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Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! (1989)

Átame! (original title)
An unbalanced but alluring former mental patient takes a porn star prisoner in the hopes of convincing her to marry him.



(screenplay), (story)

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7 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Camello en Vespa
Máximo Espejo
Directora psiquiátrico
Montse G. Romeu ...
Emiliano Redondo ...
Oswaldo Delgado ...
Concha Rabal ...
Alberto Fernández ...
José María Tasso ...
Anciano psiquiátrico


Ricky is released from a mental hospital, and knows exactly what he wants to do. He hunts down Marina, a porn film star he once had sex with, and tries to convince her to be his wife. She is a bit reluctant, so he ties her up. Will this approach endear him to her? Written by Colin Tinto <cst@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A love story...with strings attached!


Comedy | Crime | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated NC-17 for scene of strong adult sensuality with nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

12 April 1990 (Argentina)  »

Also Known As:

Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$4,087,361 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


One of the films (along with Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986) and The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover (1989)) that was instrumental in bringing about the introduction of the NC-17 rating in the U.S., as the film's distributor, Miramax, took the MPAA to court over the X certification it had initially been designated. According to Pedro Almodóvar, the MPAA did not believe an R was appropriate, even after cuts, because they were afraid the film would inspire young men to kidnap women out of lust. Miramax argued an X rating implicated pornography and would diminish its audience, but they lost the lawsuit and the film was released unrated. In September 1990, the MPAA replaced X with NC-17 in response to numerous appeals by other filmmakers under similar circumstances. Eventually, the film was re-rated NC-17 for home video release, the reason being the explicit scene of Marina being aroused by a toy diver in the bathtub. See more »


When Ricky accepts to take Marina out, to search for painkillers, she puts on a dress without underwear. When they return home she undresses showing a pair of white panties. See more »


Ricky: I had to kidnap you so you'd get to know me. I'm sure you'll get to love me as I love you.
See more »


Referenced in A Happy Event (2011) See more »


Written by Carlos Toro Montoro (as Carlos Toro) and Manuel de la Calva
Performed by Dúo Dinámico
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A delightful movie
30 March 2002 | by (City of Angels) – See all my reviews

Antonio Banderas was truly in his form and height of career when he was cast in Almovodar's Spanish movies. Banderas portrayed innocence and simplicity of character in these early movies that Hollywood always seems to make large and gloss over any sort of character development. There is something that Hollywood seems to drain away and leave behind in the character of people, yet Banderas/Almovodar capture so perfectly the average man/woman and portray them in interesting ways. Atame (Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down) is a delicious little movie about a crook who falls in love with an actress. To get her attention, he kidnaps her and the fun begins. Almovodar's movies are always filled with quirky characters, funny dialogue and plot twists. To see Antonio Banderas at his finest playing a simple man who falls in love but has some issues..Atame is a cute, touching movie to rent.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Teacher showed this in class, got suspended OHJoel
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