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Viridiana (1961)


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Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 4
Fresh: 4 | Rotten: 0



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Movie Info

After 25 years' exile, Luis Buñuel was invited to his native Spain to direct Viridiana -- only to have the Spanish government suppress the film on the grounds of blasphemy and obscenity. Regarded by many as Buñuel's crowning achievement, the film centers on an idealistic young nun named Viridiana (Silvia Pinal). Just before taking her final vows, Viridiana is forced by her mother superior to visit her wealthy uncle Don Jaime (Fernando Rey), who has "selflessly" provided for the girl over the


Drama, Art House & International, Comedy

Feb 28, 2006

Criterion Collection

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All Critics (23) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (20) | Rotten (0) | DVD (13)

For Luis Buñuel, impiety is a genetic trait and an essential facet of his art. That his work also lifts the spirit -- imparting a delirious sensation of the divine-is a most welcome incongruity, one exemplified by his prizewinning 1961 effort, Viridiana.

April 22, 2009 Full Review Source: Time Out New York
Time Out New York
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Whether Señor Buñuel means his picture as a reflection of all people or just the people of Spain is not clear nor, indeed, is it essential. It is an ugly, depressing view of life. And, to be frank about it, it is a little old-fashioned, too.

May 20, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Luis Buñuel returned to his native Spain to create this 1961 masterpiece, which marked his rebirth as a filmmaker of international repute.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

An extraordinary cinematic treasure.

March 23, 2008 Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy
Antagony & Ecstasy

Essential and unforgettable.

June 1, 2007

'Viridiana' probes deep into psychological earth; at the core, it's a despairing picture of the dark cavern of the human heart.

March 6, 2007 Full Review Source: ReelTalk Movie Reviews
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

See Viridiana, and all other movies will seem to be missing something from then on.

July 28, 2006 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

One of Bunuel's most scathing attacks on Spanish society and religion.

July 12, 2006 Full Review Source: Boulder Weekly

ranks near the top of Bunuel's body of work

June 14, 2006 Full Review Source: Old School Reviews

quintessential Bunuel

May 17, 2006 Full Review Source:

quintessential Buñuel: a perfect entryway to his work, and a microcosm of his contradictory universe of the beautiful and the grotesque.

May 17, 2006 Full Review Source:

It's another of Buñuel's controversial films that is an indictment of organized religion.

February 10, 2006 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

The man who made Los Olvidados believes in ... reform. In Viridiana he more fully, and comically, acknowledges the immense hurdles to reform set up by human corruption.

May 28, 2005 Full Review Source:

More than 40 years after its original release, Viridiana remains one of the most shocking films ever made.

January 24, 2003 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

Viridiana has a deceptively artless quality, stemming from the poetic formality with which Bunuel allows the picture to unfold.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Audience Reviews for Viridiana

A grand incitement of all that's wrong with the world, it?s funny, Viridiana probably was dated for a time but actually seems quite apt in today's society. Classic Bunuel who managed to kick up a stink just as he'd been forgiven for the last one. All directors should have a bit of Bunuel in them or they just shouldn't make films!
October 2, 2009

Super Reviewer

"What a heavy burden God has laid on men! I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind." - Ecclesiastes 1:13-14
September 22, 2009
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

Maybe because I didn't see this when it first arrived on the scene, I have to say that nearly 50 years later, it actually strikes me as dated and, in many ways trite. Of course in its day, I don't doubt that it was shockingly controversial, and who can knock anything that can tie Francisco Franco's undies in a knot. Worse yet for me, I wasn't raised a Jesuit, so I may be lacking in the kind of obsessive love-hate relationship intensity that is presented here in terms of Catholicism and Christianity in general. I am, up front, a Christian, but I find the assault on Christianity to be pretty harmless, although moderately interesting. What I don't see the critics talking about nearly as much, is the sexual perversity of the movie, which strikes a much louder chord with audiences of any time, I'm guessing. From the bizarre desire of an uncle for his niece, and the strange machinations to which he resorts in order to seduce her, to the menage a trois ending, I'd have to say if there's anything that's going to "entertain" a viewer today, this would be more likely. That one image of the maid biting the cousin's hand is surely as provocative, from a cinematic viewpoint, as any other image in the filmSadly, the revolutionary quality of this film is lost on someone who may have read too many books and seen too many movies over the course of a lifetime.
April 4, 2009

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Viridiana (DE)
  • Viridiana (UK)
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