7.2/10
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Law of Desire (1987)

La ley del deseo (original title)
A film maker's sexual disorientation jeopardizes his latest project.

Director:

(as Pedro Almodovar)

Writers:

(screenplay), (story)
Reviews
10 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

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 ...
Enfermera
Alfonso Vallejo ...
Sargento
Maruchi León ...
Hermana de Juan
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Storyline

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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 March 1987 (Argentina)  »

Also Known As:

A Lei do Desejo  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Police inspector (Fernando Guillén) and his assistant (Fernando Guillén Cuervo) are father and son both in movie and in real life. See more »

Quotes

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

Crazy Credits

Pedro Almodóvar appears in a scene as an employee in a DIY shop and serves Banderas's character. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hongos (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Déjame recordar
Written by José Sabre Marroquín
Performed by Bola de Nieve (as Bola de Nieve)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A landmark in the New Queer Cinema
17 April 2007 | by (Derry, Ireland) – See all my reviews

In what has now customarily become known as the New Queer Cinema, Almodovar's "Law of Desire" must be seen as a landmark film. Opening with a naked man masturbating and being guided through the motions by the disembodied voice of 'the director', this turns out to be something of a red-herring, though it does establish that the film's central character is a director, (Almodovar?), and that he is gay. What follows is a teasing Hitchcockain menage-a-trois murder yarn, (not mystery), in which the homosexuality of the protagonists is very much to the fore and is hardly seen as 'an issue', (a major breakthrough in what was a mainstream Spanish movie of its day). Indeed "Law of Desire" was the film which really established Almodovar internationally and while gay-themed movies were finally making their mark in 1987 few were quite as explicitly erotic or as pleasurably in-your-face as this.

Its cast was largely made up of what only be described as players from Almodovar's stock company and in a fine cast Antonio Banderas and Carmen Maura are the stand-outs; he as a pathologically disturbed 'fan' whose obsession with Eusebio Puncela's director leads to murder and she as the director's transsexual 'sister', a deliriously giddy performance and yet played mostly 'straight' by Maura.

If not quite as deep as Almodovar's later movies there is nevertheless much to enjoy here, (and although dealing with tragic issues Almodovar teases out the black comedy for all its worth). Now, of course, a great deal of the fun is in slotting the film into the Almodovar canon and seeing exactly where it fits in relation to the movies that followed it.


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