The Garden of Delights

El jardín de las delicias, also known as The Garden of Delights in English language cinema, is a 1970 Spanish drama film co-written and directed by Carlos Saura.

El jardín de las delicias
Directed byCarlos Saura
Produced byElías Querejeta
Written byCarlos Saura
Rafael Azcona
StarringJosé Luis López Vázquez
Music byLuis de Pablo
CinematographyLuis Cuadrado
Edited byPablo González del Amo
Release date
  • 5 November 1970 (1970-11-05) (Spain)
Running time
90 minutes

The film was censured by contemporary Spanish Censorship because of its Franco bourgeois satire and Spanish Civil War references.

Plot summary

Antonio Cano, 45 years old, is an important businessman who was severely injured in a car accident. Because of this, he is temporarily paralyzed and suffers memory loss. His family, friends and business associates all try to recreate scenes from his life in order to revive his memory which, little by little, does begin to return. Each day Antonio is placed in his beautiful garden where he relives many memories, both real and imagined.

The name is a reference to The Garden of Earthly Delights.

Cultural Significance

All of the striking scene changes and radical imagery are metaphors for the suppression and suffering of Spanish people under in Francoist Spain, who could only speak out about their plight by means of allegorical films/stories such as El jardín de las delicias.


  • José Luis López Vázquez as Antonio
  • Luchy Soto as Luchy
  • Francisco Pierrá as Don Pedro
  • Esperanza Roy as Nicole
  • Antonio Acebal
  • Alberto Alonso as Tony
  • Eduardo Calvo
  • Antonio Canal as Friend 3
  • Lina Canalejas as Tía
  • Roberto Cruz
  • Ignacio de Paúl
  • Luisa Fernanda Gaona
  • José Nieto as Friend 1
  • Yamil Omar
  • Mayrata O'Wisiedo as Nurse
  • Julia Peña as Julia
  • Luis Peña as Friend
  • Marisa Porcel
  • Porfiria Sanchíz as (voice) (as Porfiría Sanchís)
  • Charo Soriano as Actress
  • Gloria Berrocal as (uncredited)
  • Geraldine Chaplin as (uncredited), she appears on church
  • Luis de Pablo as (uncredited)
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