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Héctor Carré
José Antonio Félez (contributing writer)
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Release Date:
13 August 2004 (Spain) See more »
After killing her abusive and unfaithful husband, the religious and schizophrenic housewife Gregoria... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
LA PROMESA: The Spanish Way with Gothic Thrillers See more (7 total) »


  (in credits order)

Carmen Maura ... Celia

Ana Fernández ... Dorita
Juan Margallo ... Roberto
Santiago Barón ... Daniel
Evaristo Calvo ... Leandro
Xulio Lago ... Senén
Luisa Merelas ... Felisa
Antonio F. Simón ... Don Damián
Luis Iglesia ... Doctor
Víctor Mosqueira ... Cura
Chete Lera ... Amable

Directed by
Héctor Carré 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Héctor Carré 
José Antonio Félez  contributing writer

Produced by
Francisco Arnoso 'Pixi' .... auxiliar de produccion
José Antonio Félez .... producer
Eduardo Santana .... line producer
Antonio Varela .... executive producer
Moncho Varela .... executive producer
Original Music by
Suso Rey 
Manuel Varela 
Cinematography by
Juan Carlos Gómez (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Nacho Ruiz Capillas 
Production Management
Xavier Guallar .... unit production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Tania Rodríguez .... second assistant director
Art Department
Rafa Ferreiro .... props
Tony Galindo .... painter
José Antonio Perozo .... props
Vicente Peñalver .... construction coordinator
Pablo Seoane .... set dresser
Sound Department
Amín Alí Gago .... sound editor
Amín Alí Gago .... sound recordist
Antonio Camarasa .... sound
Jaime Fernández .... sound re-recording mixer
Fabien Pochet .... adr mixer
Ricardo Viñas .... dolby sound consultant
Special Effects by
Tomás Gómez .... special effects: Artefacto Escenografia crew
Visual Effects by
Javier Mosqueda .... data operator
Diego Herberg .... stunts
Camera and Electrical Department
Alberto Díaz Blanco .... electrician
Edmundo Sanz .... key grip
Juanjo Sánchez .... steadicam operator
Other crew
Encarna Alonso .... script supervisor
Víctor Arizala .... financial director (as Victor Arizala)
Lara Isabel Gómez .... making-of
Cristina Sutherland .... marketing director

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"The Promise" - USA (DVD title)
See more »
Spain:105 min | Spain:104 min | Argentina:104 min (Mar del Plata Film Festival)
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:


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10 out of 10 people found the following review useful.
LA PROMESA: The Spanish Way with Gothic Thrillers, 26 June 2005
Author: gradyharp from United States

Some of the most intellectually terrifying films, stories that are imbued with religious symbolism, mysticism, and surrealism, are products of Spanish filmmakers and LA PROMESA is no exception. Writer/Director Héctor Carré finds just the right amount of credibility in the prelude to his psychological thriller to make the following strange events teeter on that thin line of delusion and reality.

Gregoria (the redoubtable Carmen Maura) is a fragile woman, married to an abusive, unfaithful husband Roberto (Juan Francisco Margallo) and is confined to her house by order of her husband who taunts her for being barren. She is fanatically religious, obsessive compulsive, and walking closely to the abyss of insanity. Strange visions and incidents happen: in one instance she witness the fall of a house painter who despite a fracture of the skull tells Gregoria of his perfect little hometown in Galicia, a story that opens Gregoria's hopes for a better life. How she manages to depart her miserable life for Galicia involves an incident with her husband that for the sake of the viewers needs to remain occult.

In Galicia she changes her name to Celia, saves a small boy Daniel (Santiago Barón) from an accident, and because of her courageous act observed by the boy's mother Dorita (Ana Fernández) she is invited to the palatial estate where she ultimately gains employment as a maid and nanny - with some reservations from the boy's father Leandro (Evaristo Calvo) who sees Celia's dark side. Celia and Daniel become devoted to each other and Daniel introduces Celia to the strange 'hauntings' of the house and community and reveals the strained relationship of his parents. Also in the mansion Celia meets the cook Felisa (Luisa Merelas) and gardener Senén (Julio Lago) who watch Celia with suspicion.

Daniel leads Celia to a mysterious church where Celia explains the saints, prays, and witnesses bizarre happenings. Always returning to this Gothic church for solace Celia begins observing problems in her new 'home' and gradually her love for Daniel makes her mind bend around ridding the child of his parents, thus making Daniel her own child. Finally her sanity breaks and she is involved in murderous acts that are not what they appear to be. To say more would disrupt the story of how a deranged mind mixes delusions and actions to gain resolution to defaced dreams.

As Gregoria/Celia, Carmen Maura again demonstrates the brilliance of her acting career. She makes us love this deranged, pitiful character while maintaining an atmosphere of madness and threat. The entire cast weaves in and out of this maze of reality/delusion and Director Carré manages to keep us confused about what we are watching in an extraordinary stance of the how the dysfunctional mind works. The settings are lovely, and the old church is terrifyingly beautiful with all lighting coming form tall tapers and votives and otherworldly light as captured by cinematographer Juan Carlos Gómez. The musical score by Suso Rey and Manuel Varela enhances the mood of the piece with compositions that could easily stand alone. This is not an easy film to watch, not because of violence (though there is some), but because Carré never lets us know the exact truth of what we are watching: is this all in Celia's broken mind, is it real, is the story really happening, etc? Highly recommended for lovers of Gothic tales. Grady Harp

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