What Have I Done to Deserve This?

Overview

Pedro Almodóvar's 1984 black comedy What Have I Done to Deserve This? comes to DVD from Wellspring. Presented with a widescreen 1.66:1 anamorphic transfer and Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound in Spanish. English subtitles are accessible. There are no special features on this disc, but this is the first time the film has been made available on DVD in North America.
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Overview

Pedro Almodóvar's 1984 black comedy What Have I Done to Deserve This? comes to DVD from Wellspring. Presented with a widescreen 1.66:1 anamorphic transfer and Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound in Spanish. English subtitles are accessible. There are no special features on this disc, but this is the first time the film has been made available on DVD in North America.
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Special Features

16 x 9 anamorphic 1.66:1 presentation; 5.1 mix; Subtitle control; Almodovar filmography; Weblinks; Reverse spiral dual layer image quality
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Wheeler Winston Dixon
What Have I Done to Deserve This? is a hilarious Pedro Almodóvar film about a spectacularly dysfunctional family living in Madrid. As is typical with early Almodóvar, the plot twists come thick and fast, and the entire film cheerfully teeters on the edge of insanity; indeed, this film is far more accessible and humane than many of the director's later works. Clearly, Almodóvar is drawing in this film to some degree on his own chaotic past. Born in the small town of Calzada de Calatrava, Almodóvar made his way to Madrid in 1968 and initially supported himself by selling used items in a flea market. Unable to attend film school, he took a job with the phone company, saved his salary, and eventually purchased a Super-8 camera. Almodóvar made a series of bizarre and entirely unconventional short films with his friends until he shot his first feature, Pepi, Luci, Bom y Otras Chicas del Montón (1980, aka Pepi, Luci, Bom and Other Girls Like Mom). Shot in 16 mm, the film was then blown up to 35 mm and became an underground hit, something like John Waters' breakthrough film, Pink Flamingos (1972). In What Have I Done to Deserve This?, Almodóvar chronicles the intersecting lives of speed-addicted domestic Gloria (Carmen Maura) and her husband, Antonio (Ángel de Andrés López), whose sons are prostitutes and drug dealers. Grandmother is mentally incompetent, Antonio is a Nazi sympathizer involved a plot of forge Hitler's nonexistent diaries, and the next-door neighbor is call girl Cristal (Verónica Forqué), who does little to ease Gloria's plight. All of this is played entirely for laughs, and somehow, it all works, making the characters in the film at once sympathetic, hilarious, and buffoonish, with the end result that the film resembles nothing so much as a live-action cartoon. Almodóvar's comic pacing never flags, unlike some of his later films, and he seems cheerfully at home in these lunatic surroundings, delivering one of the most satisfying and outrageous comedies of his long career. As he began to take his work more seriously, he lost much of his comic assurance; here, as a near-punk filmmaker, he creates a world of decadent exuberance that brims with contagious goodwill and absurdity. One of Almodóvar's best films, What Have I Done to Deserve This? is an excellent introduction to Almodóvar's work as a whole, and a reminder of a time when he did not take his work as seriously (often with unfortunate results) as he now does.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/9/2003
  • UPC: 720917538723
  • Original Release: 1984
  • Rating:

  • Source: Fox Lorber
  • Aspect Ratio: Vistavision (1.66:1)
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo, Dolby Digital Surround
  • Language: Español
  • Time: 1:41:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Carmen Maura Gloria
Angel de Andrés Lopez Antonio
Verónica Forqué Cristal
Gonzalo Suárez Miguel
Chus Lampreave Grandmother
Juan Martinez Toni
Amparo Soler Leal Patricia
Luis Hostalot Polo
Kiti Manver Juani
Technical Credits
Pedro Almodóvar Director, Screenwriter
Roman Arango Art Director
Bernardo Bonezzi Score Composer
Angel Luis Fernandez Cinematographer
Herve Hachuel Executive Producer, Producer
Pin Morales Art Director
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Kendo [4:56]
2. Forgery [4:01]
3. The Domicile [4:37]
4. Conjugal Bliss [3:52]
5. Grace Kelly [3:00]
6. Business [2:46]
7. Miguel [4:19]
8. Morning Ablutions [3:05]
9. Drunkards [3:14]
10. The Lizards [5:34]
11. Adoption [2:58]
12. An Exhibitionist [4:41]
13. Decency [1:20]
14. Kleptomania [1:56]
15. Berlin [6:00]
16. An Old Flame [4:57]
17. Drug Addict [2:38]
18. At Juani's [3:57]
19. The Police [4:12]
20. Poor Thing! [4:23]
21. Wallpaper [3:15]
22. Therapy [3:22]
23. Alone [5:14]
24. Reunited [4:14]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play
   Scene Access
   Disc Setup
      Dolby Stereo 2.0
      Dolby 5.1 Surround
      Subtitles: On
      Subtitles: Off
   Almodovar Filmography
   Weblinks
   DVD Production Credits
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