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Death and the Maiden (1994)

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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

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 Stereo | Dolby SR

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The source play states as its setting in the introduction as: "A beach house in a country that is probably Chile, but could be any country that has given itself a democratic government just after a long period of dictatorship. The Present." See more »

Goofs

Dr. Miranda's moustache changes inconsistently throughout the movie. 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 Scarred Soul (1998) 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
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Suspenseful, psychological thriller
3 April 2005 | by cshipley10See all my reviews

In this movie, Sigourney Weaver is thoroughly believable with her trademark edge, rarely seen in other women actors. The doctor, although obviously with selfish motives, kept me guessing until the end as to whether he was guilty of the crimes of torture she claimed he committed against her, having not seen the face of, but only having heard the voice of the man she remembered. You don't know the truth until the end. It is very riveting. Her relationship with her husband is very realistic, as well, and very revealing about both of their characters. All three roles were depicted as intensely real. I enjoyed this thriller from the moment it began to the very end. You are immediately engaged in her reality, rather than experiencing a slow build up seen with most movies. Very satisfying because no character was one-sided, but they were multi-dimensional, with each having a unique history. Bravo!


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