The history of Brazil between 1930 (the coffee crisis and the 1930 revolution) and 1964 (the military coup d'état). A ruined "fazendeiro" (plantation owner) has his daughter marry a newly rich journalist. The journalist is a person who turned in his friend in order to free himself from the political police. At the time of the fall of Vargas in the post-war period, the journalist's son begins his social climb, at first getting involved with a radio star. Father and son end up confronting each other.
"Os herdeiros might be enjoyable because Carlos Diegues's film has a political theme. Os herdeiros is not a historical essay. Vargas is nothing but a reference. Os herdeiros is a melodrama in the form of a Baroque didactic poem that brings to mind Jorge de Lima, one of the greatest Brazilian and Latin American tropicalist poets. The political theme is not important in Diegues's film. The images of political emotion - which give rise to this film and which this film gives rise to - affirm its novelty. Os herdeiros is the first Brazilian film to give a complete inventory of Brazilian urban films from Humberto Mauro's silent films all the way up until Terra em transe. [...] Os herdeiros is a key film in Brazilian cinema. It is the dialectical montage of the sounds-images of the corrupt power of imperialism, but it is also the dialectical montage of the sounds-images, which are projecting the first signs of a new civilization through the force of its tropicalist sentiment." (Glauber Rocha)
Director of photography: Dib Lufti.
Art director: Luiz Carlos Ripper.
Editor: Eduardo Escorel.
Music: Heitor Villa-Lobos.
Cast: Sérgio Cardoso, Mário Lago, Odete Lara, Isabel Ribeiro, Grande Otelo, Paulo Porto, Jean-Pierre Léaud, André Couvela, Hugo Carvana, Anecy Rocha, Caetano Veloso, Nara Leão, Daniel Filho.
Production company: Jarbas Barbosa, Condor Filmes, Carlos Diegues.