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In a Glass Cage (1986)

Tras el cristal (original title)
Unrated | | Drama, Horror | 6 August 1986 (Spain)
A former nazi child-killer is confined in an iron lung inside an old mansion after a suicide attempt. His wife hires him a full-time carer, a mysterious young man who is driven slowly mad by the old man's disturbing past.


Agustí Villaronga (as Agustín Villaronga)


Agustí Villaronga (as Agustín Villaronga)
2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »




Complete credited cast:
Günter Meisner ... Klaus (as Gunter Meisner)
David Sust ... Angelo
Marisa Paredes ... Griselda
Gisèle Echevarría Gisèle Echevarría ... Rena (as Gisela Echevarria)
Imma Colomer ... Jornalera (as Inma Colomer)
Josuè Guasch Josuè Guasch ... Niño Cantor (as Josue Guasch)
David Cuspinera David Cuspinera ... Niño barracon
Ricardo Carcelero Ricardo Carcelero ... Angelo Niño
Alberto Manzano Alberto Manzano ... Niño Gitano


In Spain, the former Nazi doctor Klaus tries to commit suicide jumping off the roof of his manor. However, he survives with the entire body paralyzed and dependable of an iron lung with glass sides. His wife Griselda decides to hire a nurse since she does not bear the situation. Klaus asks Griselda to hire Angelo, a mysterious teenager that appears in their house. Angelo befriends Klaus' daughter Rena and sooner it is shown that Klaus was a pedophile that loved to feel the fear of death in young boys before abusing and killing them. Further, Angelo is a disturbed and totally insane victim of his experiments that intends to follow the insanities described in Klaus' diary and incorporate his personality. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Horror


Unrated | See all certifications »

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Did You Know?


For the scene where Angelo cried, actor David Sust put toothpaste under the eyes. He shot the scenes so many times that he injured his eyes and had to wear sunglasses for a while. See more »


Angelo: Horror, like sin... can be fascinating.
See more »

User Reviews

Intensily disturbing film
5 December 2006 | by Camera-ObscuraSee all my reviews

IN A GLASS CAGE (Agustí Villaronga - Spain 1987).

This Spanish shocker certainly offers us no warm portrait of humanity, tackling some extreme material involving Nazis and child abuse, that will undoubtedly shock many. It caused massive walk-outs on its initial release in 1987 and, mainly because of the controversial subject material, it quickly vanished into obscurity.

Klaus (Gunter Meisner) is a former Nazi medical experimenter, a job that enabled him to commit the most appalling sex-crimes against young boys. Now, not long after the war, he lives incognito somewhere in Catalonia, still sought after by the authorities, but relatively safe for the time being in Franco's Spain. But soon, he again gives in to his depraved desires, until shame and despair drive him to jump off the roof in an unsuccessful suicide attempt. Because of his jump, he is paralyzed from the neck down, kept alive on an iron lung in the enclosed surroundings of his own home, where he is ministered by his resentful wife Griselda (Marisa Paredes) and her young daughter Rena (Gisela Echevarria). Soon Angelo (David Sust) enters his environment who offers his services as a nurse. Against Griselda's judgement, Klaus insists that the visitor be allowed to take the post. Soon a perverse relationship develops between Angelo and Klaus, becoming ever more macabre as Angelo reveals he has found diaries detailing Klaus' wartime activities.

Director Villaronga manages to built up the tension and suspense in an exceptionally effective manner. Very little violence is shown on screen, but it makes the film all the more disturbing. After it becomes clear Angelo is losing his mind and grows more insane (and murderous), the film grows more intense every minute.

The film was carefully designed by director Agustí Villaronga who uses basically one set, a large Mediterranean villa. There's an ice-cold blue look, blueish lighting, blue clothes, everything has the same tone, right till the unforgettable closing image in the last scene. The masterfully orchestrated score and the universally supreme performances (the young David Sust is especially impressive in his screen debut) make this a near perfect film.

A tough recommendation and not for all tastes, but frankly, any adult who's not able to cope with material like this, shouldn't be allowed to walk the streets at night. Unrightfully dismissed by many as as just a gruesome shocker, there's much more on offer here. An exceptional achievement, clearly deserving wider exposure.

Camera Obscura --- 9/10

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Release Date:

6 August 1986 (Spain) See more »

Also Known As:

In a Glass Cage See more »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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