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Bad Education (2004)

La mala educación (original title)
NC-17 | | Crime, Drama | 11 February 2005 (USA)
An examination on the effect of Franco-era religious schooling and sexual abuse on the lives of two longtime friends.


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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 16 wins & 39 nominations. See more awards »


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Complete credited cast:
Padre Manolo
Francisco Maestre ...
Padre José
Juan Fernández ...
Nacho Pérez ...
Ignacio (as Ignacio Pérez)
Raúl García Forneiro ...
Enrique (as Raúl Gª Forneiro)
Paca / Paquito
Enrique Serrano
Roberto Hoyas ...


In the early 60s, two boys - Ignacio and Enrique - discover love, movies and fear in a Christian school. Father Manolo, the school principal and Literature teacher, both witnesses and takes part in these discoveries. The three characters come against one another twice again, in the late 70s and in 1980. These meetings are set to change the life and death of some of them. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated NC-17 for a scene of explicit sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

11 February 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bad Education  »


Box Office


$5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

€1,199,793 (Spain), 21 March 2004, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$147,370, 21 November 2004, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$5,211,842, 24 April 2005

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$40,273,930, 27 April 2008
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Mexican born actor Gael García Bernal had to be able to do a convincing Spanish accent before Pedro Almodóvar would allow him to get his role(s) in the movie. Bernal also had to master Spanish body language. He took flamenco lessons to help him do that. He also studied the films of Barbara Stanwyck and Spanish camp icon Sara Montiel, as well as Almodovar's previous leading ladies, Carmen Maura and Victoria Abril. When asked, however, if there was a particular femme fatale he sought to emulate, Bernal's response was Alain Delon's sexually ambiguous Ripley in Purple Noon (1960). See more »


When young Ignacio is singing to Father Manolo as a birthday present his lips move a little before we hear the lyrics See more »


Ignacio: I think I've just lost my faith at this moment, so I no longer believe in God or hell. As I don't believe in hell, I'm not afraid. And without fear I'm capable of anything.
See more »


References Double Indemnity (1944) See more »


Torna a Surriento
(Giambattista De Curtis (as G.B. De Curtis) / Ernesto De Curtis (as E. de Curtis))
Adapted by Pedro Almodóvar
Performed by Pedro José Sanchez Martinez
Programa de Canto Infantil Padre Soler, Universidad Carlos III (Madrid)
Sponsored by Ayuntamiento de Parla and Fundación Marc Rich
See more »

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User Reviews

A typical Almodóvar film? Yes. And no!

Is it an accusation of the Catholic Church or is it the story of a priest who is bound by his religion to strict rules concerning sex and feelings? Is there a theme in the film or is it just a story? Those are a couple of questions I asked myself after seeing La Mala Educación from the Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar.

Actually, La Mala Educación exists of three stories which have been interwoven in a miraculous way. Story one: film director Enrique is being paid a visit by a long lost friend. That friend, Ignacio, is an actor and has written a story that Enrique might want to make into a film. Enrique's story is for one part made up by Ignacio's and Enrique's experiences when they were young boys and were living in a Catholic boarding school. Ignacio reads the manuscript and sees the pictures in his head, and that is story two: a transvestite finds an old friend, Ignacio. After having sex, the transvestite steals a manuscript Ignacio wrote about his secret: while in boarding school he was sexually abused by a priest. To gain money, the transvestite blackmails the priest: give me money or I'll publish the manuscript. The priest reads parts of the manuscript. And that is the third story: the experiences of the real Enrique and the real Ignacio while attending boarding school. During that time they discovered the meaning of friendship, love and physical desires.

You have to keep up with the film. When your attention wanes you might miss a detail that's important later. When seeing the film, try to remember the names of the characters very quickly. It makes viewing easier.

Is La Mala Educación a typical Pedro Almodóvar film? Yes and no. No, since women are not the main theme, as in his other films. No, because it's not an unbelievable and absurdist story. Yes, since the film has some typical Almodóvar characteristics: the transvestite, the junkie that is caught on the lee shore, and the hope people have to reach a better life. More than in other Almodóvar films homosexuality is an important theme.

When the film was over you could see the visitors of the cinema thinking: is it a film about the Catholic Church, about emotions and selfishness, about… The scenes had to fall in place.

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