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 16,806 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?


The sex scene between Antonio Banderas and Victoria Abril took nine takes to get right, and about nine hours to film. Pedro Almodóvar chose to use the last take as, by that time, the two actors had worked themselves up into a sweat which made the scene appear to be more authentic. Elia Kazan later remarked that he thought it was one of the best sex scenes he had ever witnessed. 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'm 23 years old, I have 50,000 pesetas, and I'm alone in the world. I'll try to be a good husband to you and a good father to your children.
See more »


References A Man Called Horse (1970) See more »


Written by Fabio McNamara (as F. de Miguel), Pedro Almodóvar and Bernardo Bonezzi
Performed by Pedro Almodóvar & Fabio McNamara (as Almodóvar & McNamara)
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

people don't get the irony
9 May 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I'm amazed that people don't get the irony underlying this film. If you've seen other, earlier Almodovar films, you'll know that he explores sexual situations that come emanate from all sorts of crazy situations (think of Law of Desire (1987), for example, in which Banderas plays a man exploring his homosexuality). But what makes this film so great is that, unlike Almodovar's other films, it attempts to explore the nature of the "conventional," heterosexual matrix which, through Almodovar's eyes, becomes completely nonsensical. Indeed, the relationship between Marina and Ricky is meant, ultimately, to be a parody of how such relationships work, as if heterosexuality (and its consequence, marriage) are almost inevitably equivalent in character to the infamous Stockholm syndrome. The final twist of the film, mistakenly hated for its apparently patriarchal overtones, is in fact a humorous subversion of conventional sexual politics. `You're crazy! Love a man who kidnaps you and ties you up? Is that normal?' exclaims Marina's sister. Well, actually, yes, according to Almodovar, it's completely normal. When viewed with irony (most viewers seem to have a bad case of literal disease when it comes to this film), this movie is a devastating critique of modern heterosexuality. Note that the trio sing the Spanish version of "I will survive" at the very end, when everything has supposedly worked out, in Candide fashion, for the best...

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Teacher showed this in class, got suspended OHJoel
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