Death and the Maiden (1994)

R  |   |  Drama, Mystery, Thriller  |  27 January 1995 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 16,691 users   Metascore: 72/100
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A political activist is convinced that her guest is a man who once tortured her for the government.



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Complete credited cast:
Krystia Mova ...
Dr. Miranda's Wife
Jonathan Vega ...
Dr. Miranda's Son
Rodolphe Vega ...
Dr. Miranda's Son
Gilberto Cortés ...
String Quartet Player (as Gilberto Cortes)
Jorge Cruz ...
String Quartet Player
Carlos Moreno ...
String Quartet Player
Eduardo Valenzuela ...
String Quartet Player
Sergio Ortega Alvarado ...
String Quartet Manager


Paulina Escobar is a political activist whose husband is a prominent lawyer in an unnamed South American country just out of a dictatorship. One day a storm forces her husband to ride home with a neighbor. That chance encounter brings up demons from her past, as she is convinced that the neighbor (Dr. Miranda) was part of the old fascist regime that tortured and raped her, while blindfolded. Paulina takes him captive to determine the truth. Paulina is torn between her psychological repressions and somber memory, Gerardo is torn between his wife and the law, and Dr. Miranda is forced to endure captivity while husband and wife seek out the uncertain truth about the clouded past. Written by Henry G. Herron <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


How long would you wait...How much would you risk...How far would you go...For the truth? See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong language including descriptions of violent situations | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




| |


Release Date:

27 January 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La muerte y la doncella  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$12,000,000 (estimated)


$2,104,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


This motion picture's opening prologue title card reads: "A country in South America . . . after the fall of the dictatorship". See more »


At the beginning Paulina is cooking something in a pan over the fire, then, for dinner she produces only a roasted chicken and green salad. So what was she cooking in the pan? See more »


[first lines]
Gerardo Escobar: Are you quite sure you won't come in?
Dr. Roberto Miranda: No thanks, just want to get home after that.
Gerardo Escobar: Yeah, me too. Look, I'm really sorry for all the trouble I put you to.
Dr. Roberto Miranda: Yeah, no problem.
Gerardo Escobar: Well if I can't persuade you, why don't you come over some time. Thanks again, goodbye.
Gerardo Escobar: [returning again to the car] Ah, you now it's crazy, I never introduced myself. Gerardo Escobar.
Dr. Roberto Miranda: Dr. Roberto Miranda.
Gerardo Escobar: It's very nice to meet you. If you're ever passing...
Dr. Roberto Miranda: Escobar? The lawyer?
See more »


Referenced in Roman Polanski: A Film Memoir (2011) See more »


Written by Franz Schubert
Performed by Amadeus Quartet (as The Amadeus Quartet)
Recording courtesy of Deutsche Grammophon Gmbh
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

17 March 2004 | by (Los Angeles, USA) – See all my reviews

Three characters, one suffocating place. The bizarre world of Roman Polanski transported to a true, painful and little known historical context. The film is an X ray into secret, open wounds. We're never sure what happens in Sigourney's mind, but we're aware that her pain and her anger are real. We are unable to take sides, we're too afraid. We want for the ordeal to end and yet, we're glued to the discomfort and uncertainty. Recommended for masochists and film lovers.

57 of 72 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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