Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! (1989)
"Átame!" (original title)

NC-17  |   |  Comedy, Crime, Drama  |  12 April 1990 (Argentina)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 16,814 users   Metascore: 55/100
Reviews: 62 user | 50 critic | 14 from Metacritic.com

An unbalanced but alluring former mental patient takes a porn star prisoner in the hopes of convincing her to marry him.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Julieta Serrano ...
María Barranco ...
Camello en Vespa
Francisco Rabal ...
Máximo Espejo
Lola Cardona ...
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


ESP 510,932,669 (Spain)

Company Credits

Production Co:

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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 first takes the knife from the store, we see him put it in his back pocket. But when he gets on the bus, we can clearly see there is no bulge where the knife would be in his back pocket. See more »


Ricky: I didn't mean to hurt you, but you started to scream.
See more »


References Psycho (1960) See more »


Written by Carlos Toro Montoro (as Carlos Toro) and Manuel de la Calva
Performed by Dúo Dinámico
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A Bizarre Love Story `À La Almodòvar'
28 August 2003 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

Marina Osorio (Victoria Abril) is a soft-porno star kidnapped in her own apartment by Ricky (Antonio Banderas), a guy who has just left a mental institution. He wants to get married with her. The storyline in this weird love story recalls `The Collector', i.e., a man kidnaps a woman because he is in love with her. But on the contrary of the William Wyler's drama in a cold and isolate farm in an English countryside, the situations in Almodóvar's colorful movie in the center of Madrid are very erotic and funny. For example, the scene when Marina is having a bath in her bathtub is hilarious. This cult movie is certainly not one of the best in Almodóvar´s filmography, but it is mandatory for those who are his fan. My vote is seven.

21 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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