13 user 5 critic

Secrets of the Heart (1997)

Secretos del corazón (original title)
Javi and his friend Carlos snoop around an old house on the way home from school. According to his brother Juan this is a haunted house and one can hear the voices of the dead. Later he is ... See full summary »


Montxo Armendáriz
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 19 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Carmelo Gómez ... Tío
Charo López ... María
Silvia Munt ... Madre
Vicky Peña ... Rosa
Andoni Erburu ... Javi
Álvaro Nagore Álvaro Nagore ... Juan
Íñigo Garcés ... Carlos
Joan Vallés Joan Vallés ... Abuelo (as Joan Valles)
Joan Dalmau ... Benito
Chete Lera ... Ricardo
Manolo Monje Manolo Monje ... D. Bautista
José María Asín José María Asín ... D. Alejandro (as José Mª Asín)
Carlos Salaberri Carlos Salaberri ... Bedel
Iñaki Azcona Iñaki Azcona ... Monaguillo
Raquel Sanchís Raquel Sanchís ... Carmen


Javi and his friend Carlos snoop around an old house on the way home from school. According to his brother Juan this is a haunted house and one can hear the voices of the dead. Later he is intrigued with a room which is always closed (the room where his father was found dead). He is so interested in these mysteries that he starts to investigate all the secrets of these dead people and their stories. Written by Marcos Eduardo Acosta Aldrete

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User Reviews

Enjoyable and thought-provoking picture starred by a phenomenal little actor
10 February 2014 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

Sensational film that dispenses a brooding plot and considered to be one of the best Spanish films of the 90s , in fact was voted one of the best pictures by professionals and critics . Well directed film by Montxo Armendariz , including his own story and screenplay , who tried to create an agreeable flick plenty of sensitivity and metaphor by tackling a description about a particular and dysfunctional family formed by two spinster aunts (Charo Lopez , Vicky Peña) , an affected mother (Silvia Munt) , the brother-in-law (Carmelo Gomez) , the grandfather (Joan Valles) , but especially focusing the little boy (Andoni Erburu) and his brother . This is an intense as well as sensitive drama dealing with a little boy called Javi , a coming-of-age tale in which he discovers the sense of life about sex , family , freedom and love . This slow-moving and intelligent picture is well set in Spain of the 50s . Javi (Andoni Erburu) and his friend Carlos (Garces) visit an old house on the outskirts of a small Spanish village next to Pamplona . According to his brother Juan (Nagore) this is a haunted house and one can hear the voices of the dead . Later he is intrigued with a room which is always closed and his mom (Silvia Munt) prohibits it . He is so interested in these mysteries that exacerbate his ingenuity and imagination . As Javi begins to investigate all the secrets of these dead people , of his family and their stories , but he finds terrible trues .

Sensitive film full of feeling , haunting mood-pieces , wonderful scenes and sense of wonder . Colorful picture , including marvelous frames , being mostly filmed at Tudela , Navarra and including sunny outdoor scenes . This extraordinary flick spells through intricate patterns of images , sets , sound and color . In addition , a magnificent support cast of known and prestigious players , such as Charo Lopez , Vicky Peña , Carmelo Gomez , Chete Lera , among others . His style is pretty much dry in the atmosphere as in the fresh dialog , as well as realistic , and including pleasant elements as when the family sings popular songs . "Secrets of the Heart" is one of Armendariz's undisputed masterpieces and fundamental in his filmography where shows efficiently an interesting story and shot at the height of his creativity , with some peculiar characters , as the main starring boy , his spinster aunts and the grudge grandfather . Splendid , luxurious photography with juicy atmosphere by Javier Aguirresarobe . Aguirresarobe subsequently would make a prestigious career in Hollywood such as ¨Fright night , ¨The twilight saga: eclipse¨, ¨The road¨ , ¨The others¨ and many others . Interesting screenplay by the same director based on a original story . Moving and emotive musical score by Bingen Mendizabal and including unforgettable regional songs . This touching picture will appeal to Spanish films buffs ; being deservedly nominated for Oscar Best Foreign Language Film, and won Blue Angel in Berlin International Film Festival 1997 . Furthermore , achieved Goya prizes : Best Supporting Actress , Charo López , Best New Actor ,Andoni Erburu, Best Sound , Best Production Design , Félix Murcia , Best Director , Montxo Armendárizand Best Film . Rating : Top-notch and outstanding movie , worthwhile seeing .

The motion picture perfectly produced by magnificent producers Andres Santana and Imanol Uribe was stunningly directed by Montxo Armendariz , a very good Spanish movies director . Montxo is a well recognized filmmaker both nationally and internationally, and in proof of it he won many prizes in several Festivals . Montxo Armendáriz was born in Navarra, and his films are mostly set in this Spanish region . He is a nice writer and director, expert on dramas , being especially known for Tasio (1984) , 27 hours (1986) , Cartas a Alou (1990) , Secretos del Corazón (1997), Silencio roto or Broken silence (2001) Obaba (2005), and No Tengas Miedo (2011) .

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France | Portugal | Spain



Release Date:

19 March 1997 (Spain) See more »

Also Known As:

Secrets of the Heart See more »

Filming Locations:

Madrid, Spain See more »


Box Office


$1,727,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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