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Death and the Maiden (1994)

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



(play), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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 <hgherron@wsuhub.uc.twsu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Tonight, mercy will be buried with the past. 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)

Opening Weekend USA:

$74,366, 23 December 1994, Limited Release

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Star Sigourney Weaver stated in a later interview that director Roman Polanski would sometimes randomly fire a gun in order to get the most genuine expressions of fear from the cast. See more »


Dr. Miranda's moustache changes inconsistently throughout the movie. 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?
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Remade as Dansh (2005) 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

18 August 1998 | by See all my reviews

This movie, Death and the Maiden, is a remarkable production given that it is a stage drama put on film. There is virtually only one set. The actors are incredible. You never lose the essence of the Director, Roman Polanski. Your interest never wanes in this thriller. Sigourney Weaver is outstanding. She is shattered by her initial confrontation with her torturer, Ben Kingsley. And then her recalling of the atrocities at his hands gives her tremendous strength, the strength of a tiger. The climax is unsettling but proves the virtue of forgiveness and acceptance even with extreme misgivings. This is a movie that stays in your memory. Kudos to all concerned.

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