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Boquitas pintadas (1974)

The life and the lovers of a few young women in a provincial town.
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Juan Carlos Etchepare
... Nené (as Martha González)
... Mabel Sáenz
... Francisco Páez (Pancho)
... Antonia (La Rabadilla)
... Celina Etchepare
... Elsa Di Carlo
... Gitana
Oscar Pedemonti ... Donato
... Doctor
Berta Ortegosa
Ofelia Montero
Jorge Povarché
Alejandro Marcial
Laura Conte
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Storyline

The life and the lovers of a few young women in a provincial town.

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based on novel | See All (1) »

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Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

23 May 1974 (Argentina)  »

Also Known As:

Painted Lips  »

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| (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Trivia

Author Manuel Puig, who wrote the novel in which this film is based, also wrote the novel "Kiss of the Spider Woman", which film adaptation was filmed in the US and even achieved an Oscar for best actor in a main role See more »

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User Reviews

 
Evocative movie
16 November 2011 | by See all my reviews

"Boquitas Pintadas" has been absurdly translated as "Heartbreak Tango" (in reality, the title refers to the lyrics of a fox-trot incomparably sung by the great tango singer Carlos Gardel and known to every Argentinian). "Boquitas Pintadas" is the best work by Argentine novelist Manuel Puig. It is a perfect novel; nothing can be added or taken away. It uses (in a natural way) a variety of literary techniques, from chapters where what characters speak and think are given equal time to question-and-answer sessions. Parts of the novel read as a movie script (Puig's ambition, never realized was to become a movie director or screenwriter). It reconstructs in an uncannily accurate and evocative way life in an Argentine small town. It is clear and precise as clockwork, yet also very moving.

To film a work such as this is a tall order. Director Leopoldo Torre Nilsson, by this time back from his edgy, experimental work of the sixties was doing mainstream movies, "mainstream" not understood negatively; his mastery of the movie medium was total and his choice of subjects was always ambitious. The script follows closely the novel except for some simplifications and added scenes such as a dream cemetery sequence whose inclusion is not totally justified. Time and place have been lovingly reconstructed, and cinematography and music are excellent. Good acting from all concerned. Puig himself collaborated in the script and considered this movie the best screen adaptation of his work.

Most Americans that are aware of Manuel Puig know him through one of his lesser works, "The Kiss of the Spider Woman" and the even inferior 1985 movie of the same title by Hector Babenco (which was intensely disliked by Puig). "Boquitas PIntadas" is far superior stuff. Watch the movie if you can (that may not be easy, there is apparently no DVD playable in Region 1) then read the novel, if possible in its original Spanish.


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