7 user 5 critic
After killing her abusive and unfaithful husband, the religious and schizophrenic housewife Gregoria leaves Madrid and travels to Galicia to visit a church where a stranger told her that ... See full summary »


Héctor Carré


Héctor Carré, José Antonio Félez (contributing writer)

On Disc

at Amazon

6 nominations. See more awards »


Learn more

More Like This 

La Promesa (TV Series 2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

Decided by promises of a better life, three young women are sold into prostitution and must risk their lives and their families to escape.

Stars: Gala Restrepo, Piero Melotti, Ilja Rosendahl
A Promise (2013)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A romantic drama set in Germany just before WWI and centered on a married woman who falls in love with her husband's protégé. Separated first by duties and then by the war, they pledge their devotion to one another.

Director: Patrice Leconte
Stars: Rebecca Hall, Alan Rickman, Richard Madden
Cuernavaca (2017)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

The coming of age story of a boy that after a traumatic event is taken to beautiful Cuernavaca, where he has to find his father while trying to adapt to life with his grandmother, who has problems of her own.

Director: Alejandro Andrade
Stars: Moises Arizmendi, Mariana Gajá, Carmen Maura
Amodio (Video 2017)
Short | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Isabel Coixet
Stars: Antonio Bachiller, David Broncano, Chiquito de la Calzada
La Promesse (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Roger uses his son Igor to ruthlessly traffic and exploit undocumented immigrants. When one of the immigrants is killed, Igor is guilt-ridden and wants to care for the dead man's family against his father's orders.

Directors: Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne
Stars: Jérémie Renier, Olivier Gourmet, Assita Ouedraogo


Cast overview:
Carmen Maura ... Celia
Ana Fernández ... Dorita
Juan Margallo Juan Margallo ... Roberto
Santiago Barón Santiago Barón ... Daniel
Evaristo Calvo Evaristo Calvo ... Leandro
Xulio Lago Xulio Lago ... Senén
Luisa Merelas Luisa Merelas ... Felisa
Antonio F. Simón Antonio F. Simón ... Don Damián
Luis Iglesia Luis Iglesia ... Doctor
Víctor Mosqueira Víctor Mosqueira ... Cura
Chete Lera ... Amable


After killing her abusive and unfaithful husband, the religious and schizophrenic housewife Gregoria leaves Madrid and travels to Galicia to visit a church where a stranger told her that everyone should go, dead or alive. When Gregoria arrives, she saves the life of the boy Daniel and his mother Dorita in gratitude invites her to have lunch at her house. Gregoria changes her name to Celia and accepts to work as nanny and chambermaid for Dorita and her dysfunctional husband Leandro. The violent behavior of Leandro triggers an insanity process in the delusional Celia, who is haunted by demons and ghosts while trying to protect Daniel from the evilness of his parents. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

galicia | life change | housemaid | See All (3) »


Horror | Thriller


See all certifications »






Release Date:

13 August 2004 (Spain) See more »

Also Known As:

The Promise See more »

Filming Locations:

Galicia, Spain See more »


Box Office


€2,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

LA PROMESA: The Spanish Way with Gothic Thrillers
26 June 2005 | by gradyharpSee all my reviews

Some of the most intellectually terrifying films, stories that are imbued with religious symbolism, mysticism, and surrealism, are products of Spanish filmmakers and LA PROMESA is no exception. Writer/Director Héctor Carré finds just the right amount of credibility in the prelude to his psychological thriller to make the following strange events teeter on that thin line of delusion and reality.

Gregoria (the redoubtable Carmen Maura) is a fragile woman, married to an abusive, unfaithful husband Roberto (Juan Francisco Margallo) and is confined to her house by order of her husband who taunts her for being barren. She is fanatically religious, obsessive compulsive, and walking closely to the abyss of insanity. Strange visions and incidents happen: in one instance she witness the fall of a house painter who despite a fracture of the skull tells Gregoria of his perfect little hometown in Galicia, a story that opens Gregoria's hopes for a better life. How she manages to depart her miserable life for Galicia involves an incident with her husband that for the sake of the viewers needs to remain occult.

In Galicia she changes her name to Celia, saves a small boy Daniel (Santiago Barón) from an accident, and because of her courageous act observed by the boy's mother Dorita (Ana Fernández) she is invited to the palatial estate where she ultimately gains employment as a maid and nanny - with some reservations from the boy's father Leandro (Evaristo Calvo) who sees Celia's dark side. Celia and Daniel become devoted to each other and Daniel introduces Celia to the strange 'hauntings' of the house and community and reveals the strained relationship of his parents. Also in the mansion Celia meets the cook Felisa (Luisa Merelas) and gardener Senén (Julio Lago) who watch Celia with suspicion.

Daniel leads Celia to a mysterious church where Celia explains the saints, prays, and witnesses bizarre happenings. Always returning to this Gothic church for solace Celia begins observing problems in her new 'home' and gradually her love for Daniel makes her mind bend around ridding the child of his parents, thus making Daniel her own child. Finally her sanity breaks and she is involved in murderous acts that are not what they appear to be. To say more would disrupt the story of how a deranged mind mixes delusions and actions to gain resolution to defaced dreams.

As Gregoria/Celia, Carmen Maura again demonstrates the brilliance of her acting career. She makes us love this deranged, pitiful character while maintaining an atmosphere of madness and threat. The entire cast weaves in and out of this maze of reality/delusion and Director Carré manages to keep us confused about what we are watching in an extraordinary stance of the how the dysfunctional mind works. The settings are lovely, and the old church is terrifyingly beautiful with all lighting coming form tall tapers and votives and otherworldly light as captured by cinematographer Juan Carlos Gómez. The musical score by Suso Rey and Manuel Varela enhances the mood of the piece with compositions that could easily stand alone. This is not an easy film to watch, not because of violence (though there is some), but because Carré never lets us know the exact truth of what we are watching: is this all in Celia's broken mind, is it real, is the story really happening, etc? Highly recommended for lovers of Gothic tales. Grady Harp

10 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 7 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed