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Viridiana (1961)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama  |  19 March 1962 (USA)
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Viridiana, a young nun about to take her final vows, pays a visit to her widowed uncle at the request of her Mother Superior.


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Complete credited cast:
Francisco Rabal ...
José Calvo ...
Don Amalio (as Jose Calvo)
Margarita Lozano ...
José Manuel Martín ...
El Cojo (as Jose Manuel Martin)
Victoria Zinny ...
Luis Heredia ...
Manuel 'El Poca'
Joaquín Roa ...
Señor Zequiel (as Joaquin Roa)
Lola Gaos ...
María Isbert ...
Beggar (as Maruja Isbert)
Teresa Rabal ...
Rita (as Teresita Rabal)


Viridiana, a young novice about to take her final vows as a nun, accedes to a request from her widowed uncle to visit him. Moved purely by a sense of obligation, she does so. Her uncle is moved by her resemblance to his late wife to attempt to seduce Viridiana, and tragedy ensues. In the aftermath, Viridiana tries to assuage her guilt by creating a haven for the destitute folk who live around her uncle's estate. But from these good intentions, too, comes little good. Written by Jim Beaver <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis




Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

19 March 1962 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Viridiana  »

Box Office


ESP 112,061,100 (Spain)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


Initially banned in Spain and completely denounced by the Vatican. See more »


Referenced in There's Nothing Out There (1991) See more »


Composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
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User Reviews

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22 January 2005 | by (Kent & Madrid) – See all my reviews

This film portrays the abysmal differences between people with different educations and senses of morality. At the same time, it is a commentary on the hopelessness of a society where no one understands why the status quo should be tampered with. No summary could really do this film justice since the visual impressions and symbols are just as important as the express message portrayed by the events.

But here goes: A novice is forced by circumstances to leave her convent and visit her uncle, falling under the influence of her world wise cousin. She tries to maintain her ideals by doing good works but is taken advantage of and despised by the very people she means to help.

Viridiana was the first film Buñuel filmed from exile and (so the story goes) the church was in an uproar and adamant that it be censored. Perhaps this is because none of the characters seem to give a fig about the teachings of the church except for the novice. Perhaps it is because one of the messages that seems clear is that the church is ineffectual in its efforts to improve the human condition. However, the depth of the story speaks more to the social condition in general -similar in all of Europe at the time- and the church was merely a part of that.

It is possible that a superficial viewing might interpret the characters to represent specific political factions from the era when the film was made but I believe that is an error. Even Franco, if we are to believe what we are told today, didn't personally see anything wrong with the film when he saw it and his order that all copies be destroyed was given in the interest of appeasing the church. People who appreciate quality film will be grateful that at least one copy survived the mass destruction by being sent to France.

76 of 86 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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