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Viridiana (1961)

 -  Drama  -  19 March 1962 (USA)
8.2
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 12,892 users  
Reviews: 48 user | 73 critic

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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Title: Viridiana (1961)

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Cast

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 ...
Enedina
María Isbert ...
Beggar (as Maruja Isbert)
Teresa Rabal ...
Rita (as Teresita Rabal)
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Storyline

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 <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

vow | nun | novice | mother superior | guilt | See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

19 March 1962 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Viridiana  »

Box Office

Gross:

ESP 112,061,100 (Spain)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Klangfilm-Magnetocord)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The script was initially approved by the Spanish authorities with a few minor changes. They had no opportunity to view the finished film until it played at the Cannes Film Festival where it won the Palme d'Or. Nevertheless they were sufficiently horrified by what they saw to ban the film. See more »

Connections

Featured in Kiss of the Damned (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Et Incarnatus Est
, from "Mass in B minor" (BMV 232)
Composed by Johann Sebastian Bach
(1749)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Buñuels superb, subversive denial of religious ethics
23 April 2003 | by (Oslo, Norway) – See all my reviews

Few film directors have worked with the sheer power and subversiveness that Spanish-born Luis Buñuel have. "Viridiana" is one of the best examples of the exiled Spaniard's feelings towards religious faith and its virtues- or his strong denial of religion as a virtue.

Buñuel started out as a Surrealist, and although he left the Surrealist Circle of Paris lead by André Breton, he always kept elements of Surrealism in his work, to the bitter end. So too in "Viridiana", where dreams play a small, but important part of the narrative, dreams being the Surrealists' main theme as a way of discovering repressed sexuality and aggression. Viridiana is a young nun who is, on the grounds of showing human compassion, talked into visiting her uncle Don Jaime, who is ill. Don Jaime, played by Buñuel regular Fernando Rey, is caring, but perverse. He falls in love with his niece, and does everything with the help of his maid, to keep Viridiana from parting to the convent, including lying to her and seducing her while she is trainquilized.

I am not going to give away all the events of the film, but the corruption of humanity and Christianity are soon evident, as Viridiana tries to help poor beggars and give them a worthy life. Her attempts at Christian charity are only met with self-pity and egocentricity, as the beggars go on a rampage reminiscient of the last supper of Jesus christ and his disciples. Violence, murder, gluttony and rape are all included to make a clear picture of the way the beggars have lost their human virtues to the hardship of poverty. We see the events through Viridiana's eyes, and everything she goes through suggests a broken belief in the goodness of both human beings and the faith she kept for so long.

A masterpiece in revolutionary cinema, this film won the Palm d' Or at Cannes in 1961, and the Spanish Board of Film were all fired afterwards, as Franco's regime could not quite swallow that "Viridiana" was the official Spanish contribution to the Festival.


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