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El Vicio y La Virtud (1975 film)

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El Vicio y La Virtud
Directed byFrancisco Lara Polop
Written byFrancisco Lara Polop
Guy de Maupassant
StarringLynne Frederick
Teresa Gimpera
Juan Ribó
Music byJosé Nieto
Alfonso Santisteban
CinematographyCarlos Suárez
Edited byMargarita Ibáñez
Fausto Reguera
Distributed byCalixto Pérez Molpeceres
Release date
Running time
98 min

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El Vicio y La Virtud , also known by the title The Vice and Virtue in English, is a 1975 Spanish drama romantic film, directed by Francisco Lara Polop.


Fresh out of convent school, sixteen-year-old Rosa is spending the summer at a lavish mansion with her widowed mother, Lina. Along the way, Rosa and her mother are accompanied by two young bachelor men, Alberto and Miguel. Alberto effortlessly pursues Rosa's mother, who is essentially making a living off rich lovers, into a liaison. Miguel attempts to pursue Rosa, going to the point of agressivly flirting with her and kissing her without her consent, but she is unwilling to give herself to him. One night while they are out dancing at a disco club, Miguel makes another forceful pass at Rosa to which she rejects. This enrages Miguel who scolds her for “playing games” and “acting innocent”. Rosa insists that she doesn’t understand what he means, to which Miguel angrily tells her that there are many things in life that separate them and that he shouldn’t have to ask her to marry him to consummate their relationship. After this confrontation, Miguel and Rosa distance themselves from each other.

The next day when Lina confronts Rosa about the dispute between her and Miguel, Rosa lies and tells her mother that Miguel proposed to her. Lina tells her daughter that she’s too young to get married and that Miguel’s proposal was insincere and is likely a ploy to seduce her into having pre-marital sex with him. Lina corroborates her theory with the fact that Miguel is of higher class than they are, and that he will likely marry someone with the same fortune as his. One day, one of Lina's lovers, Alfonso, abruptly shows up to the mansion and spends the night. Rosa catches her mother in a compromising position and realizes the salacious manners in which her mother conducts herself. Disturbed by her mother’s code of conduct, Rosa tells her mother the truth about what Miguel did to her and pleads with her to sell the house and move away in order to start fresh and live a more respectable lifestyle; Rosa also threatens to run away if her mother does not comply with her request. Lina rejects her daughter’s plea and admits to her that while she is a tramp, she is no better or worse than rich women who seek out their own lovers. She further tells her daughter that life is the way it is and that she'd have to accept it. Lina later informs Rosa that she will be hosting a party at their house and that Lina has invited Miguel so she can talk to him about Rosa. However, Rosa asks her mother not to telling her that she has moved on from it.

At the party, Rosa and Miguel get off to a good start and things seem to be cordial between them. But things take a turn when Miguel takes Rosa away from the party into her bedroom attempting to engage in sexual intercourse with her. He manages to partially disrobe Rosa before she pushes him away in fear and disgust. Miguel storms out of Rosa’s room telling her that he is done with her. Overcome with emotions, Rosa steals her mothers sleeping pills (barbiturates) and attempts suicide by overdosing herself, leaving behind a note. When Lina goes to check on Rosa, she finds her bedroom door locked and has Miguel climb into her bed chambers from the balcony. He discovers Rosa on her bed passed out and finds the note in her hands (which he conceals). A doctor at the party revives Rosa by giving her the saltwater remedy (which makes her to vomit and ejects the barbiturates from her body).

While Rosa is in bed recuperating, Miguel goes to her bedside and Rosa reaches for him. Miguel embraces Rosa and declares his love for her.


  • Lynne Frederick as Rosa
  • Teresa Gimpera as Lina
  • Juan Ribó as Miguel Noceda
  • Miguel Ayones as Alberto
  • José Vivó as Lozano
  • Manuel de Blas as Regueiro
  • Eva León as Berta
  • Fernando Hilbeck as Santiago
  • Teresa Almendros as Maruja
  • Pilar Corrales as Marisa


Lynne Frederick’s character was 16, but Frederick herself was nearly 21 years old when she was cast in the film. The film is noticeable for Frederick receiving top billing for the first time in her career, as well as her first film where she underwent a style change with her long brown hair being fashioned into a Farrah Fawcett inspired feather fringe.

Filming took place in Spain from July to August 1975.


Theatrical Release[edit]

The film received a limited theatrical release in Spain in late 1975. It was slated to receive an English release and was even dubbed, but it never materialized.

Home Video Release[edit]

The film was released on Betamax and VHS in Spain in the late 70s and early 80s. The film has been out of print since and physical copies are hard to find.

As of 2019, the film has yet to surface on DVD.


Upon release, the film received mixed to favorable reviews from critics who praised Fredericks performance.


In the film Rosa is seen wearing various shades of light pink as a symbol of her youth and femininity. It also ties in with her name which can be an alternate translation for the color "pink" in Spanish. Occasionally she wears white, which symbolizes her purity and angelic nature.

Another one of the film's themes is Lina being the symbol of vice, and Rosa being the symbol of virtue. Rosa's name is also a reference to William Dunbar's poem "The Sweet Rose of Virtue", with Rosa (alternate translation for Rose in Spanish) representing the passage "sweet rose of virtue and of gentleness..." from Dunbar's poem.


With the increase of Lynne Frederick's newfound cult following in recent years, the movie has become a fan favorite and enjoyed a second life on the internet with fans praising Frederick's acting and beauty in the film. Many noting the film as her best work.

The film has been frequently associated with Frederick's other Spanish film, A Long Return, which was released the same year. Despite the popular demand for both films, neither have received a DVD release.

External links[edit]

Wikipedia page for the 1975 Spanish film, El Vicio y La Virtud[edit]

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