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Four Days in September

26 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

This captivating thriller -- based on extraordinary true-life events -- was honored with an Academy Award(R) nomination! Political terrorists, in a desperate bid to focus the world's attention on their fight for freedom, kidnap an American Ambassador (Alan Arkin, AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS). Now, the diplomat's life hangs in the balance ... helplessly caught between a government unwilling to cooperate ... and his fear of the captors themselves! Directed by Bruno Barreto (A VIEW FROM THE TOP) and acclaimed by critics as one of the year's best films, FOUR DAYS IN SEPTEMBER is an explosively charged motion picture that delivers egde-of-your-seat excitement!

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Alan Arkin, Pedro Cardoso, Fernanda Torres, Luiz Fernando Guimarães, Cláudia Abreu
  • Directors: Bruno Barreto
  • Writers: Fernando Gabeira, Leopoldo Serran
  • Producers: Adair Roberto Carneiro, Cristina Cirne, Lucy Barreto, Lucíola Vilella, Luiz Carlos Barreto
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: Portuguese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Miramax
  • DVD Release Date: April 8, 2003
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00008978J
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #142,803 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Four Days in September" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Michael J. Mazza HALL OF FAME on June 8, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
Brazil, 1969. The country is under the control of an oppressive military regime. A group of idealistic students join an underground revolutionary group in protest. Out of this climate of paranoia and violence, a bold plan is conceived: a plot to kidnap the U.S. ambassador to Brazil. This true story forms the basis for the excellent film "Four Days in September," directed by Bruno Barreto.
I have seen many historical films, and this is one of the best. There are no cardboard heroes or villains in this film; there are lots of moral shades of gray. Are these students terrorists or freedom fighters? Is the ambassador an innocent victim, or an ally of oppressive forces?
Leopoldo Serran's intelligent script is based on Fernando Gabeira's book "O Que E Isso, Companhiero?" The dialogue offers thought-provoking insights into the minds of the individuals involved in these events. The cast gives universally superb performances; particularly impressive is veteran U.S. actor Alan Arkin as Ambassador Charles Elbrick. The film as a whole is well complemented by a memorable musical soundtrack. Barreto's direction is both suspenseful and sensitive. Whether you are interested in Latin American history or just enjoy a well-made drama, I highly recommend this film.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Emilio on May 31, 2004
Format: DVD
This movie faced a lot of criticism in Brazil for the liberties it took with history. Some criticism dates back to the publication of Fernando Gabeira's book, mainly the fact that Gabeira's importance in the kidnapping is overplayed. Other survivors from the operation claim he did not write the note to the press, as the movie shows. Also, a girl did try to get information from the Ambassador's security man, but she did not spend the night with him (and those who like to spot errors may notice the fact that he calls her by her code name, René, even though she introduced herself by a different name). And one just has to read other books about those days in Brazil to realize most torturers were sick animals, not guilt-ridden human beings like the guy in the movie.
In spite of all these flaws, the movie still works admirably as a snapshot of an era. I understand it was rather easy to sell this movie to the international market because Alan Arkin is in it and the event it is based on involved the kidnapping of an American ambassador. But it would be great if people all over the world could also see another movie titled "Pra Frente Brasil". The story is fictitious but inspired by actual facts: while the 1970 World Cup is taking place and the whole Brazilian population is glued to television sets, a guy is captured by mistake and tortured to death by the police. Brazil won that World Cup, so the whole country was in a celebratory mood while the horrors of repression were happening in the underground.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Márcio Padilha on August 23, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
I think this movie was fantastic, but, first of all, in order to understand it, one must watch it trying to understand the socio-political reality of that time in Brazil. I was born in Porto Alegre, Brazil in 1970 and lived there until 1995 and as a Brazilian Citizen who went through a part of the historical period shown in that movie, I must say I thought it was sad such a thing happened and even sadder the fact "Four Days in September" portrays a true story. However, I must also say that I am very happy that the Dictatorship Period, which started to be extremely harsh in Brazil during the 60's, has not been thrown into an old trunk of things to be forgotten. It is fantastic that we Brazilians are striving to keep those memories alive until all the shadows of that period be completely gone. Also, I must confess I thought it to be even greater that the originality of one young man, "Fernando Gabeira", and the courage and audacy of a few other young "Comrades" were able to bend the Dictatorial Military structure of Brazil so fast. A big kiss on all involved with this project, specially to "Cláudia Abreu" who has been on my mind since she played "Heloísa" in "Anos Rebeldes", a Brazilian TV Series on the Brazilian Military Dictatorship Period as well. May we never forget the 60's so they cannot ever come back! Valeu, gente! Márcio Padilha
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Linda Linguvic HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on November 30, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
Based on a memoir of one of the participants in the kidnap of the American Ambassador in Brazil in 1969, this is a thought provoking film. We all remember the idealism of the times and the student protests around the globe. Most of it was aimed at governments, which needed reform, but were never the ogres that the protesters claimed they were. In Brazil, however, it was different. A military junta had just toppled a democratically elected government. All civil rights had been suspended and terror reigned.
A small group of radical students became revolutionaries. Clearly they were over their heads with their dreams of freedom. A bungled bank robbery caused one of the students to be tortured and imprisoned. Something drastic had to be done. Several hard-boiled older radicals came to assist them and the plan for the kidnap was hatched. How it played out is the brought to the screen by Bruno Baretto, as all the participants from the student dreamer played by Pedro Cardoso, to the strong minded woman who saw herself as a revolutionary, played by Fernanda Torres, are shown to be both dangerous and naïve. Alan Arkin is cast as the ambassador and some of the scenes between him and his captors are masterpieces of subtlety and realism. We see many sides of the problem, including the side of the young policeman who has nightmares because his job forces him to torture prisoners.
Instead of making judgment, the film lets the audience experience the realities of the situation, which exacerbates the harshness of the government. The emotional tenseness never ceases and the audience is drawn into the drama. As an epilogue it jumps to a later time, when the original radicals, now older and wiser are freed in a prisoner exchange.
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