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The Sandpit Generals (1971)

Inspired by the classic novel by Brazilian cultural icon Jorge Amado, this is the story of a gang of homeless children lead by Pedro Bala. Set in Bahia, the film follows the adventures of ... See full summary »


Hall Bartlett


Jorge Amado (novel), Jorge Amado (story) | 1 more credit »
1 nomination. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Juarez Santalvo Juarez Santalvo
Freddie Gedeon Freddie Gedeon ... Almiro
Ademir Da Silva Ademir Da Silva ... Big John
Guilherme Lamounier Guilherme Lamounier ... The Cat
Eliana Pittman Eliana Pittman ... Dalvah
Dorival Caymmi ... John Adam
Peter Nielsen Peter Nielsen ... Lollipop
Mark De Vries Mark De Vries ... Dry Turn
Butch Patrick ... No Legs
John Rubinstein ... Professor
Tisha Sterling ... Dora
Kent Lane Kent Lane ... Bullet
Alejandro Rey ... Fr. Jose Pedro
Aloysio Oliveira Aloysio Oliveira ... Chancellor
Lorrene Baker Lorrene Baker


Inspired by the classic novel by Brazilian cultural icon Jorge Amado, this is the story of a gang of homeless children lead by Pedro Bala. Set in Bahia, the film follows the adventures of Bala's gang of under aged outlaws as they steal, rape, find love, "capoeira" (a Brazilian form of martial arts) and African-Brazilian religion. Written by Cristian "Albator" Redferne <Harlock@prodigy.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Their Law Is Lust! Their God Is Violence! Their Prayer Is A Four Letter Word! See more »


Action | Drama | Romance


R | See all certifications »






Release Date:

August 1972 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Wild Pack See more »

Filming Locations:

Bahia, Brazil

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The plural "Generals" is most likely incorrect. Have never found advertising other than singular "The Sandpit General". Distributed by AIP under the title "The Wild Pack", with runs in San Francisco in October 1972 and Chicago (January 5, 1973). Under the title "The Sandpit General", opened in Minneapolis November 14, 1975 and not distributed by AIP (perhaps self-distributed by Hall Bartlett?) Re-titling to "The Defiant" occurred in 1985. See more »


Version of Capitães da Areia (1989) See more »


Sing with Me
Music and Lyrics by Guilherme Lamounier
special music sung by The Girls from Bahia and Oscar Castro-Neves
See more »

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User Reviews

The best movie of All Times and Nations.
12 March 2012 | by belena-953-201287See all my reviews

Many years ago in 1974, when I was a schoolgirl, I saw a movie, which impressed me greatly, turned my soul upside down and determined my future life. It was Hall Bartlett's movie The Sandpit Generals. Up to now I can't forget that impression. I was shocked and fascinated and felt indissoluble ties with its characters - those homeless teenagers who, in spite of appalling conditions didn't lose their human dignity. They fought for their life, their future, their love.

And music, that fascinating music! It penetrated into the depth of the heart, and the heart itself began sounding in unison with this doleful and courageous melody.

Since 1974 I've seen the movie more than one hundred times. When I feel grief or despair, "The Generals" gives me hope, courage and desire to struggle. I think the movie is a real masterpiece of world cinematography and it isn't my opinion only. It is one of the most beloved movies in Russia, and is still being demonstrated in the cinemas. One can hardly imagine what a success it was. In 1974 the movie was called the best film by the young people of the Soviet Union. Here in Russia everyone loves and remembers unforgettable " Generals".

Due to my naivety and the lack of information about Hollywood I was perfectly sure that The Sandpit Generals enjoys the same popularity in the USA. Only in 1998 I learned that the movie was completely unaccepted in the US, it simply wasn't demonstrated there. Reading brief and sarcastic remarks of American critics I felt such indignation and insult. One of them, commenting the awarding of the Prize at Moscow festival, wrote that the Jury must have been taken aback by abundance of blue-eyed blonds among Brazilian waifs. I'm perfectly sure that this idea had never occurred to any member of the Jury, neither to me. I still wonder what percentage of blonds should be there. Perhaps Hall Bartlett died without knowing how dear his movie was to millions and millions of Soviet people. The Sandpit became a kind of a cult for the whole generation.

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