El amor brujo (1986)

PG  |   |  Music, Drama  |  23 December 1986 (USA)
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In a Gypsy village, the fathers of Candela and José promise their children to each other. Years later, the unfaithful José marries Candela but while defending his lover Lucía in a brawl, he... See full summary »



(libretto) (as Martinez Sierra) , (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Cristina Hoyos ...
Juan Antonio Jiménez ...
José (as Juan Antonio Jimenez)
Emma Penella ...
Tía Rosario
La Polaca ...
Gómez de Jerez ...
El Lobo / Cantaor (as Gomez de Jerez)
Enrique Ortega ...
Padre de José
Diego Pantoja ...
Padre de Candela
Giovana ...
Maria Campano ...
(as Mari Campano)
Candy Román ...
Chulo (as Candy Roman)
Enrique Pantoja
Manolo Sevilla ...
Antonio Solera ...


In a Gypsy village, the fathers of Candela and José promise their children to each other. Years later, the unfaithful José marries Candela but while defending his lover Lucía in a brawl, he is stabbed to death. Carmelo, who secretly loves Candela since he was a boy, is arrested while helping José and unfairly sent to prison. Four years later he is released and declares his love for Candela. However, the woman is cursed by a bewitched love and every night she goes to the place where José died to dance with his ghost. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

dance | ghost | gypsy | singing | spain | See All (9) »


Music | Drama


PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

23 December 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Carlos Saura Dance Trilogy, Part 3: El Amor Brujo  »

Box Office


ESP 43,995,530 (Spain)

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


Tía Rosario: Lucía still loves José. She was his lover in life, let her be his lover in death, too.
Carmelo: What do you mean?
Tía Rosario: Didn't José die defending her honor? If he died for her, it's fitting that she should offer him her love.
Carmelo: Her love?... You mean her life.
Tía Rosario: My son... The happiness of some always comes at the expense of others. That's how life is. You must speak to Lucía. Tell her to go tonight to where José died, where Candela meets the apparition. Talk to Candela. Arrange it with her.
Carmelo: There's no other way?
Tía Rosario: [...]
See more »


Follows Blood Wedding (1981) See more »


El amor brujo
Music by Manuel de Falla
Lyrics by Gregorio Martínez Sierra
Performed by Rocío Jurado and Orquesta Nacional de España
Conducted by Jesús López Cobos
See more »

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Setting the record straight

Formalismo, that school of Hispanic literature that emphasizes form as function, or form over function, has little to do with Saura's EL AMOR BRUJO. This is Saura's final work in his flamenco trilogy that began with BODAS de SANGRE and includes CARMEN. As with those two films, Saura bases this cinematic ballet on a previous work, Manuel de Falla's EL AMOR BRUJO. The other two films in the trilogy were based on Lorca's BODAS de SANGRE and Merimee's and Bizet's novel and opera, CARMEN. These three classical works are not examples of formalismo. Rather, they are prime examples of both the realistic and impressionistic schools of literature which under the creative mastery of Saura become sensual re-creations of love, passion, betrayal, and death. The love stories here supercede form and attain a thematic content worthy of the great literary works they portray. The starkness of the set is for symbolic purposes and not for form nor for function. The dilapidated, dusty set represents the emptiness of the soul that has lost great love, or has been deceived by a bewitching love. The set takes on color when Candela dances the Fire Dance, and again at the end when Lucia sacrifices herself to be the eternal lover of the bewitching ghost of Jose, thus setting Candela free from his cursed memory. Saura never lets us forget the tension between reality and fiction as the dawn rises on a new day over a theatrical set free of obsessions with death and love that bewitches the lover.

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