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Comments on Brazil
Comments on Brazil
Mar 14, 2003
Posted Nov 19, 2007 - 12:22 PM:
Published as "Brazil: A Radio Drama" in a textbook in 1943, here's a rare instance of a Wyllis Cooper script in print. The text is described as a "cut version" -- a "somewhat shortened" version of the script "that the actors used in the studio," which probably explains why the names of the actors are sometimes included in parentheses. I haven't altered the text except to put the non-dialogue cues in caps. For clarity, I also added the word "SOUND:" before each sound cue.
(MUSIC: OVERTURE, "IL GUARANY" ... FADE FOR)
ANNOUNCER: Good Neighbors: Tonight we present Brazil, the largest republic of all the Americas! This series of programs is brought to you by the National Broadcasting Company in an effort to help us of the United States to a better acquaintance with our twenty good neighbors, the republics of the Other Americas. We bring you the Republic of the United States of Brazil.
(MUSIC: DC [DIRECT CUE] ON "IL GUARANY" OVERTURE AND START REPEAT ... FADE FOR)
CROSS: Most of the time on these programs I've been answering questions. Tonight I'm going to take the other side and <u>ask</u> questions for a change. I think everybody knows something about Brazil; and what I'd like to find out is just what does everybody know?
VOICES: I know a lot about Brazil.
CROSS: What? Why, who are you?
CROSS: Oh, you are, eh? Well, what do you know about Brazil?
VOICES: Brazil's the largest country in South America.
VOICE 1: (RUTH GILBERT) Yes, but Everybody doesn't know that Brazil's the largest country in all the Americas and the sixth largest in the world.
CROSS: And what else does Everybody know about Brazil?
VOICES: Coffee comes from Brazil.
VOICE 2: (SHIRLEY) But Everybody doesn't know that diamonds come from Brazil -- and rubber and cotton and cocoa and wax and hardwoods.
VOICES: Rio de Janeiro is the queen city of Brazil.
VOICE 3: (GILBERT) But Everybody doesn't know that there are four communities in Brazil called Philadelphia; six named New York; twenty-eight Californias; one Washington -- yes, and a Brooklyn!
VOICES: The Amazon River is the largest river in the world.
VOICE 4: (VIVIAN HOLT) Does Everybody know that the mouth of the Amazon is 180 miles wide? And that transatlantic ships navigate over 1000 miles up the Amazon -- far beyond the city of Manaos?
CROSS: I guess Everybody doesn't know all there is to know about Brazil--
LUTHER: The turn of a new century first brought Brazil to the attention of an Old World engrossed in the discoveries and conquests of the New. Vasco da Gama, the first man to reach India by that route had advised Pedro Alvares Cabral to beat far westward in the hope of discovering more favorable winds and currents for his voyage; and Cabral went too far. His error in navigation gave Brazil to the Portuguese.
BECK: But nothing was done about the new acquisition of the Crown of Portugal until 1530 -- nothing beyond half-hearted voyages that came and looked and went away again. Then in that same year of 1530, Martim Affonso de Souza left Portugal to explore the Brazil in earnest. He went up and down the coast for thousands of miles, and finally established the first important settlement: at São Vincente in the present-day state of São Paulo. But when Souza landed near what is today the city of Bahia, a strange thing happened:
SOUND: FADE IN SOUND OF SURF ON A BEACH AT ABOUT "SOUZA LANDED." KEEP IN UNTIL CUED OUT)
SAILOR: (DAN) (WAY OFF) This way, Senhor Commandante. This way! There is a good landing.
SOUND: (THE SURF FOR A SECOND. THEN)
SAILOR: (CLOSER) Pull ahead! Pull ahead! It is good here!
OFFICER: (FRED) (SAME DISTANCE) Look to your muskets, soldiers! There may be Indians!
SAILOR: (CLOSER) There's sure to be Indians, Tenente! Keep your eyes open, men! Now! Now! Out of the boat -- overboard with you all! Go on, go on!
SOUND: (THE MEN SHOUT IN THE DISTANCE AS THEY LEAP OUT ONTO THE BEACH)
OFFICER: Spread out, men! Look sharp, now! Forward!
SOUND: (EAGER VOICES COME CLOSER. THE VOICES STOP AT THE OFFICER'S COMMAND)
OFFICER: (MUCH CLOSER) Silence! You there, Estevao! Lourenco! Move out ahead and keep a watch for Indians! Get along! Now! Where's the Commandante!
SAILOR: His boat's landing, Tenente, see?
OFFICER: Good enough. All right, men, halt! At ease!
SOUND: (THE MEN HALT AND RELAX, TALKING QUIETLY BUT EXCITEDLY)
SOUZA: (SANTOS) (OFF) Any signs of Indians, Tenente?
OFFICER: (RAISING HIS VOICE) No, Senhor Capitao! I have two men scouting--
SOUND: (A DISTANT MUSKET SHOT IS HEARD AND ONE OF THE TWO SCOUTS YELLS LOUDLY IN THE DISTANCE)
SOUZA: (UP) No sign of Indians, eh? Get your men spread out, Tenente! Quick!
OFFICER: (CRESTFALLEN) Yes, sir. Spread out, men -- lie down!
SOUZA: Get the boats ready to go back to the ship quickly if we have to.
SAILOR: All ready, Senhor Capitao. Stand by, you men!
SOUZA: I don't see any Indians yet--
SAILOR: Here they come! Here they-- Santa Maria, Senhor Capitao, look!
SAILOR: They're women, Senhor Capitao!
SOUZA: Women! Dex mil dee-ah-boosh, they are! Tenente! Bring the prisoners here!
SAILOR: There's a man with them, Senhor Capitao!
SOUZA: I see him.
SAILOR: And the two scouts don't seem to be hurt--
SOUZA: Silence! Over here, Tenente!
SOUND: (NOW WE CAN HEAR THE CHATTERING WOMEN AS THEY DRAW CLOSER)
OFFICER: (SLIGHTLY BEWILDERED) Prisoners, halt!
SOUND: (THE WOMAN HALT, BUT THEY ARE PRETTY HAPPY, AND THEY LAUGH)
SOUND: (THEY LAUGH SOME MORE)
SOUND: (THEY GRADUALLY QUIET DOWN)
SOUZA: Well, Tenente!
OFFICER: (HELPLESSLY) Senhor Capitao, they are women.
SOUZA: Am I blind, Tenente? Or deaf?
OFFICER: No, Senhor Capitao.
SOUZA: Fool! What became of the man that was with these women?
OFFICER: Here, Senhor Capitao.
SOUZA: Get an interpreter. Perhaps he understands--
CARAMURU: I understand perfectly, Senhor Capitao.
SOUZA: What! (THE OTHERS ALSO EXCLAIM) Where did you learn--
CARAMURU: I am Portuguese, Senhor Capitao.
SOUND: (THE WOMEN LAUGH AT THAT AS THE OTHERS EXCLAIM)
SOUZA: Who are you, man?
CARAMURU: My name was Diego Alvares Correia, Senhor Capitao, when I was a sailor many years ago.
SOUZA: You're a deserter?
CARAMURU: Pardon, Senhor Capitao, I am a king.
SOUZA: Look here, man--
CARAMURU: I am Caramuru, Senhor Capitao--
CARAMURU: Caramuru, my people call me: Man of Fire.
SOUZA: Tenente, arrest this man as a deserter, and--
CARAMURU: Wait, Senhor Capitao. I've come to meet you peacefully. I've been here nearly twenty years, Senhor, and I always knew some day you, or somebody else from home, would come.
SOUZA: We come to claim this land for His Majesty.
CARAMURU: I claimed it for him ten years ago, Senhor. I converted these people in the True Faith, too. I started a city here. I've been holding this land for Portugal, Senhor, and I'm not going to fight you over that.
SOUZA: (SOFTENING A LITTLE) Well, we appreciate what you've done--
CARAMURU: You'd better appreciate it, Senhor. You came ashore here, expecting to find jungle and wilderness and-- you know what you've found? A whole settlement, waiting for you, a loyal settlement, believing in our Faith, welcoming you to our part of His Majesty's holdings in the New World. Now what are you going to do about it?
SOUZA: I don't know what else I can do but accept your hospitality -- Your Majesty.
CARAMURU: (LAUGHS CHEERFULLY) Good enough, Senhor Capitao! Come on!
SOUZA: Wait. Wait -- who are these women? Soldiers, too? The Amazons we've heard of?
CARAMURU: (LAUGHS) No, Senhor. Wait, I'll introduce you. Oh, what's your name?
SOUZA: Martim Affonso de Souza -- Your Majesty.
CARAMURU: Good enough! Capitao Martim -- Their Majesties, the Queens.
SOUZA: Santa Maria Carambilis!
SOUND: (SOUZA'S "SANTA MARIA CARAMBILIS" AND THE WOMEN'S LAUGHTER ARE COVERED BY)
(MUSIC: A GAY PAYOFF)
CROSS: No, not all the conquest of Brazil was as pleasant and easy as that; but there were no ruthless conquistadores, and in 1549 the city of Sao Salvador de Bahia was founded -- the first capital of Brazil, and the first capital city in the Americas!
(MUSIC: "SENHORA DONNA SANCHO" BY THE BRAZILIAN COMPOSER VILLA-LOBOS)
WOMAN: Mr. Cross, tell us some more that Everybody doesn't know about Brazil, won't you, please?
CROSS: All right. But let's think first what Everybody knows--
VOICES: (AS BEFORE) Coffee is one of the most important products of Brazil.
VOICE: But does Everybody know how coffee became so important in Brazil?
VOICES: Tell us, please.
BECK: Coffee was an important product of Dutch Guiana, one of Brazil's neighbors, early in the eighteenth century -- and not another country in all South America grew a single coffee tree. Coffee had come all the way from Abyssinia by way of the Dutch Indies, and here in the New World the canny Netherlanders had determined to stop its further migration around the world. But in May, 1727, there was a boundary dispute between Brazil and Dutch Guiana, and a young Brazilian, Sergeant-Major Francisco de Mello Palheta, was sent to Cayenne to serve on an arbitration board....
GOVERNOR: Be seated, Senhor Sergeant-Major, I beg you.
PALHETA: Thank you, Senhor Governor. It has been a most tiring day.
GOVERNOR: But we have accomplished much.
PALHETA: Yes. I am happy that our differences are adjusted, and now I can go home with good news.
GOVERNOR: We are glad, too. Brazil is a good neighbor, sir.
PALHETA: Thank you.
SOUND: (A DOOR OPENS. FOOTSTEPS APPROACH)
ELISABETH: (COMING IN) Good evening, Father.
SOUND: (THE MEN GET TO THEIR FEET)
GOVERNOR: Good evening, my child.
PALHETA: Good evening to you, Senhorita.
ELISABETH: Senhor Sergeant-Major.
GOVERNOR: Ah, you've brought coffee!
ELISABETH: I thought you'd like a good hot cup after a hard day's work.
GOVERNOR: Nothing in the world like it!
PALHETA: It's delicious.
SOUND: (POUR COFFEE BEHIND ALL THIS DIALOGUE)
ELISABETH: Senhor Sergeant-Major.
PALHETA: Thank you.
GOVERNOR: Thank you, my dear.
ELISABETH: You like our coffee, Senhor.
PALHETA: Immensely. It's a great luxury in my country, you know.
ELISABETH: Too bad our laws are so strict.
PALHETA: Your laws?
GOVERNOR: Yes. Our law provides the death penalty for anyone who carries even one single coffee bean out of the country.
ELISABETH: It's a cruel law, Father.
GOVERNOR: It is a necessary law to protect our planters and our country's prosperity.
PALHETA: (TAKING A SIP) Does no one ever try to smuggle coffee out?
GOVERNOR: Our inspectors are very thorough indeed.
ELISABETH: I think it's a shame to deprive other nations of the right to grow coffee, though. No matter how important it is to a few planters.
GOVERNOR: You don't understand such matters, my child.
PALHETA: (HALF IN EARNEST) You'll be sure to search my effects, Senhor Governor?
GOVERNOR: (ALSO HALF IN EARNEST) They've already been searched, my friend.
ELISABETH: Father! A guest! Here on a diplomatic mission! For shame!
GOVERNOR: Well, it's the law.
PALHETA: Of course. Perhaps, though, one day we may find a way to make a treaty between our nations so that we might share coffee production with you.
GOVERNOR: I doubt that, seriously.
ELISABETH: When are you leaving, Senhor Palheta?
PALHETA: Unfortunately, at once, Senhorita.
GOVERNOR: It is necessary that Senhor Palheta return at once with news of our agreement on the boundary matter, my dear.
ELISABETH: I am sorry you must go so soon, Senhor.
PALHETA: I am sorry, too, Senhorita. But my carriage is ready and waiting now.
GOVERNOR: Yes. Sir, it has been a great pleasure to have worked with you.
PALHETA: It was my pleasure, sir. Senhorita, perhaps I shall see you again one day -- so that I may express my appreciation of your hospitality.
ELISABETH: I hope so, Senhor. Good-by.
PALHETA: Good-by. Sir, Brazil is grateful to you. Good-by.
GOVERNOR: Good-by, Senhor Palheta.
ELISABETH: You'll not have another cup of coffee before you go?
PALHETA: Thank you, no, Senhorita.
ELISABETH: You'll at least take away something to remember us by. Perhaps-- ah, here! (SHE STEPS AWAY) This bouquet of flowers-- (COMING BACK) Father, you won't mind, will you?
GOVERNOR: Of course not, my dear. But flowers for a young army officer and diplomat-- (HE CHUCKLES)
PALHETA: I am most grateful, Senhorita.
ELISABETH: You will like these flowers, Senhor -- and perhaps you will remember us now.
PALHETA: I am sure I will.
SOUND: (THERE IS A KNOCK AT THE DOOR WHICH OPENS)
MAN: (AT DOOR) Pardon, Senhores, the coach awaits--
PALHETA: I'll be there at once. Adeus, Senhor Governor. Adeus, Senhorita.
GOVERNOR: Good-by, sir. Good-by.
ELISABETH: (WITH A LITTLE LAUGH) And don't lose my flowers, Senhor!
PALHETA: I shall cherish them forever.
(MUSIC: UP QUICKLY AND FADE FOR)
CROSS: Yes, that's right. The bouquet that the governor's daughter gave to young Palheta did contain many flowers of the country; but deep in the center of the bouquet was a spray of another plant -- an exotic plant, red with ripe berries -- the plant that had come all the way around the world to its new home -- coffee -- the coffee that was to bring fame and new riches to Brazil.
(MUSIC: UP FOR PAYOFF)
LUTHER: Brazil's independence was proclaimed in São Paulo, 310 miles southwest of Rio de Janeiro, in 1822 by the Portuguese prince Dom Pedro, who became the Emperor Dom Pedro I. The Republic of the United States of Brazil was proclaimed in 1889; and while both of these steps were attained by revolt, not a single life was lost!
BECK: Brazil's cultural achievements are many. Bidu Sayao, soprano of the Metropolitan Opera of New York; Guiomar Novaes, concert pianist; Burle Marx, composer and conductor, are some of the native Brazilians who have attained unusual success in art circles of the United States and of Europe!
(MUSIC: SHORT PAYOFF)
LUTHER: The Butantan Institute -- Brazil's famous Snake Farm -- is a scientific institution that has served as a model for similar organizations all over the world for the study and production of anti-snake-venom serums!
(MUSIC: SHORT PAYOFF)
CROSS: The 726-carat Vargas Diamond, recently found in Brazil, and named for President Getulio Vargas, is the largest since South Africa's Jonkers Diamond!
LUTHER: Brazil's water power resources are the greatest in the world!
BECK: Brazil is the world's greatest supplier of raw materials!
VOICE 1: (SID) You couldn't have phonograph records or carbon paper without carnauba wax from Brazil!
VOICE 2: (SHIRLEY) One of the most powerful insecticides is made from timbo root, from Brazil!
VOICE 3: (BILLY LEE) The world couldn't get along without Brazilian rubber!
VOICE 4: (DON) Brazil is the storehouse of the New World -- the richest of all the republics of the Other Americas in natural resources!
(MUSIC: PAYOFF ... SEGUE TO ORGAN CHORD ... FADE BEHIND)
LUTHER: High above the harbor of Rio de Janeiro the hundred foot statue of Christ the Redeemer gazes benignly down upon a city spread like a carpet of jewels along the varying shore: the City of Saint Sebastian of the River of January. And nowhere else in the world is there a city so worthy of the natural wonders by which it is surrounded. Here is the capital city of Brazil; here is a modern city of more than two million -- gay, colorful, magnificent in a setting that would dwarf any city other than this. The air, the sea, and the land are roads to Rio; and no traveler has ever been disappointed in what he finds here. Brazil has other cities of tremendous importance: Santos, the coffee port; São Paulo; Bélem de Pará; Belo-Horizonte; Salvador, which many of us know as Bahia; Recife, sometimes called Pernambuco; Porto Alegre, the most important commercial city of Southern Brazil -- cities bustling with activity, cities smiling a welcome to all their good neighbors from all the Other Americas, cities that reflect the spirit and progressiveness that the whole world has come to associate with Brazil!
CROSS: There is not time in any half-hour to do more than sketch the wonders of this good neighbor of ours. But we hope that we have been able to intrigue your imagination about Brazil -- for further study will more than repay your efforts.
(MUSIC: BRAZILIAN NATIONAL ANTHEM)
ANNOUNCER: This is the National Broadcasting Company.
Originally broadcast: 26 June 1941
SOME NOTES ON THE SCRIPT:
1. "Il Guarany" is an opera by Brazilian composer Antonio Carlos Gomes.
2. Milton Cross was the series' regular host.
3. "Dex mil dee-ah-boosh" is an expression meaning "ten thousand devils."
4. The "True Faith" refers to Roman Catholicism.
5. Contrary to the text, most sources I looked at say Palheta got the coffee from French Guiana, not Dutch, and he seduced the governor's wife, not his daughter.
Dec 21, 2001
Posted Nov 30, 2007 - 5:41 PM:
I had no idea Cooper wrote informercials for the Brazilian department of tourism.
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