Naked Tango

Director: Leonard Schrader
Screenwriters: Leonard Schrader

Institute History

  • 1991 Sundance Film Festival


In an attempt to alter her life, Stephanie, the bored wife of a wealthy Buenos Aires judge, manages to cleverly exchange her identity with a suicide victim. She becomes a mail-order bride, only to be thrust into the dark underworld of white slavery and prostitution. It is in this milieu that she meets Cholo, the brood-ing, suggestive, stark loner whose passion for tango runs as deep as his lust for blood. Drenched in the vivid colors of the Argentine night, Naked Tango is a complex drama, one that seduces with all the elements that make the dance it's named for so forbidding and intriguing.

The work of Leonard Schrader and David Weisman, the cre-ative team behind the writing and producing of Kiss of the Spider Woman, and inspired by Kiss novelist Manuel Puig, Tango is a dark tragedy of passion and poise. Vincent D'Onofrio and Mathilda May, as the two lovers, play their roles with stylized excess, which perfectly matches the thick atmosphere of the exotic setting. Schrader and Weisman spared no expense to achieve the film's ambiance, with enormous care going into the production design and cinematography. Tight and edgy, Naked Tango ignites the screen with an erotic battle of willpower.

— Alberto Garcia

Screening Details

As you use our Online Archives, please understand that the information presented from Festivals, Labs, and other activities is taken directly from official publications from each year. While this information is limited and doesn't necessarily represent the full list of participants (e.g. actors and crew), it is the list given to us by the main film/play/project contact at the time, based on the space restrictions of our publications. Each entry in the Online Archives is meant as a historical record of a particular film, play, or project at the time of its involvement with Sundance Institute. For this reason, we can only amend an entry if a name is misspelled, or if the entry does not correctly reflect the original publication. If you have questions or comments, please email [email protected]