Shortly after her mother's death, an innocent and youthful woman will find refuge into the household of her middle-aged aristocratic guardian, who will submit her to his sexual advances.


Luis Buñuel


Julio Alejandro, Luis Buñuel (screen story) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 11 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Catherine Deneuve ... Tristana
Fernando Rey ... Don Lope
Franco Nero ... Horacio
Lola Gaos ... Saturna
Antonio Casas ... Don Cosme
Jesús Fernández Jesús Fernández ... Saturno
Vicente Soler Vicente Soler ... Don Ambrosio
José Calvo José Calvo ... Campanero
Fernando Cebrián ... Dr. Miquis
Antonio Ferrandis ... Comprador
José María Caffarel ... Don Zenón
Cándida Losada ... Ciudadana
Joaquín Pamplona Joaquín Pamplona ... Don Joaquín
Mary Paz Pondal Mary Paz Pondal ... Muchacha (as María Paz Pondal)
Juanjo Menéndez ... Don Cándido (as Juan José Menéndez)


When the young woman Tristana's mother dies, she is entrusted to the guardianship of the well-respected though old Don Lope. Don Lope is well-liked and well-known because of his honorable nature, despite his socialistic views about business and religion. But Don Lope's one weakness is women, and he falls for the innocent girl in his charge, seduces her, makes her his lover, though all the while explaining to her that she is as free as he. But when she acts on this freedom, Don Lope must deal with the consequences of his world-view. Written by Gary Dickerson <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Somewhere between the innocent girl and the not so innocent mistress is the bizarre, sensuous story of Tristana.



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements and some disturbing images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Upon receiving an Academy Award nomination for this film, director Luis Buñuel said "nothing would disgust me more, morally, than to win an oscar." The Academy ultimately selected Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion (1970) as the winner of the Best Foreign Language Film category and spared Bunuel further moral indignation. See more »


Saturna: He's just like my late husband, may he burn in hell.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Originally released in Europe at 105 minutes. See more »


Featured in Luis Buñuel's Tristana: Repression and Desire (2013) See more »


Étude No 12 in C minor, Op 10 'Revolutionary'
Written by Frédéric Chopin
See more »

User Reviews

Dramatic film about a strange relationship , being splendidly directed by the Spanish maestro of surrealism , the great Luis Buñuel
20 September 2014 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

When the young woman Tristana (Catherine Deneuve)'s mother dies, she is entrusted to the guardianship of the well-respected though old Don Lope (Fernando Rey) being served by the old maid (Lola Gaos) . There she is besieged as emotionally as sexually to be his lover . Don Lope is more than 60 years, single, liberal and anticlerical and natural inclination to idleness and indolence . Then Tristana meets the painter Horacio (Franco Nero) , they fall in love with each other and Tristana flees from Don Lope who faces competition from her suitor .

This is the sensuous story of Tristana , a drama with surrealism and sour portrait upon social classes , catholicism , sexual abuses and many other things , being stunningly realized by the Spanish maestro of surrealism , the great Luis Buñuel . This is a typical Buñuel film , as there are a lot of symbolism , social critique , including mockery or wholesale review upon religion , especially Catholicism . Luis Buñuel was given a strict Jesuit education which sowed the seeds of his obsession with both subversive behavior and religion , issues well shown in a lot of films and that would preoccupy Buñuel for the rest of his career . Here Bunuel gives a perverse studio about religion , old age , desire along with deformity ; and was strongly cut by Spanish censorship . The film describes unequal status of women , heir to a long tradition of marginalization, subjugation, exploitation and lack of rights , subsequently suffragists and protest movements emerge in pro-women . Interesting and thought-provoking screenplay from the same Luis Buñuel and Julio Alejandro , Buñuel's usual screenwriter , based on the novel by Benito Pérez Galdós ; they pull off a straight-faced treatment of shocking subject matter . Bunuel's adaptation retains the spirit of protest written by Galdos, and moved to a later time in 40 years to the novel . Nice acting by Fernando Rey as an old man who falls for the innocent girl in his charge , to the point of result to be perhaps the best performance of his long career . Rey played various Buñuel films such as The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie , That Obscure object of Desire and Viridiana . And Catherine Deneuve's finest most enigmatic acting as a young cynical woman who goes to live with her guardian and subsequently turned into a bitter incapacitated cripple . The film relies heavily on the relationship between them , as is developed a rare lover/father relationship with her . One of Bunuel's most serious and serene ¨Tristana¨ is packed with surreal moments , criticism , absurd situations , masochism and nightmares . Furthermore , Buñuel satirizes and he carries out outright critical to aristocracy , bourgeoisie and attack upon religion . Pretty good support cast gives fine acting ; it is mostly formed by nice Spanish actors such as Antonio Casas , Fernando Cebrian, Jose Maria Caffarel , Antonio Ferrandis , Jose Calvo , Sergio Mendizabal , Juanjo Menendez ,among others . Beautifully shot in Toledo with a splendid cinematography by Jose Aguayo . Tristana was voted tenth best Spanish film by professionals and critics in 1996 Spanish cinema centenary and nominated for an Oscar ,film Foreign Language.

Thid wry and dramatic motion picture was compellingly directed by Luis Buñuel who was voted the 14th Greatest Director of all time . This Buñuel's strange film belongs to his French second period ; in fact , it's plenty of known Spanish actors . Born in Calanda , Aragon (1900) , Buñuel subsequently moved to Madrid to study at the university there, where his close friends included Salvador Dalí and Federico García Lorca. After moving to Paris , at the beginning Buñuel did a variety of film-related odd jobs , including working as an assistant to director Jean Epstein . With financial help from his mother and creative assistance from Dalí, he made his first film , this 17-minute "Un Chien Andalou" (1929), and immediately catapulted himself into film history thanks to its disturbing images and surrealist plot . The following year , sponsored by wealthy art patrons, he made his first picture , the scabrous witty and violent "Age of Gold" (1930), which mercilessly attacked the church and the middle classes, themes that would preoccupy Buñuel for the rest of his career . That career, though, seemed almost over by the mid-1930s, as he found work increasingly hard to come by and after the Spanish Civil War , where he made ¨Las Hurdes¨ , as Luis emigrated to the US where he worked for the Museum of Modern Art and as a film dubber for Warner Bros . He subsequently went on his Mexican period he teamed up with producer Óscar Dancigers and after a couple of unmemorable efforts shot back to international attention with the lacerating study of Mexican street urchins in ¨Los Olvidados¨ (1950), winning him the Best Director award at the Cannes Film Festival. But despite this new-found acclaim, Buñuel spent much of the next decade working on a variety of ultra-low-budget films, few of which made much impact outside Spanish-speaking countries , though many of them are well worth seeking out . As he went on filming "The Great Madcap" , ¨The brute¨, "Wuthering Heights", ¨El¨ , "The Criminal Life of Archibaldo De la Cruz" , ¨Robinson Crusoe¨ , ¨Death in the garden¨ and many others . After returning his native country, Spain, by making ¨Viridiana¨ this film was prohibited on the grounds of blasphemy as well as ¨The milky way¨ or Via Lactea , both of them were strongly prohibited by Spanish censorship . This French-Spanish final period in collaboration with producer Serge Silberman and writer Jean-Claude Carrière with notorious as well as polemic films such as ¨Viridiana¨ , ¨The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie" and ¨Belle De Jour¨. His last one was the notorious ¨That obscure object of desire¨ (1977) .

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Spain | Italy | France



Release Date:

29 March 1970 (Spain) See more »

Also Known As:

Tristana See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,754, 14 October 2012

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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