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Burn!

2 Ratings: 4.5
1969 film directed by Gillo Pontecorvo

Based loosely on American filibuster Sir William Walker.      Originally 132 minutes until the studio recut the film without the consent of the director.

Director: Gillo Pontecorvo
Genre: Drama
Release Date: December 21, 1969
MPAA Rating: R
1 review about Burn!

Sir William Walker, the man who sells war.

  • Aug 31, 2009
  • by
Rating:
+5
Burn! is about the colonization of an island called Queimada.  The island is under the control of Portugal but the local sugar plantation owners scheme a plan that will bring revolution to the island and eventually take total control over it when the peasants successfully overthrow the government.  The company (Royal Sugar Company) is working with Great Britain who will aid in the recolonization of the island.  But they need someone who'll trigger the revolt so they hire Sir William Walker (Marlon Brando) an agent provocateur who will plant the seeds of rebellion.  Walker finds the very person a charismatic young native named Jose Dolores who will be the one to lead the peasants.  The revolt is a success and the people have overthrown the Portuguese government.  But the new leaders are even worse than the previous ones.  Jose Dolores leads another rebellion and brings chaos to the cities.  Realizing that things are not going off as easily as they thought they would be, The Royal Sugar Company rehires Walker to take out his star pupil.

An excellent look at the 18th and 19th century colonization coups that the British and Americans have used to set up puppet governments and exploit the natives of their raw materials.  Marlon Brandon is excellent as Sir William Walker.  The director uses a similar style of film making used in his previous film (Battle of Algiers).  Sadly this film has been neglected over the years and it's not highly acclaimed like the his last film.  Thankfully the film was released on DVD (albeit in a edited format that's missing twenty minutes).  I would have to highly recommend this film, especially those fans of Red Dawn (John Milius "borrowed" a lot from this film.

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Related Topics
The Battle of Algiers

A movie directed by Gillo Pontecorvo

The Godfather

A 1972 film directed by Francis Ford Coppola

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