7.4/10
12,493
57 user 56 critic

Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985)

A gay man and a political prisoner are together in a prison. The gay man narrates the stories of two fake movies and his own life.

Director:

Hector Babenco

Writers:

Manuel Puig (based on the novel by), Leonard Schrader

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 12 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
William Hurt ... Luis Molina
Raul Julia ... Valentin Arregui
Sônia Braga ... Leni Lamaison / Marta / Spider Woman (as Sonia Braga)
José Lewgoy ... Warden
Milton Gonçalves ... Pedro
Míriam Pires Míriam Pires ... Mother (as Miriam Pires)
Nuno Leal Maia ... Gabriel
Fernando Torres Fernando Torres ... Americo
Patricio Bisso Patricio Bisso ... Greta
Herson Capri Herson Capri ... Werner
Denise Dumont Denise Dumont ... Michele (as Denise Dummont)
Nildo Parente Nildo Parente ... Leader of Resistance
Antônio Petrin Antônio Petrin ... Clubfoot (as Antonio Petrin)
Wilson Grey Wilson Grey ... Flunky
Miguel Falabella Miguel Falabella ... Lieutenant
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Storyline

Luis Molina and Valentin Arregui are cell mates in a South American prison. Luis, a trans individual, is found guilty of immoral behavior and Valentin is a political prisoner. To escape reality Luis invents romantic movies, while Valentin tries to keep his mind on the situation he's in. During the time they spend together, the two men come to understand and respect one another. Written by Leon Wolters <wolters@strw.LeidenUniv.nl>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Agita Productions, Inc.

Country:

Brazil | USA

Language:

English | French | Portuguese | German

Release Date:

26 July 1985 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El beso de la mujer araña See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$55,962, 27 July 1985, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$17,037,728
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Dan Weisman drove the footage across country to New York to re-cut it and work on sound. There was no insurance and no back-up footage. If something had happened on the road, the film might have been lost. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Luis Molina: She's... well, she's something a little strange. That's what she noticed, that she's not a woman like all the others. She seems all wrapped up in herself. Lost in a world she carries deep inside her.
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Connections

Referenced in Longtime Companion (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

La Marseillaise
(uncredited)
Written by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle
Heard during one of the scenes of Molina's story
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Deeply emotional and rewarding experience
6 July 2005 | by CoventrySee all my reviews

Slow-paced but amazingly compelling and moving drama, mainly set in the filthy prison cell of a never-named Latin American dictatorship country. It is here that the flamboyant homosexual Molina shares his escape-fantasies with the idealistic (but heterosexual) revolutionary warrior Valentin. The stories they tell, either coming from Molina's vivid imagination or from Valentin's struggling past, all feature a similar woman. This primarily Brazilian film is a quintessential piece of artwork. No wild car-chases, gunfights or steamy sex sequences here but you'll be fascinated by the strong dialogs, the mesmerizing acting performances and the professional directing skills of Hector Babenco. The growing relationship between the two opposite protagonists is masterfully illustrated and the depressing set-pieces only increase your sympathy for the both of them. "Kiss of the Spider Woman" is the only film I've seen so far that successfully implements a complex structure containing flashbacks as well as dream-sequences - and even film-in-film images – without becoming overly confusing. Raul Julia and William Hurt both deliver their finest performances ever, and the latter righteously got rewarded with an Oscar. A definite must see for every demanding fan of film-making.


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