Law of Desire (1987)
"La ley del deseo" (original title)

NC-17  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Thriller  |  5 March 1987 (Argentina)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 7,300 users  
Reviews: 27 user | 33 critic

A film makers sexual disorientation jepordizes his latest project.


(as Pedro Almodovar)


(screenplay), (story)
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10 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Eusebio Poncela ...
Juan Bermúdez
Fernando Guillén ...
Inspector de policía
Ada, niña
Nacho Martínez ...
Doctor Martín
Bibiana Fernández ...
Ada - madre (as Bibí Andersen)
Helga Liné ...
Madre de Antonio
Germán Cobos ...
El Cura
Policía, chico
Marta Fernández Muro ...
Una Groupi
Lupe Barrado ...
Alfonso Vallejo ...
Maruchi León ...
Hermana de Juan


Pablo and Tina have complicated sexual lives. Pablo writes and directs plays and films; he's gay and deeply in love with Juan, a young man who won't reply to Pablo's affection or letters. Pablo's sibling Tina is a transsexual, angry at men, raising Ada, and trying to make it as an actress. Pablo takes up with Antonio, a youth who becomes jealous of Pablo's love for Juan. Antonio seeks out Juan, and violence leads to Pablo's grief and a temporary loss of memory. When memory returns, he learns that Antonio has taken up with Tina. In horror, he hurries to Tina's rescue and must face Antonio and his desire. Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated NC-17 for a scene of explicit sexual content | See all certifications »




Release Date:

5 March 1987 (Argentina)  »

Also Known As:

A Lei do Desejo  »

Box Office


ESP 240,365,945 (Spain)

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The iconic hose scene was shot twice. The first one wasn't useful because the pressure was so big that Carmen Maura fell down. While the crew adjusted the hose, Maura dried herself and changed the dress. The second time the scene was shot perfectly, but Maura had to dub herself because of the water noise. See more »


Pablo Quintero: It's not your fault if you don't love me and its not my fault if I love you.
See more »


References What Have I Done to Deserve This? (1984) See more »


Guardo che luna
Composed by G. Malgoni
See more »

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User Reviews

The ultimate in high camp
9 July 2005 | by (bahamas) – See all my reviews

Outrageous, extremely enjoyable, over-the-top melodrama about a straight psychopath (Antonio Banderas) prepared to go gay to further his career with a homosexual film director (Eusebio Poncela). A feast of familiar faces for anyone familiar with Almodovar's career. Carmen Maura as the director's transsexual sister, happily dispensing cocaine to hospital patients, knocking out policemen and engaging in the in-scene to end all in-scenes with the beautiful Bibiana Fernandez, the mother of her adopted daughter, when anyone in the know would recognize Fernandez as Spain's most famous transsexual in real life! About halfway through, Almodovar's loopiness slips into high gear and the laughs come thick and fast. Just don't expect too much believability towards the end. Interesting to see so many faces from Almodovar's pitch-black comedy Matador, made the previous year and in this viewer's opinion far superior. Still, Law of Desire is too way over the top not to be enjoyable. Just don't throw your popcorn at the screen.

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