Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands

Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands (Portuguese: Dona Flor e Seus Dois Maridos) is a 1976 Brazilian comedy film directed by Bruno Barreto. Based on the 1966 novel of the same name by Jorge Amado, it takes place in 1940s Bahia and has Sônia Braga, José Wilker and Mauro Mendonça in the leading roles. The screenplay was adapted by Barreto, Eduardo Coutinho and Leopoldo Serran.

Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands
Film poster
Film poster
Directed byBruno Barreto
Written by
Based onDona Flor e Seus Dois Maridos
by Jorge Amado
Produced by
CinematographyMurilo Salles
Edited byRaimundo Higino
Music by
Distributed byEmbrafilme
Release date
  • November 22, 1976 (1976-11-22) (Brazil)
Running time
110 minutes
Box office10.73 million admissions (Brazil)

When initially released, Dona Flor became the most successful film in Brazilian history. Internationally, the film received nominations for a Golden Globe and a BAFTA Award.

In 1982, an American remake titled Kiss Me Goodbye starred Sally Field, James Caan, and Jeff Bridges in the leading roles. A 2017 remake starred Juliana Paes, Leandro Hassum and Marcelo Faria and was directed by Pedro Vasconcellos.[1]



Vadinho (José Wilker), Flor's irresponsible husband, drops dead while dancing in a street carnival party. Only Flor (Sônia Braga) expresses remorse after his death. Flor's friends and family see Vadinho's death as a chance for Flor to find happiness after the misery brought upon her by Vadinho's spendthrift ways and near-total lack of respectability.

Roughly the first half of Dona Flor recounts Flor's marriage with Vadinho in an extended flashback. What is made clear is that Vadinho was a great lover who admired his wife's respectability, but enjoyed protracted foreplay until she begged him to continue. Not only was he generally an inattentive husband who would rather go to the casinos and whore houses, but he beat Flor and stole the savings she made from her cooking school. Despite this, he changed a formerly inhibited girl into a wife who experienced carnal joy regularly.

The second half of Dona Flor involves Flor's meeting the respectable but extraordinarily dull pharmacist Teodoro (Mauro Mendonça), his courtship of her, and her marriage to him. Flor's friends consider Teodoro the exact opposite of Vadinho. Teodoro belongs in superior circles within Bahia's society, dresses elegantly, and treats Flor like a lady. What Flor's friends do not know is that Teodoro is also the opposite of Vadinho in one more respect: in bed, Teodoro is as lacking as Vadinho was accomplished. Flor finds herself unfulfilled, and wishes for her late husband to return.

On the anniversary of Vadinho's death, Vadinho reappears to Flor in the nude and explains that she called him to "share her bed" with him. Only Flor can see and hear the nude spirit of Vadinho, but he still manages to create chaos through his spiritual presence at casinos. She protests because she is now remarried and has pledged to be faithful to Teodoro, but after Vadinho laughs during Teodoro's pathetic attempts at love-making that night, Flor gives in and lives happily with both husbands. The last two shots depict Flor in her new marital bliss. A shot toward the end of the film shows Teodoro lying in bed next to Flor, who kisses him on the cheek. The camera then pans to the left to show Vadinho on Flor's other side and she kisses him on the cheek too. Then (presumably the next day) as a large crowd exits Sunday Mass, we see Flor linking arms with both Teodoro and Vadinho, the latter of whom is completely in the nude without shame. Flor is seen to be very content.



Director Bruno Barreto said that in the sex scenes José Wilker was really uncomfortable, while Sonia Braga was at ease. "Actually as soon as I said 'cut,' an A.D. would cover her with a robe, and she would say, 'No, no, no, if you don't mind I want to stay naked, so I get used to it.' So she was very casual about it, very relaxed about it," Barreto said.[2]



The film was the most popular Brazilian film of all-time with 10.73 million admissions and was not surpassed until Elite Squad: The Enemy Within in 2010.[3] It was the second most popular film in Brazil after Jaws, which had 13 million admissions.[4] By 1998, it became the third most successful film, with only Jaws and Titanic, with 16 million admissions, ahead of it.[4]

In the United States, it was the highest-grossing Brazilian film with a gross of $3 million[5] until the 1998 release of Central Station which grossed $6 million.[6]

Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands holds a 78% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on nine reviews.[7]

Awards and nominations


BAFTA Film Awards

Golden Globe Awards

Gramado Film Festival

  • Best Film – Bruno Barreto (nominated)
  • Best Director – Bruno Barreto (won)
  • Best Film Music – Francis Hime (won)
  • Special Jury Award – Anisio Medeiros, production designer (won)


  1. ^ "Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands (2017)". IMDb.
  2. ^ "MUBI Podcast Expanded: A Conversation with director Bruno Barreto on "Dona Flor"". 17 June 2021. Retrieved 26 February 2022.
  3. ^ "Tropa 2 é o filme nacional mais visto da história". R7 - Entretenimento (in Portuguese). 12 August 2010. Retrieved 3 May 2020.
  4. ^ a b "Brazil's Top Films of All Time". Variety. 21 December 1998. p. 60.
  5. ^ "Pix from afar: National bests in the U.S.". Variety. January 7, 1991. p. 86.
  6. ^ Central Station at Box Office Mojo
  7. ^
  • Bergan, Ronald and Robyn Karney. The Faber Companion to Foreign Films. Boston: Faber and Faber, 1992.
  • Creed-Miles, Jo. "Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands (Dona Flor e Seus Dois Maridos)." TimeOut Film Guide. Ed. John Pym. London: Penguin Books, 2003.