10 user 15 critic

Blood Wedding (1981)

Bodas de sangre (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, Music, Romance | 9 March 1981 (Spain)
Group of dancers put Lorca's 'Blood Wedding' on stage, the tragic play about a married man who is still in love with his ex girlfriend, and tries to get back to her despite her planned wedding.


Carlos Saura


Antonio Gades, Federico García Lorca (play) (as Federico Garcia Lorca) | 2 more credits »
4 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Antonio Gades ... Leonardo
Cristina Hoyos ... La Novia
Juan Antonio Jiménez Juan Antonio Jiménez ... El Novio (as Juan Antonio Jimenez)
Carmen Villena Carmen Villena ... La Mujer
Pilar Cárdenas Pilar Cárdenas ... La Madre
El Güito El Güito ... Cuerpo de Baile
Lario Díaz Lario Díaz ... Cuerpo de Baile
Enrique Esteve Enrique Esteve ... Cuerpo de Baile
Elvira Andrés Elvira Andrés ... Cuerpo de Baile
Azucena Flores Azucena Flores ... Cuerpo de Baile
Cristina Gombau Cristina Gombau ... Cuerpo de Baile
Marisa Neila Marisa Neila ... Cuerpo de Baile
Antonio Quintana Antonio Quintana ... Cuerpo de Baile
Quico Franco Quico Franco ... Cuerpo de Baile
Candy Román Candy Román ... Cuerpo de Baile (as Candy Roman)


Group of dancers put Lorca's 'Blood Wedding' on stage, the tragic play about a married man who is still in love with his ex girlfriend, and tries to get back to her despite her planned wedding.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

dance | flamenco | based on play | See All (3) »


Drama | Music | Romance


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


In 1968 it was announced that Anthony Quinn would star and direct this for MGM. See more »


At the 23 minute mark, a very large, directional boom-microphone enters the upper left portion of the screen, lingers noticeably and then is removed. See more »


Followed by Carmen (1983) See more »


La nana
Performed by Marisol
See more »

User Reviews

How do you make a combination of Lorca and flamenco dull? Get Carlos Saura to direct it.
24 August 1999 | by alice liddellSee all my reviews

I had found Saura's last film, TANGO, trite and insulting, but I decided to give him another chance, in deference to his reputation. I needn't have bothered. Whatever his talent as a chronicler of character under oppression, he has no ability to film dance. He has no faith in dance's own expressive tropes, so he must impose meaning on them. He films in a flat, leaden style, which never allows the dance to come to life.

Like TANGO, Saura foregrounds a self-reflexivity on the film. This time, however, it is used relatively intelligently. There is a pretence of documentary as we watch 'famed' choreographer Antonio Gades prepare for his flamenco adaptation of Lorca's Blood Wedding. We see the preparations of the dancers, the (tedious) warm ups, the donning of costumes.

None of this is gratuitous (although the lingering on the undressing female dancers might be), and is infinitely preferable to the fictional ponderings of TANGO. The opening credits roll over a sepia photograph of the cast, mimicking the period in which the play was set. Lorca was, of course, a famous leftist, murdered by Fascists in the Civil War, and this is a film, made only a few years after Franco's death, that attempts to come to terms with Spanish history. The lengthy process of rehearsal emphasises the process of becoming, suggesting that history is not the monolithic entity the Right would like it to be, but a fluid interpretive searching, grasping, for the truth. The repeated gazing into mirrors links this national quest with an examination of the self. And yet Old Spain is not so quickly vanquished - one dancer hangs religious pictures on her mirror.

So, the dance is made to carry a lot of baggage. We are not given the actual performance, but a dress rehearsal, continuing the idea of becoming, as if to offer a fixed definitive version would be to concede to the enemy. This austere restriction to one bare space, without sets, without any help from Saura, means that the dancing has to be spectacular for the film to succeed. It is not, being rather conservative, and blindingly obvious and literal, the dance equivalent of dialogue sung in a Lloyd-Webber musical. Every gesture is laboriously spelt out; the viewer is credited with no intelligence.

It is totally inadequate to the play's politics, and the pared down approach means we lose its febrile, exhilirating excess. The critique of machismo and the death wish, applied to Spanish culture as a whole, is still there, but the climactic stand-off, while comparitively inventive, is more silly than cathartic, like Cavalliera Rusticana with the sound down. It is odd that a film so critical of the macho ethic should be so...macho.

As with TANGO, any effect the film has lies in the music, which, especially in the mariachi wedding sequence, provides the drama and beauty absent from the filming itself.

8 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 10 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.



Spain | France



Release Date:

9 March 1981 (Spain) See more »

Also Known As:

Blood Wedding See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Emiliano Piedra See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.

Visit our What to Watch page

Recently Viewed