Burn! (1969)

“If a man gives you freedom, it is not freedom. Freedom is something that you must take.” A classic Marlon Brando performance as British professional mercenary Sir William Walker highlights this intriguing Gillo Pontecorvo film about colonialism with some strong parallels to the Vietnam War (the plot is reportedly loosely based on events that happened in Guadeloupe). Non-actor Evaristo Márquez also excels in his role as Jose Dolores, who leads the rebellion on the Portuguese-controlled island. The film, which features a great score by Ennio Morricone, was also known as Queimada, which means “burnt” in Portuguese. According to legend, Pontecorvo (The Battle of Algiers) once threatened Brando with a gun on the set if he continued to refuse his direction! In his 1994 autobiography, Songs My Mother Taught Me, Brando remarked, “I did some of my best acting in Burn!”

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