A Canção de Lisboa

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A Canção de Lisboa
Directed by José Cottinelli Telmo
Produced by João Ortigão Ramos
Written by José Cottinelli Telmo
Starring Vasco Santana
Beatriz Costa
António Silva
Release date
  • November 7, 1933 (1933-11-07)
Running time
85 minutes
Country Portugal
Language Portuguese

A Canção de Lisboa (lit. Lisbon Song) is a Portuguese film comedy from 1933, directed by José Cottinelli Telmo, and starring Vasco Santana, Beatriz Costa, António Silva, Alfredo Silva, Ana Maria, Artur Rodrigues, Coralia Escobar, Eduardo Fernandes, Elvira Coutinho, Fernanda Campos, Francisco Costa, Henrique Alves, Ivone Fernandes, José Victor, Júlia da Assunção, Manoel de Oliveira, Manuel Santos Carvalho, Maria Albertina, Maria da Luz, Silvestre Alegrim, Sofia Santos, Teresa Gomes and Zizi Cosme.

Director Manoel de Oliveira had a minor role.

It was the second Portuguese sound feature film (the first was A Severa; a 1931 biopic of the fado singer Maria Severa Onofriana). In fact, A Canção de Lisboa was the first sound feature fully produced in Portugal, in the labs of Lisboa Filme and with Tobis equipment.

Among the team were some of the greatest names of Portuguese culture of the day, such as painter Carlos Botelho (credited as assistant director) and the poet José Gomes Ferreira (editor assistant). Painter Almada Negreiros was the author of both promotional posters.

A Canção de Lisboa is still one of the best loved films in Portugal, with several of its lines and songs still quoted.


Vasco (Vasco Santana) is a medical student in Lisbon, supported by his rich aunts from Trás-os-Montes, whom he had falsely told he had already graduated. In fact, he devotes himself to a bohemian life, preferring the popular fairs and pretty women, especially Alice (Beatriz Costa), a seamstress from the Castelinhos quarter, which rather upsets her ambitious father, tailor Caetano (António Silva), who is familiar with Vasco's debts.

After failing yet another final exam, he is surprised by his aunts' announcement that they will visit him in Lisbon to see his practice.

Popular culture[edit]

An expression that found its way into everyday life in Portugal was Vasco's "There's lot of hats, you fool!" (Chapéus há muitos, seu palerma!).

The song "A Agulha e o Dedal", sung by Beatriz Costa, became a household reference.

DVD version[edit]

The DVD version was heavily restored, with an additional 3 minutes in length, and a sound and image recovery to match the initial quality.


External links[edit]