Brazil, the 1920s. The sadistic colonel Minas massacres the hometown of a famous cangaceiro (a kind of revolutionary bandit). The only survivor is a young farmer called Espedito; he is nursed back to health by a (crazy?) hermit who thinks he has been sent (= espedito) by God and therefore baptizes him the Redeemer. Espedito/The Redeemer forms his own gang of cangaceiros but doesn’t really understand what he’s doing until he befriends the proverbial European intellectual, a Dutch Oil prospector, who introduces him to important people. Espedito is hired (and of course double-crossed) by the Dutchman and a corrupt local governor, but then the Dutchman changes sides …
In the times of the "cangaceiros" in the badlands of the North and Northeastern of Brazil, the cruel Capitão Galdino Ferreira and his band abduct the school teacher Olívia, expecting to receive a ransom for her. However, one of his men, Teodoro falls in love and flees with her through the arid backcountry chased by the brigands. Along their journey, Olívia also falls in love with Teodoro and proposes him to leave the countryside and move to the city. But Teodoro loves also his land and tells that he would like to die in the backcountry where he was born.
Severino do Quixadá (Renato Aragão), a humble northeastern shepherd of goats, rescues Captain Virgulano or simply Captain (Nelson Xavier) and his band of cangaceiros of an ambush armed by the lieutenant Zé Bezerra (Jose Dumont), its eternal persecutor. Captain escapes taking with him the mysterious box that he removed from the interior of the assaulted train in the city of Cajarana. Seeking to escape the shooting, Severino ends up finding himself in the cangaceiros' camp, along with the mishap friends Mussum and Zacarias who, taking advantage of the confusion, fled the chain.
Tells the story of Lampião, a historical figure from the Northeast Region of Brazil. He was the most famous bandit and leader of the Cangaço.
A gang of bandits led by Faustão intervene in a fight between two members of rival families, the Pereiras and the Araújos. Henrique Pereira, son of Colonel Pereira, is wounded in an ambush. Faustão rescues him and demands the father to pay a ransom in exchange for the life of his son. The bandit makes it clear to Henrique that he is not a prisoner and that he is only obeying the law of the backlands. Lucena, a henchman working for the Araújos, finds Faustão and offers twice the amount being asked to the colonel in order to take Henrique as a prisoner, but the bandit refuses the offer. Colonel Henrique pays the ransom, but the son refuses to return home, even being aware of the feud between his family and the Araújos. The young man chooses to join the gang.
Cangaceiros arrive in the city of Sussuapara to rob their inhabitants. Who can stop them?
A man's farm is attacked and his mother gets killed. Looking for revenge, he goes about chasing the men who killed her.