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Death and the Maiden (1994)

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1:56 | Trailer

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A political activist is convinced that her guest is a man who once tortured her for the government.

Director:

Roman Polanski

Writers:

Ariel Dorfman (play), Rafael Yglesias (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Sigourney Weaver ... Paulina Escobar
Ben Kingsley ... Dr. Roberto Miranda
Stuart Wilson ... Gerardo Escobar
Krystia Mova Krystia Mova ... Dr. Miranda's Wife
Jonathan Vega Jonathan Vega ... Dr. Miranda's Son
Rodolphe Vega Rodolphe Vega ... Dr. Miranda's Son
Gilberto Cortés Gilberto Cortés ... String Quartet Player (as Gilberto Cortes)
Jorge Cruz Jorge Cruz ... String Quartet Player
Carlos Moreno Carlos Moreno ... String Quartet Player
Eduardo Valenzuela Eduardo Valenzuela ... String Quartet Player
Sergio Ortega Alvarado Sergio Ortega Alvarado ... String Quartet Manager
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Storyline

Paulina Escobar is a political activist whose husband is a prominent lawyer in an unnamed South American country just out of a dictatorship. One day a storm forces her husband to ride home with a neighbor. That chance encounter brings up demons from her past, as she is convinced that the neighbor (Dr. Miranda) was part of the old fascist regime that tortured and raped her, while blindfolded. Paulina takes him captive to determine the truth. Paulina is torn between her psychological repressions and somber memory, Gerardo is torn between his wife and the law, and Dr. Miranda is forced to endure captivity while husband and wife seek out the uncertain truth about the clouded past. Written by Henry G. Herron <hgherron@wsuhub.uc.twsu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Tonight, mercy will be buried with the past. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong language including descriptions of violent situations | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | France | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 January 1995 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La muerte y la doncella See more »

Filming Locations:

France See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$74,366, 23 December 1994, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,104,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby | Dolby SR

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Star Sigourney Weaver stated in a later interview that director Roman Polanski would sometimes randomly fire a gun in order to get the most genuine expressions of fear from the cast. See more »

Goofs

At the beginning Paulina is cooking something in a pan over the fire, then, for dinner she produces only a roasted chicken and green salad. So what was she cooking in the pan? See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Gerardo Escobar: Are you quite sure you won't come in?
Dr. Roberto Miranda: No thanks, just want to get home after that.
Gerardo Escobar: Yeah, me too. Look, I'm really sorry for all the trouble I put you to.
Dr. Roberto Miranda: Yeah, no problem.
Gerardo Escobar: Well if I can't persuade you, why don't you come over some time. Thanks again, goodbye.
Gerardo Escobar: [returning again to the car] Ah, you now it's crazy, I never introduced myself. Gerardo Escobar.
Dr. Roberto Miranda: Dr. Roberto Miranda.
Gerardo Escobar: It's very nice to meet you. If you're ever passing...
Dr. Roberto Miranda: Escobar? The lawyer?
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Roman Polanski: A Film Memoir (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

SCHUBERT STRING QUARTET IN D MINOR
Written by Franz Schubert
Performed by Amadeus Quartet (as The Amadeus Quartet)
Recording courtesy of Deutsche Grammophon Gmbh
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Innocence Abroad
2 February 2006 | by urnotdbSee all my reviews

Criminals are punished morally by their conscience and legally by the state. What about state-sanctioned crimes? Not only may the victim no longer have much faith in "the state" to essentially police itself but also the "state-sponsored" perpetrator may feel morally innocent. The unforgettable stories of outrageous evil in Polanski's "Chinatown" and "Rosemary's Baby" were arguably overshadowed by the incomparable acting and direction. Here the presentation, although good, is more conventional, so the plot takes center stage, with the focus, as I saw it, on retribution and psychological guilt/innocence. Does the ending depict justice? It seems unrealistic, but maybe was intended to highlight some of the limitations of a justice system for addressing the fundamental causes and effects of violence.


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