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Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985)

R  |   |  Drama  |  26 July 1985 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 10,082 users   Metascore: 80/100
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Luis Molina and Valentin Arregui are cell mates in a South American prison. Luis, a trans individual, is found guilty of immoral behavior and Valentin is a political prisoner. To escape ... See full summary »



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Title: Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985)

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 12 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Leni Lamaison / Marta / Spider Woman
Míriam Pires ...
Mother (as Miriam Pires)
Nuno Leal Maia ...
Fernando Torres ...
Patricio Bisso ...
Herson Capri ...
Denise Dumont ...
Michele (as Denise Dummont)
Nildo Parente ...
Leader of Resistance
Antônio Petrin ...
Clubfoot (as Antonio Petrin)
Wilson Grey ...
Miguel Falabella ...


Luis Molina and Valentin Arregui are cell mates in a South American prison. Luis, a trans individual, is found guilty of immoral behavior and Valentin is a political prisoner. To escape reality Luis invents romantic movies, while Valentin tries to keep his mind on the situation he's in. During the time they spend together, the two men come to understand and respect one another. Written by Leon Wolters <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




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Release Date:

26 July 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El beso de la mujer araña  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$4,701 (USA) (29 June 2001)


$4,952,880 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Just days before principal photography began on the movie, William Hurt told Hector Babenco, "You've been very patient, and I have a surprise for you." On the first day of shooting, there was Molina, just as the director had hoped. See more »


[first lines]
Luis Molina: She's... well, she's something a little strange. That's what she noticed, that she's not a woman like all the others. She seems all wrapped up in herself. Lost in a world she carries deep inside her.
See more »


Referenced in Sordid Lives (2000) See more »


La Marseillaise
Written by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle
Heard during one of the scenes of Molina's story
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

An underrated gem
20 January 1999 | by (Boston) – See all my reviews

"Spider Woman", although an emotionally draining film, is a true classic. Right from the first scene, you feel the frustration of Valentin and Molina, both outcasts of society, yet for very different reasons.

The acting is nothing less than extraordinary. William Hurt as the lonely homosexual, Molina, the late Raul Julia, as the stern, but deeply caring political prisoner, Valentin, and Sonia Braga, who takes on three different roles, including the title role, and plays them all brilliantly, are what makes this film

so great.

Although Hurt deservingly won the Oscar for Best Actor, the same consideration should have been given to Julia and Braga for their contribution.

If you've seen it, see it again....if you haven't, I highly recommend you do.

42 of 53 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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