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The Red Light Bandit (Portuguese: O Bandido da Luz Vermelha) is a 1968 Brazilian crime film directed by Rogério Sganzerla,[1] inspired by the crimes of the real-life burglar João Acácio Pereira da Costa, known as the "Red Light Bandit" (Bandido da Luz Vermelha).[2] The film is a representative work of cinema marginal. Sganzerla was 21 years old when he directed it.[3]

The Red Light Bandit
O Bandido da Luz Vermelha
Original Brazilian release poster
Directed byRogério Sganzerla
Produced byJosé da Costa Cordeiro
José Alberto Reis
Rogério Sganzerla
Written byRogério Sganzerla
StarringPaulo Villaça
Helena Ignez
Luiz Linhares
Narrated byHélio Aguiar
Music byRogério Sganzerla
CinematographyPeter Overbeck
Edited bySilvio Renoldi
Urano Filmes
Distributed bySagres Filmes (VHS release)
Release date

  • 12 May 1969 (1969-05-12) (Brazil)
Running time
92 minutes


Jorge, a São Paulo house burglar, nicknamed by the press the "Red Light Bandit", baffles the police by using peculiar techniques. Always carrying a red flashlight, he rapes his victims, has long dialogues with them and makes daring escapes. Afterwards, he spends the profits of his crimes.

He has an affair with the femme fatale Janete Jane, meets other burglars, a corrupt politician and gets betrayed. Pursued and cornered, he commits suicide.


  • Paulo Villaça as Jorge, the Red Light Bandit
  • Helena Ignez as Janete Jane
  • Luiz Linhares as police officer Cabeção
  • Pagano Sobrinho as J.B. da Silva
  • Roberto Luna as Lucho Gatica
  • José Marinho as Tarzan
  • Ezequiel Neves as Reporter
  • Sérgio Mamberti as Homosexual
  • Renato Consorte as TV host
  • Sérgio Hingst as Millionaire
  • Lola Brah as Rich Woman
  • Antonio Lima as Gangster
  • Ozualdo Candeias as Criminal
  • Maurice Capovilla as Gangster
  • Carlos Reichenbach as Gangster


Awards and nominationsEdit

1968 Festival de Brasília (Brazil)[4]

  • Best Costume
  • Best Director
  • Best Editing
  • Best Film


A sequel directed by Ícaro Martins and Helena Ignez, widow of Sganzerla, was released in 2010: Luz nas Trevas - A Volta do Bandido da Luz Vermelha.[5][6]


  1. ^ Xavier, Ismail (1997). Allegories of Underdevelopment: Aesthetics and Politics in Modern Brazilian Cinema. U of Minnesota Press. ISBN 9780816626779.
  2. ^ "Memory of the World National Cinematic Heritage" (PDF). Unesco. 1995. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
  3. ^ "Rep Diary: Tropicália - Film Comment". Film Comment. Retrieved 2016-02-17.
  4. ^ Sganzerla, Rogério (2008). O bandido da luz vermelha: argumento e roteiro (in Portuguese). Imprensa Oficial Do Estado. ISBN 9788570606693.
  5. ^ "Continuação de 'O bandido da luz vermelha' estreia em festival na Suíça". Pop & Arte (in Portuguese). Retrieved 2016-02-17.
  6. ^ Felperin, Leslie (2010-08-19). "Review: 'Light in Darkness: The Return of the Red Light Bandit'". Variety. Retrieved 2017-07-13.

External linksEdit