Almodóvar's first film adaptation sees him lose most of novelist Ruth Rendell's plot but keeps the central idea.
Madrid: Victor, 20 year-old son of a prostitute, pursues Elena, a rich addict, to her apartment a week after having sex but she rejects him. During the argument her gun misfires and two nearby policemen, David and Sancho, investigate. Sancho is drunk after suspecting his wife Clara of infidelity and his wayward actions result in him and Victor wrestling with the gun which fires, hitting David and crippling him for life.
Released from prison, Victor discovers David is now a wheelchair paralympian married to a now-sober Elena; Victor gatecrashes a funeral attended by the couple where he meets Carla, Sancho's unhappy, abused wife and they start an affair. David warns Victor to back off but all five are entangled in a deceitful web with Victor holding the most shocking secret...
Shelf or charity shop? A keeper for the wonderful performances of Ángela Molina and the late José Sancho as Carla and Sancho who offset the colourless leads Javier Bardem, Francesca Neri and Liberto Raval as Victor. The film also marked the first time Penélope Cruz appeared in an Almodóvar film, in a cameo role as Victor's mother.