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Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! (1989)

¡Átame! (original title)
NC-17 | | Comedy, Crime, Drama | 22 January 1990 (Spain)
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An unbalanced but alluring former mental patient takes a porn star prisoner in the hopes of convincing her to marry him.

Director:

Pedro Almodóvar

Writers:

Pedro Almodóvar (screenplay), Pedro Almodóvar (story)
8 wins & 19 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Victoria Abril ... Marina Osorio
Antonio Banderas ... Ricky
Loles León ... Lola (as Loles Leon)
María Barranco ... Berta (as Maria Barranco)
Rossy de Palma ... Traficante de drogas en Vespa
Julieta Serrano ... Alma
Francisco Rabal ... Máximo Espejo
Lola Cardona ... Directora psiquiátrico
Montse G. Romeu Montse G. Romeu ... Montse
Emiliano Redondo ... Decorador
Oswaldo Delgado Oswaldo Delgado ... Fantasma
Concha Rabal Concha Rabal ... Farmacéutica
Alberto Fernández Alberto Fernández ... Productor (as Alberto Fernandez)
José María Tasso ... Anciano psiquiátrico
Angelina Llongueras ... Montadora
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Storyline

Ricky is released from a mental hospital, and knows exactly what he wants to do. He hunts down Marina, a porn film star he once had sex with, and tries to convince her to be his wife. She is a bit reluctant, so he ties her up. Will this approach endear him to her? Written by Colin Tinto <cst@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A love story...with strings attached!

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated NC-17 for scene of strong adult sensuality with nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

Spain

Language:

Spanish

Release Date:

22 January 1990 (Spain) See more »

Also Known As:

Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! See more »

Filming Locations:

Barajas, Madrid, Spain See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$65,299, 6 May 1990

Gross USA:

$4,087,361

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$4,087,361
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

El Deseo See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

One of the films (along with Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986) and The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover (1989)) that was instrumental in bringing about the introduction of the NC-17 rating in the U.S., as the film's distributor, Miramax, took the MPAA to court over the X certification it had initially been designated. According to Pedro Almodóvar, the MPAA did not believe an R was appropriate, even after cuts, because they were afraid the film would inspire young men to kidnap women out of lust. Miramax argued an X rating implicated pornography and would diminish its audience, but they lost the lawsuit and the film was released unrated. In September 1990, the MPAA replaced X with NC-17 in response to numerous appeals by other filmmakers under similar circumstances. Eventually, the film was re-rated NC-17 for home video release, the reason being the explicit scene of Marina being aroused by a toy diver in the bathtub. See more »

Goofs

When Ricky accepts to take Marina out, to search for painkillers, she puts on a dress without underwear. When they return home she undresses showing a pair of white panties. See more »

Quotes

Montadora: It's more of a love story than a horror story.
Máximo Espejo: They can be hard to tell apart.
Lola: We've got a blockbuster.
See more »

Connections

References A Man Called Horse (1970) See more »

Soundtracks

Celos
Written by Jacob Gade
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

people don't get the irony
9 May 2004 | by VernayeSee all my reviews

I'm amazed that people don't get the irony underlying this film. If you've seen other, earlier Almodovar films, you'll know that he explores sexual situations that come emanate from all sorts of crazy situations (think of Law of Desire (1987), for example, in which Banderas plays a man exploring his homosexuality). But what makes this film so great is that, unlike Almodovar's other films, it attempts to explore the nature of the "conventional," heterosexual matrix which, through Almodovar's eyes, becomes completely nonsensical. Indeed, the relationship between Marina and Ricky is meant, ultimately, to be a parody of how such relationships work, as if heterosexuality (and its consequence, marriage) are almost inevitably equivalent in character to the infamous Stockholm syndrome. The final twist of the film, mistakenly hated for its apparently patriarchal overtones, is in fact a humorous subversion of conventional sexual politics. `You're crazy! Love a man who kidnaps you and ties you up? Is that normal?' exclaims Marina's sister. Well, actually, yes, according to Almodovar, it's completely normal. When viewed with irony (most viewers seem to have a bad case of literal disease when it comes to this film), this movie is a devastating critique of modern heterosexuality. Note that the trio sing the Spanish version of "I will survive" at the very end, when everything has supposedly worked out, in Candide fashion, for the best...


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