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Death and the Maiden Photos

Movie Info

Paulina Escobar (Sigourney Weaver) is convinced that the guest (Ben Kingsley) her lawyer husband (Stuart Wilson) brings home is the same man who who kidnapped, tortured and raped her years ago. Holding him captive at gunpoint, she repeatedly attacks him and demands that he confess his crime. Her husband tries to stand by his wife and her claims, but he begins to doubt her story and the claims. She forces her husband to represent the guest in a mock trial that she devises.

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Critic Reviews for Death and the Maiden

All Critics (50) | Top Critics (11) | Fresh (41) | Rotten (9)

  • Even by their high standards, the performances of Weaver and Kingsley here are impressive, and Polanski ratchetts up the tension nicely. A chilling and thought-provoking piece.

    February 19, 2010 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Polanski certainly gets the maximum voltage and precision out of his story and actors, keeping us preternaturally alert to shifting power relationships and delayed revelations.

    February 19, 2010 | Full Review…
  • Kingsley shrewdly tantalizes the viewer about his identity, and gets to deliver the text's most riveting monologue at the end. The lesser-known Wilson may be the first among equals, impressing strongly as the equivocating husband.

    May 26, 2008
  • Polanski wisely never opens out the action from the remote clifftop house. In keeping things claustrophobic, close-up and ambivalent, he heightens the suspense (not to mention the sexual tension).

    January 26, 2006 | Full Review…
  • Roman Polanski's underappreciated 1994 thriller Death and the Maiden confronts a litany of moral conundrums regarding guilt, revenge, punishment, justice, and man's responsibility to himself and society.

    May 31, 2003 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Mr. Polanski treads lightly on the clumsier lines, and sustains tension by creating an elegant, unobtrusive dance with the camera.

    May 20, 2003 | Rating: 3.5/5

Audience Reviews for Death and the Maiden

  • Aug 25, 2008
    The truth is out there for anyone willing to persecute the guilty in charge.These crowds of people won't be accused of crimes and whatnot but of the utmost penalty,that of pleasure during the criminal process.Polanski reveals personalities under the skin and all three performances reflect a thunderous approach to a well-proportioned stage play.This adaptation did work up to a point,flawed as it so happens due to the theatricality of the original material.
    Dimitris S Super Reviewer
  • Feb 02, 2008
    A little gem from Polanski that no one saw. I haven't seen Sigourney Weaver act this well..ever. Kingsley is always great. I don't need to even say it.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Jan 03, 2008
    During a dictatorship in an unnamed latin american country, Paulina (Sigourney Weaver) was a dissident activist who was tortured in horrible ways and kept alive in order to confess the names of her comrades. Many years later, her husband arrives with a new friend, and she seems to recognize the stranger's voice as the man who inflicted her all that suffering. Gripping stage bound psychological thriller that grows in intensity with each passing minute and conveys all the agony, anxiety, fear and thirst for revenge of a martyr who's now having her turn on the reins. Excellent triad of actor.
    Pierluigi P Super Reviewer
  • Nov 01, 2007
    An excellent drama. Sigourney Weaver plays a disturbed, paranoid ex-political prisoner in an unnamed South American country, married to a lawyer (Stuart Wilson) heading an investigation into allegations of torture under the old regime. She believes she recognises a chance visitor to their home (Ben Kingsley) as a man who raped and tortured her during her incarceration. A fascinating game with constantly shifting alliances ensues as she attempts to extract a confession of guilt from her captive 'guest'. All three lead performances are superb but Stuart Wilson excels, oozing flawed dignity as the idealistic but cowardly husband.
    Stephen M Super Reviewer

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