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Kiss of the Spider Woman

HD   R Closed Captioning

Hector Babenco

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About the Movie

KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN starts within the narrow walls of a Latin American prison cell. Molina (William Hurt) is telling his new cellmate, Valentin (Raul Julia), his favorite story. Molina is a delicate homosexual imprisoned for seducing a minor; Valentin is a bearded revolutionary still bleeding from his interrogation. As they trade stories, each draws a new, surprising level of difference between the two heroes: escapism versus realism, romance versus politics, gay versus straight, hero versus coward. Their unstable friendship grows more real, and their stories become more vivid--whether Molina's fondly remembered Nazi propaganda noir, Valentin's tortured romantic history, or a tropical island fable told merely to pass the time. By the end, each man has changed just enough to taste the other's tragedy--a transformation that gives each the strength to define freedom on his own terms, despite the brutality of the prison and the bleak world beyond its walls. This groundbreaking movie was the first independent film to receive the top four Oscar nominations; William Hurt delivers an Oscar-winning performance in this tribute to the power of film and fantasy as escape from inhumane conditions.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 26
  • Fresh: 23
  • Rotten: 3
  • Average Rating: 7.5/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: ... a flaccid gabfest from beginning to end that manages to both undermine politics and trivialize art. – Paul Attanasio, Washington Post, Jan 3, 2018

Fresh: Argentine writer Manuel Puig's book Kiss of the Spider Woman has a theme that endures throughout all its various incarnations: that of human dignity and compassion surviving within a society that denies it. – Jeremiah Kipp, Slant Magazine, Jul 7, 2010

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes
Kiss of the Spider Woman
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  • $9.99
  • Genre: Classics
  • Released: 1985

Customer Ratings