The nearly four-and-a-half-hour centerpiece of Oliveira’s tetralogy was the fifth cinematic adaptation of Camilo Castelo Branco’s hugely popular 1862 novel, in which two young lovers come to ruin for their forbidden mutual attraction. When it was broadcast on Portuguese TV, Doomed Love drew outrage for its budgetary excesses, its aggressive formal maneuvers, and what were perceived as its bourgeois sympathies. Shown in France, it was almost instantly recognized as a milestone in ’70s art-house cinema—a film that drew heavily on 19th-century theatrical and literary traditions but created a formal vocabulary entirely its own. Scrupulously faithful to the book, Oliveira also took pains to create a film that, in its seductive tracking shots and its complex arrangement of voices, would take advantage of what only the movies could do.

  • Directed By Manoel de Oliveira
  • 1979
  • Portugal
  • Portuguese with English subtitles
  • 35mm
  • 252 minutes