Gilda de Abreu

1905 - 1979
Airing O Ébrio (1946) on Wednesday, Dec. 2 at 12:15 AM on TCM

Brazilian filmmaker Gilda de Abreu began her career 1936 as a performer onstage, appearing in productions before producing operas in Rio de Janeiro. After a successful start with acting, de Abreu became interested in moving into filmmaking. In 1946 she directed her debut feature, O Ébrio, which would go on to become a huge success in Brazil. Similar in personal style to her Hollywood counterpart Ida Lupino and Dorothy Arzner, de Abreu dressed in pants in an effort to be taken more seriously in the male-dominated filmmaking industry.

In 1951 she founded Pro Arte, her own production company and followed up her debut feature with the melodrama Coração Materno, which she also produced. However, de Abreu found that, as a woman, breaking through in Brazil’s film industry proved to be extremely challenging.  Though she would only direct three films in her short career, she continued to write screenplays as well as plays and novels until her death in 1979.

Select Filmography

O Ébrio (1946)
Pinguinho de Gente (1949)
Coração Materno (1951)