c (en) Burn! (1969): Trivia  [ archive ] – IMDb
  2. ↑ No Caribbean island has never been Portuguese; history is a kind of synthesis between the Haitian revolution in Santo Domingo against France and that of Spanish America later.
  3. ↑ This was indeed the case in English America and in Spanish America, and very briefly in the French Santo Domingo
  4. ↑ Burn baby! Burn!  [ archive ] – SensCritique, July 25, 2011

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