IMDb > The Devil's Backbone (2001)
El espinazo del diablo
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The Devil's Backbone (2001) More at IMDbPro »El espinazo del diablo (original title)

Videos (see all 2)
The Devil's Backbone -- Open-ended Trailer from Sony Pictures Classics

Overview

User Rating:
7.5/10   39,186 votes »
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Down 15% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Guillermo del Toro (written by) and
Antonio Trashorras (written by) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Devil's Backbone on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
20 April 2001 (Spain) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
The living will always be more dangerous than the dead. See more »
Plot:
After Carlos, a 12-year-old whose father has died in the Spanish Civil War, arrives at an ominous boy's orphanage he discovers the school is haunted and has many dark secrets that he must uncover. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
6 wins & 7 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Better Than American Horror Films... See more (191 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)
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Directed by
Guillermo del Toro 
 
Writing credits
Guillermo del Toro (written by) and
Antonio Trashorras (written by) &
David Muñoz (written by)

Produced by
Agustín Almodóvar .... producer
Pedro Almodóvar .... executive producer
Rosa Bosch .... co-producer
Guillermo del Toro .... executive producer
Bertha Navarro .... producer
Michel Ruben .... associate producer
 
Original Music by
Javier Navarrete 
 
Cinematography by
Guillermo Navarro 
 
Film Editing by
Luis de la Madrid 
 
Casting by
Sara Bilbatúa  (as Sara Bilbatua)
 
Production Design by
César Macarrón 
 
Set Decoration by
Pilar Revuelta  (as María del Pilar Revuelta)
 
Costume Design by
José Vico 
 
Makeup Department
Paula Cruz .... make-up and hair assistant
Fermín Galán .... hair stylist
Manuela Guzmán .... make-up and hair assistant
Jorge Hernández .... makeup artist
David Martí .... special makeup supervisor
 
Production Management
Sergio Díaz .... assistant production manager
Esther García .... production supervisor
Toni Novella .... unit production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Jorge Dorado .... third assistant director (as Jorge C. Dorado)
Christopher Downs .... director trainee
Covadonga R. Gamboa .... second assistant director
Pedro Lazaga .... first assistant director
Luisfer Machi .... third assistant director
Jesús Salcedo .... director trainee
Jose Francisco de Diego .... director trainee (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Francisco Escriba .... set dresser
Carlos García Campillo .... assistant set dresser
Ángel García Palmeiro .... property master
Enrique García .... set constructor
Carlos Giménez .... storyboard artist
Pedro Hernández .... carpenter
Tatiana Hernández .... assistant decorator
Kike Melia .... set dresser
Aitor Mendizábal .... trainee set decorator (as Aitor Mendizabal)
Angela Nahum .... trainee set decorator
Pablo Naveda .... set dresser
Leoncio Vicente .... painter
Tanja Wahlbeck .... art assistant
 
Sound Department
Jaime Fernández .... boom operator
Jaime Fernández-Cid Buscató .... boom operator (as Jaime Fernández-Cid)
Diego Garrido .... sound mixing technician
Ray Gillon .... sound re-recording mixer
Manel López .... assistant sound editor
Salva Mayolas .... sound recordist (as Salvador Mayolas)
Iván Mayoral .... adr recordist
Miguel Rejas .... sound
David Rodríguez .... assistant boom operator
Ian Sasplugas .... sound effects editor
Ian Sasplugas .... sound recordist
Oriol Tarragó .... sound editor
Edgar Vidal .... sound effects assistant
Kiku Vidal .... sound effects editor
Ricardo Viñas .... dolby sound consultant
 
Special Effects by
Reyes Abades .... mechanical effects
Carmen Aguirre .... special effects art director
Ángel Alonso .... special effects technician (as Angel Alonso)
Arturo Balceiro .... special effects makeup
Xavi Bastida .... special effects makeup
Juan Carlos Corroto .... special effects technician
José M. Meneses .... special effects technician: DDT
Alfonso Nieto .... special effects supervisor
Juan Serrano .... special effects technician: Reyes Abades SFX
 
Visual Effects by
Nike Alonso .... CGI assistant production
Helmuth Barnert .... digital compositor
Raúl Batanero .... CGI operator
Juan Bosco .... Avid digital effects
Juanjo Carretero .... digital effects technician
Gonzalo Carrión .... matchmove artist
Gonzalo Carssón .... CGI operator
Segundo Casero .... CGI chief operator
Nacho Cepero .... digital compositor
René Chesta .... CGI operator
Daniel de Madrid .... backdraft
Juan del Pozo .... digital compositor
Manuel Delgado .... digital compositor
Alejandro Dupry .... Avid digital effects
Eduardo Díaz .... CGI operator
David Fernández Girón .... CGI operator
Daniel Fernández .... CGI operator (as Daniel Fernández Parra)
Gabriel Garrido .... digital compositor
Iñaki Gil .... CGI chief operator
Noelia Gorrón .... digital effects producer
Enrique Jiménez .... digital effects technician (as Kike Jiménez)
Isidro Jiménez .... digital compositor
Antonio Lado .... CGI operator
Pablo Martín .... CGI operator
Carlos Matella .... digital compositor
Patricia Matiskei .... digital compositor
Gonzalo Moure .... digital compositor
Javier Nuñez .... CGI chief of production
Raul Ortego .... digital compositor
Emilio Pérez .... digital compositor
Álvaro Rodríguez .... digital effects producer (as Alvaro Rodríguez)
Emilio Ruiz del Río .... modeler (as Emilio Ruiz)
Raúl Sánchez .... digital compositor
Silvia Torralba .... digital effects producer
Carlos Trijueque .... digital compositor
Antonio Ubeda .... CGI operator (as Antonio Úbeda)
Jon Uriarte .... CGI operator
Rodrigo Vega .... CGI operator
Óscar Villalba .... backdraft
Úrsula García .... visual effects coordinator: pre-production (uncredited)
 
Stunts
Sergio Atanes .... stunt coordinator
Silvia Carballo .... stunts
Salvador Martos Manson .... stunts (as Salvador Martos)
Andreas Muñoz .... stunts
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Javier Aguado .... electrician
Óscar Aguado .... electrician
Alberto Arnal .... electrician (as José Alberto Arnal)
Enrique Bello .... grip
Fernando Beltrán .... electrician
Miguel Bracho .... still photographer
Silvia Camacho .... video technician
Pablo Carrión .... electrician
Antonio de Benito .... electrician
José Ramón Delgado .... first assistant camera
David Domínguez .... second unit: assistant camera
José Manuel González .... electrician
José Manuel Herrero .... underwater camera operator
Joaquín Manchado .... camera operator
Joaquín Manchado .... steadicam
Raúl Manchado .... second assistant camera: first unit
Antonio Martínez Roque .... grip (as Antonio Martínez)
José Luis Martínez .... electrician
Carlos Miguel .... key grip
Roberto Miguel .... second assistant camera: second unit
José Luis Molero .... electrician
David Rengel .... trainee assistant camera
Raúl Rodríguez .... electrician
Marcelino San Eugenio .... electrician
Alberto Sánchez Beltrán .... electrician (as Alberto Sánchez)
Anselmo Villalba .... grip
 
Casting Department
Cristina Perales .... casting assistant
Macarena Pombo .... casting assistant
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Rocío Redondo .... wardrobe assistant
Mercedes Sanz .... wardrobe coordinator
 
Editorial Department
Felisa Catalinas .... negative cutter
Adoración G. Elipe .... assistant editor
Ximo Michavila .... telecine colorist
Laura Montesinos .... assistant editor
Bernat Vilaplana .... assistant editor
 
Music Department
Martina Cigerová .... musician: oboe
José Luis Crespo .... music mixer
Jaroslava Eliasová .... musician: piano
Martin Hubsch .... musician: oboe
Mario Klemens .... conductor
Pedro Navarrete .... music assistant
Radovan Sancera .... musician: concertino
Rubén Suárez .... assistant music mixer
 
Other crew
Alfonso Aguirre .... technical director
Conchita Araña .... trainee production assistant (as Conchita R. Araña)
Yuyi Beringola .... script supervisor
Yolanda Cáceres .... technical director
Fabio Diéguez .... animal trainer coordinator
Adela Donamaría .... production secretary
Sergio Díaz .... assistant production manager
Nuria García Atienza .... marketing: Sogecine (as Nuria Garcia Atienza)
Lola García .... office chief
Marga García .... marketing
Antonio Giménez .... marketing
Beatriz Gordo .... cashier
Emma Matamoros .... production staff
Inés Miruri .... child coach
Yuriria Montero .... assistant: Tequila Gang
Rafael Pajares .... production assistant
Chus San Pascual .... location scout
Ana Sanz .... secretary to producer
Rosa María Serrano .... assistant accountant (as Rosa Mª Serrano)
Paz Sufrategui .... publicist
Francisco Sánchez Ortiz .... marketing director
Antonia Sánchez .... nurse
Nicolás Tapia .... production assistant
Óscar Valero .... administrator (as Oscar Valero)
François Vila .... press agent
 
Thanks
Juan Carlos Doadrio .... thanks
Nicolás Díaz Chico .... thanks
Laura Esquivel .... thanks
Delfín Prieto .... thanks
José Salcedo .... thanks
 

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Additional Details

Also Known As:
"El espinazo del diablo" - Spain (original title)
See more »
MPAA:
Rated R for violence, language and some sexuality
Runtime:
106 min | Australia:108 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The film came together when Guillermo del Toro bumped into Pedro Almodóvar at the 1994 Miami Film Festival where he had just shown Cronos (1993). Almodovar told him that he had just seen his film and wanted to produce his next movie.See more »
Quotes:
[first lines]
[voice over narration]
Casares:What is a ghost? A tragedy condemned to repeat itself time and again? An instant of pain, perhaps. Something dead which still seems to be alive. An emotion suspended in time. Like a blurred photograph. Like an insect trapped in amber.
See more »
Soundtrack:
Yo no sé que me han hecho tus ojosSee more »

FAQ

what is the significance of the picture in jacinto's hand...??and why carmen never wants to kiss jacinto when they have sexual relationship??
See more »
78 out of 104 people found the following review useful.
Better Than American Horror Films..., 27 May 2003
Author: underfire35 from Chicago, USA

THE DEVIL'S BACKBONE is a Spanish language supernatural thriller. It consists of a haunted school for orphaned boys. Now, in an American film that would be all you get, a ghost running around scaring the young inhabitants of the gloomy building. That's it, and it would not be scary at all. It is to the credit that the makers of THE DEVIL'S BACKBONE present the actual ghost as the least frightening aspect of the film; he becomes, in fact, the moral center of a deeply complex story.

In Spain, the year is 1939 and Franco's army is advancing towards the small village where the most notable landmark is an impotent bomb jutting out of the ground in the center of the town. A child, Carlos (Fernando Tielve), his father's life taken in the bloody civil war, finds refuge with the Leftist caretakers of the school. Not a good place to be around at that time. He finds himself under the wing of Prof. Casares (Fererico Luppi), a strange intellectual who fears the oncoming dirge of Franco's forces. There is also some intrigue involving the caretaker Jacinto (Edvardo Noriega) and the revolution's small supply of gold. Oh, right and there is a troubled spirit of one of the dead children creeping through the bowls of the school, uttering ominous warnings to young Carlos ("Many of you will die.")...

It is one of the strongest elements of THE DEVIL'S BACKBONE that it does not become distracted by the ghost story, I mean what is one ghost compared to the very real fears of war, death, greed, abandonment, political persecution, abuse at the hands of adults, lust, and acceptance. A spirit cannot hurt us, it does not exist on the same plain of the living. His life has ended and he can no longer be troubled by the reality the characters face. A bullet or explosion wil not penetrate his flesh, he no longer feels pain. The boys who survive him are those who have to struggle for their small place on this earth.

The film paints in detailed strokes and does not cut corners when it comes to the emotions involved in the plot. The characters are not pawns to be startled periodically by cats or loud noises, they just happen to occupy the same space with a sad and restless dead boy.

The director, Guillermo Del Toro (CRONOS, MIMIC, the better-than-the-original-but-that-ain't-saying-much BLADE 2), handles the material very well, never losing sight of the story he has set out to tell. The metaphors he uses (the bomb, the pool, the contents of the jars) are rich and creative. Del Toro, along with his crew and actors, create moments of intense fear and unsettling action; the musical score, by Javier Navarette, is particularly effective. The film is dark and gloomy (perhaps overly so at times), but never succumbs to the easy answers in the shadows. As for the American films it will be compared to: THE OTHERS-not scary, THE RING-not scary, DARKNESS FALLS-not scary...THE DEVIL'S BACKBONE is scary, complex and ultimately memorable.

8/10.

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Recent Posts (updated daily)User
what , no english audio again ? auto78900
Better than pan's? tburrowes
Sometimes I really hate distributors mike-wright-1
overrated anyone?? shootme243
'You're so complicated!' iamahero
Was the orphanage building something else before? vladanaputnik
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