Death and the Maiden (1994)

R  |   |  Drama, Mystery, Thriller  |  29 March 1995 (France)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 16,657 users   Metascore: 72/100
Reviews: 73 user | 46 critic | 19 from

A political activist is convinced that her guest is a man who once tortured her for the government.



(play), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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4 nominations. See more awards »



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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


Prepare yourself for the moment of truth. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:




| |


Release Date:

29 March 1995 (France)  »

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
See  »

Did You Know?


Breakthrough and first major above-the-title lead starring role of actor Stuart Wilson. 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 »


Remade as Dansh (2005) See more »


Written by Franz Schubert
Performed by Amadeus Quartet (as The Amadeus Quartet)
Recording courtesy of Deutsche Grammophon Gmbh
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

3 characters, 1 location - and the suspense never ends!!!
25 March 2001 | by (Makarska, Croatia) – See all my reviews

Roman Polanski has proven himself as one of the leading directors for quite some time - but nobody seems to take any notice! (yes I know people try to forget him becouse of the 'incident'...)

The same applies for Sigourney Weaver. I've gon mad when a certain guy said how it's funny that Sigourney Weaver actually made other movies except Alien(s) - but nobody saw them! I showered him with titles such as 'The Ice Storm', 'Gorillas in the Mist', 'Working Girl', ...... and finally 'Death and the Maiden'. Off course - he saw none of them! It's sad how (in my humble oppinion) the best actress we currently have is so underrated. But hey - tell me who else got a leading actress Oscar nomination for a sequel of a Sci-Fi movie...??? She also was nominated for both leading and supporting actress in the same year (Gorillas & W. Girl) and strangely lost both!!! The Academy kept ignoring her Oscar worthy performances in 'The Ice Storm', 'Map of the World' and one of the best female performances of the decade 'Death and the Maiden'. She is unbelievable in this movie - the woman we saw as the World's heroine is so fragile and shaken in this movie that it is astonishing. She plays a sexualy molested (in the worst possible way) woman with all of her phobias and stirred feelings to the perfection - withought crossing the fine line to overacting. The scenes where she tortures Ben Kingsley are just amazing - as is the whole movie.

It takes strong actors and a brilliant director to make a movie which virtually takes place in one house - and has only three characters; and yet it never loses the suspense even for a minute.

This is a masterpiece, and one of rare movie that can be watched both by art-movie philes and the 'regular'-movie fans. This is Roman Polanski at his best since 'Chinatown' and Sigourney at her best ever!

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