HomeReviewsInterviewsStoreABlogsOn Writing

Or Escrava Isaura, as it was known in Brazil in 1976.

It was surely the most melodramatic programme ever, but I loved it, and watched it religiously on Channel 4 during the eighties.

Set in Brazil during the 1880s, the show is about a light skinned slave called Isaura, who is brought up by plantation owners.

The owner and his wife talk about freeing Isaura, but the owner dies before they make it official, and Isaura ends up in the hands of their cruel nephew Leonicio.

Leonicio wants Isaura for himself, and refuses to free her.

Isaura eventually falls in love with some bloke called Tobias, but Leonicio’s jealousy keeps them apart.

So, anybody familiar with this series?

40 Comments »

  • I am! But that’s because I’m Brazilian. I don’t know what kind of changes they have made to the international version. And I watched it more than 20 years ago, so I don’t remember almost anything. This “novela” (that’s how we call it in Brazil; it’s not exactly a “soap opera”) was based on a book written by Bernardo Guimarães.

    A. J. Mirag

    ReplyReply


  • Mireya
    January 25
    3:12 pm

    The name rings a bell but I never got into the telenovela fever (I come from a country in which 99.9% of the female population gets hooked on them.) I have watched a few ones (mostly historical-set) but I don’t think any of those was made in Brasil.

    ReplyReply

  • No, can’t say as I’ve heard of that show before.

    ReplyReply

  • Never heard of it. Was this Brazil’s answer to Roots?

    ReplyReply


  • Alex
    January 25
    6:05 pm

    Absolutely! If I’m not wrong there’s a new version of Escrava Isaura. I didn’t see it but I remember reading some good reviews about it.

    ReplyReply


  • shirley
    January 25
    8:49 pm

    There is, Alex (and Karen) It was remade back in 2004, I believe. And Karen, I think you might be able to get a DVD of the 2004 remake, but I’m not sure.

    I got into these things on Telemundo back when I was working. While I don’t remember the ’76 one super clear, I do remember catching the 2004 version and liking it quite a lot.

    ReplyReply

  • Delurking to say OMG – I was actually thinking about this show/movie recently! It was a huge hit in Russia in the mid-late 80’s – I remember everyone was glued to the TV to watch it.

    LOL – brought back memories:)

    ReplyReply


  • ilona andrews
    January 26
    10:39 pm

    It was the very first soap opera ported to Russian TV post perestroika. The villain was Senor Leonicio, who was the plantation owner’s son, I think. The love interest was Tobias (?), who owned the next plantation. There was an evil slave too, who wanted Leonicio for herself with a giant white turban. My grandma used to love it. There is a part in it where they are doing a close-up on Senor Leonicio’s face as he is quivering in rage – I seem to recall a mustache – and a plane flies over head. I thought that was the funniest thing ever.

    ReplyReply


  • ilona andrews
    January 26
    10:44 pm

    @Fiona

    Edit: I typed it in Russian, but the blog hates Cyrillic, unfortunately. Rabyna Isaura… Lol.

    ReplyReply

  • @Ilona

    Yep that was the name:) I remember Leonicio’s mustache – very thin and cruel looking.

    ReplyReply


  • Mariana
    January 27
    2:59 am

    They actually played the dubbed Spanish version soap opera in the US. My dad was addicted so I saw some of it. He loved him some Isaura though; watched it religiously.

    ReplyReply


  • isabella
    February 16
    4:50 pm

    I heard of it, but I never got to see it. I will like to purchase the miniseries of Isaura the slave girl on DVD, but I can not located anywhere. Can any one help located?

    Thank you,
    isabella

    ReplyReply


  • Cindy Banda
    February 20
    11:10 pm

    I was enthraulled by Iseura and her antics. My brother and i used to spend the whole day anticipating the start of Isaura the slave girl. I Sooooooooooooooooo wish i could watch an episode now to show to my children. I can remember the hilarious voiceovers I used to lol!

    ReplyReply

  • i remember that very well on sundays in about 1987 on channel 4 and it was so dramatic and the music too he he
    there are some on you tube

    ReplyReply


  • Natalie
    March 17
    7:37 pm

    It was very famous in Vietnam during the late 80’s. Everybody loved it. In school, we named our ninth graders’ couple as Tobias and Isaura. I have been looking for the movie to purchase so i can add it to my collections but couldn’t find anywhere.

    ReplyReply


  • Shaterika
    April 26
    4:55 am

    Isaura the slave is actually set in 1850’s Brazil, or at least the 2004 version is. The 1976 and 2004 versions are all over youtube. The 2004 version started out good but when it got extended to 167 episodes from 100 it got kinda ridiculous and is alot different from the 1976 version which is alot better in opinion. Leoncio was the plantation owners son btw.

    ReplyReply


  • aneta
    May 18
    5:59 pm

    I totally remember this show. I think I was like 9 years old when I used to watch it on polish television.I was also looking for this collection.

    ReplyReply


  • smila
    July 22
    2:36 pm

    Yes, my favourite telenovela in early 80’s as shown in Msia…so hooked up on isaura and tobias in primary school.wish could watch the series all over again.

    ReplyReply


  • ann
    August 22
    4:18 am

    i can’t believe ppl still remember this! i’ve been searching to watch it again for a while

    ReplyReply


  • Erere
    November 19
    3:41 am

    Yes! I’m from Nigeria, and I remember watching the show with my mum as a child. Used to confuse the heck out of me why their mouths and their words were out of sync though, haha.

    ReplyReply


  • Justine Elyot
    March 4
    10:21 am

    I’m late to the party, but my schoolfriends and I were OBSESSED with this programme. We started a fan club for Rubens de Falco (Leoncio) and had T-shirts printed bearing the legend ‘Rubens de Falco is a cool dude’. We printed a fanzine and everything! I’m pretty sure my school best friend still has every episode on VCR.

    It combined awesomeness on every level in a way no other programme has before or since. Or something.

    I’m so pleased to find that somebody else watched it too.

    ReplyReply


  • Has
    March 5
    8:03 pm

    I remember watching this during one loooong summer in Morocco- it was dubbed in arabic and it was gloriously melodramatic and crackiliocious. One of my fondest memories was my gran yelling at us to be quiet and settling down with her tea and doing a commentary during the show. 😀

    ReplyReply


  • K.C
    March 7
    9:05 am

    I remember my whole family would gather around the TV when this show came on (this was almost 20 years ago in Nigeria) and I was walking through a mall in New Jersey a few months ago and the Isaura song was playing through the speakers. I miss this show. Where can I find the dvds?

    ReplyReply

  • We have the original English dubbed DVD for Escrava Isaura 1976. Anyone interested contact us at trueoldclassics@gmail.com and also check out our blog for other 80’s classics at http://bestoldclassics.wordpress.com/

    Regards

    ReplyReply


  • Anh
    August 2
    2:05 pm

    Isaura, I love this film… actually my whole neighbourhood if not the entire city… Used to watch it during the 80’s back in Vietnam. I’m still searching for the english subtitled series… Can anyone help?

    ReplyReply


  • Eme
    September 29
    2:36 am

    Please notify me of follow up comments via my email.Thanks!

    ReplyReply


  • Brazilian Boy
    April 27
    9:11 am

    Due to the success of the original version of “Slave Isaura” in the international market for television, produced by TV Globo in 1976, TV Record, channel competitor, did (in 2004) a remake of this telenovela, also based on the same book, but with different development from the original version. The two productions are completely incomparable. The original version of TV Globo, although its technical quality (in the ’70s, there was some lack of broadcasting equipment) was supposed that technical limitations hampered the season is far superior to the remake of TV Record – its only wanted to revive the international success of the version produced by TV Globo in 70 years. Finally, the two versions are incomparable, which proved that the technical barriers of the old times didn’t influence to the dramatic final result and the stunning original version for TV.

    ReplyReply


  • Silvano Feitosa
    June 13
    4:12 pm

    @Justine Elyot:
    DJustine, do you think your school best friend still has “Isaura, the slave girl” on VCR? I am very interested in see it and also to convert it from VCR to a digital format. The digital versions I have seen on the internet are very incomplete. Please, if possible, email me back your contact info (it can be just the email). My email is silvanofeitosa@hotmail.com
    Thank you very much in advance!

    ReplyReply

  • Yeah! Dat was in d early 90s in 9ja aka Nigeria. I was abt 7-8yrs bt sure lovd it!

    ReplyReply


  • winfrey
    January 18
    6:55 pm

    i lovd it believe me i was young but understood every bit of it….may they shud think of bringing it back…..

    ReplyReply


  • Esttyz
    February 2
    1:10 am

    Where can I buy the English version of it?

    ReplyReply


  • Averil
    February 11
    1:42 pm

    I was totally addicted to this series. The last episode was on the day I moved house, but I HAD to stop and watch it (1985)

    ReplyReply


  • dennis
    July 25
    12:45 pm

    i still remember, it was the memory of the past.

    ReplyReply


  • Eileen
    July 8
    10:56 pm

    It was brilliant,

    ReplyReply


  • Jane reynolds
    August 16
    8:06 am

    Loved this but was the only girl I knew who watched it.

    ReplyReply


  • tottie
    October 27
    3:40 am

    seen the first episode…now I’m hooked and can’t find the rest online freeeeee, help!!! lol

    ReplyReply


  • Missp
    November 13
    3:42 pm

    Desperately seeking a UK copy for an annoying sister who rings me everyday to find one for her. Can anyone help Please.

    ReplyReply


  • Masan
    December 30
    7:09 pm

    Escrava Isaura with was a popular telenovela in Kenya in the ’90s. Where can one get the DVDs (in english)? I don’t know about the 2004 remake but I would love to rewatch the 1976 production.

    ReplyReply


  • Valerie
    June 15
    10:27 pm

    Isaura the Slave is currently showing in the United Kingdom on Sky Channel 203 Monday to Friday at 8pm and on Saturdays and Sundays at 8pm to 10pm. The Saturday and Sunday series are the ones which were shown Monday to Friday so if anyone misses it during the week they can catch up on weekends. It is in English only so the voices are obviously dubbed, but dubbed well. Wished I’d seen it from when it first started. I am hooked on this series!

    ReplyReply


  • Susan
    August 11
    9:31 pm

    I remember watching this series and had to watch it even in between moving homes. I’m trying to find an English version even now.

    ReplyReply

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment