6.9/10
6,176
75 user 91 critic

The Dancer Upstairs (2002)

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0:34 | Trailer
A police detective in a South American country is dedicated to hunting down a revolutionary guerilla leader.

Director:

John Malkovich

Writers:

Nicholas Shakespeare (novel), Nicholas Shakespeare (screenplay)
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Javier Bardem ... Agustín Rejas
Juan Diego Botto ... Sucre
Laura Morante ... Yolanda
Elvira Mínguez ... Llosa
Alexandra Lencastre ... Sylvina Rejas
Oliver Cotton ... Merino
Luís Miguel Cintra Luís Miguel Cintra ... Calderón
Javier Manrique ... Clorindo
Abel Folk ... Ezequiel / Durán
Marie-Anne Berganza Marie-Anne Berganza ... Laura
Lucas Rodríguez Lucas Rodríguez ... Gómez
Xabier Elorriaga ... Pascual
Natalia Dicenta ... Marina
Wolframio Sinué ... Santiago
Ramiro Jiménez Ramiro Jiménez ... Sergeant Pisac
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Storyline

The story of Detective Agustin Rejas, a man clinging to the hope of an impossible love in an impossible world. Tracking Ezequiel, a delusional anarchist who incites the downtrodden masses to join in his brutal revolution against the fascist government in their unnamed Latin American country, Rejas finds solace in his sense of self-respect and the joy that his daughter and wife bring him. Then he meets Yolanda--his daughter's soulfully beautiful ballet teacher--a woman who sparks his long-forgotten passions and represents all that is good and all that is corrupt in their troubled country. But she, who appears to be a shelter from the storm, may in actuality be the storm's eye. Ultimately, as the revolution intensifies and the net closes around hunter and hunted alike, the dancer's truth will prove as elusive as the revolutionary's cause and the detective's peace. Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

An honest man caught in a world of intrigue, power and passion.

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, and for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Spain | USA

Language:

English | Quechua | Spanish

Release Date:

23 May 2003 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sendero de sangre See more »

Filming Locations:

Ecuador See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$106,142, 4 May 2003

Gross USA:

$2,377,348

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$5,227,348
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The depiction of the dogs hanging was based on an actual occurrence where several dogs were found hanging from street lights in central Lima one December morning with profane messages denouncing Chinese leader Xiaoping Deng (who Shining Path leader Abimael Guzman thought had betrayed the communist revolution). The dynamite inserted into the dogs' bodies was based on rumors that the hanging dogs may have contained explosives, though no explosives were actually found on the dogs when they were cut down. See more »

Goofs

When Sucre & Llosa arrest the young woman in orange, she has been handcuffed to the ceiling of the car. But then en route, soldiers simply drag her out of the backseat. No handcuff keys. No bolt cutters. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Indian 1 in Pick-up: [calmly after hitting road-side cop, about person on radio] Why does she talk so much?
Ezequiel: [equally calm] She's preparing to sing.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The producers would like to thank ... the residents of Narcisos Street ... See more »

Connections

References Car Wash (1976) See more »

Soundtracks

All Along the Watchtower
(1967)
Written by Bob Dylan
© Dwarf Music
Piano arrangement and vocals by Yul Anderson
Soundtrack from the DVD titles: Dreamsky and the CD "The Wind"
Courtesy of NBE Productions Softmusic (USA/Denmark)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Gripping
31 December 2002 | by ian_harrisSee all my reviews

Very closely based on Guzman and the Shining Path Maoist terrorists in Peru, this movie is compulsive viewing.

The plot is fairly standard good cop tracks down bad guys - there are no bonus points for this plot. Indeed, some of the coincidences that arise as the film goes on are the weakest link in this otherwise near-flawless movie.

There has been much talk about the violent scenes in this movie, which are many, but especially the scenes with animals. My view is that it is no more morally wrong to depict violence to animals than it is to depict violence to humans, as long as no animal (or human) is actually harmed in making the depiction. We are told that none of the animals were harmed in the making of the film (and presumably also none of the people). As far as I am concerned that is the end of that matter - the use of animals, unhamred, for this purpose is acceptable. To argue otherwise I find, frankly, daft. However, I would recommend that people who get particularly upset when violence to animals is depicted should simply avoid this movie.

Back to the movie - the acting and the cinematography are superb. It is gripping - the film is 135 minutes long which is well past my attention span unless the film is really good. This film is just that.


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