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The Flower of My Secret (1995)

La flor de mi secreto (original title)
Leo Macias writes sentimental novels with great success but hidden under a pseudonym, Amanda Gris. She is unhappy with her professional life and with her husband, a soldier working in ... See full summary »


Pedro Almodóvar

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5 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Marisa Paredes ... Leo Macías
Juan Echanove ... Ángel
Carme Elias ... Betty
Rossy de Palma ... Rosa
Chus Lampreave ... Madre de Leo
Kiti Mánver ... Manuela (as Kiti Manver)
Joaquín Cortés ... Antonio
Manuela Vargas Manuela Vargas ... Blanca
Imanol Arias ... Paco
Gloria Muñoz ... Alicia
Juan José Otegui ... Tomás
Nancho Novo Nancho Novo ... Doctor B
Jordi Mollà ... Doctor A
Alicia Agut Alicia Agut ... Vecina A
Marisol Muriel Marisol Muriel ... Bailarina


Leo Macias writes sentimental novels with great success but hidden under a pseudonym, Amanda Gris. She is unhappy with her professional life and with her husband, a soldier working in Brussels and Bosnia that is never at home. She will try anything to change her life. Written by Miguel A. Andrade <andrade@gredos.cnb.uam.es>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Every woman has a secret...



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and brief sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

Sony Classics


Spain | France


Spanish | French

Release Date:

8 March 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Flower of My Secret See more »


Box Office

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

CiBy 2000,El Deseo See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital


Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


European book supermarket fnac was only too happy to help out with the production, providing a huge exterior awning of the cover of a faked Amanda Gris novel that hung outside their Madrid office. See more »


Referenced in Volver (2006) See more »


En el último trago
Written by José Alfredo Jiménez
Performed by Chavela Vargas
© BMG EDIM S.A. de C.V.
Autorizada para España a Ediciones musicales B.M.G. ARIOLA, S.A.
Grabación realizada durante la actuación en el Teatro Albeniz
(p) 1995 POLYGRAM IBERICA, S.A., por acuerdo con EL DESEO, S.A. - CIBY 2000
© 1995 EL DESEO, S.A., - CIBY 2000
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User Reviews

Another bumpy, colourful ride on Almodovar's rollercoaster
3 January 2002 | by GeofbobSee all my reviews

The title of Almodovar's later film, All About My Mother, was a nod of respect in the direction of the 1950 Hollywood film, All About Eve, which contains Bette Davis's famous line - "Fasten your seat belts, it's going to be a bumpy night". This quote could well appear at the start of most of the Spanish director's films, certainly Flower. Here, the rider on his emotional rollercoaster is Leocadia (Leo) Macias (Marisa Paredes), whose marriage and life are in crisis. She is not as young as she was, and her handsome husband Paco (Imanol Arias) has lost interest and is about to leave her. The "secret" of the title is that Leo writes romantic novels under an assumed name, but hers is not the only secret revealed in the movie.

Spoiled and self-centred Leo is not the most likeable of women; her sister Rosa (the wonderful Rossy de Palma) who looks after their aged mother probably deserves more of our sympathy. But the nicest people don't necessarily provide the most interesting stories; and Almodovar isn't trying to enlist our pity, but our understanding. If, according to the oft-quoted screenplay dictum, character is defined by action, then what he shows us is a courageous character who overcomes her self-pity, and takes up life and love again. Leo comes to terms with her loss, in much the same way as the mother in film's opening scene finally accepts that her son is dead. But that episode turns out to be a repeatable training session for doctors, so perhaps Almodovar is warning Leo that loss of love can take place more than once, or possibly he is suggesting to the audience that they regard Leo's story as a training session for life.

This unashamed melodrama is conveyed via magical acting, great camerawork, and above all intense colours. There are a few specifically Spanish touches, including a sequence where Leo and her mother return to their idyllic, picturesque family village, and a flamenco dance (to Miles Davis music). As usual, there are also reminders of the downsides of modern urban life, though some of the references to drugs and unemployment are a little forced and superfluous. All in all, this is a great pictorial story teller telling perhaps not his greatest tale, but certainly one worth listening to and seeing.

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