The Devil’s Backbone

The Devil’s Backbone

Criterion Collection Edition #666

Directed by Guillermo del Toro • 2001 • Mexico, Spain
Starring Marisa Paredes, Eduardo Noriega, Federico Luppi

One of the most personal films by Guillermo del Toro, THE DEVIL’S BACKBONE is also among his most frightening and emotionally layered. Set during the final week of the Spanish Civil War, it tells the tale of a twelve-year-old boy who, after his freedom-fighting father is killed, is sent to a haunted rural orphanage full of terrible secrets. Del Toro expertly combines gothic ghost story, murder mystery, and historical melodrama in a stylish mélange that, like his later PAN’S LABYRINTH, reminds us the scariest monsters are often the human ones.

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The Devil’s Backbone
  • The Devil’s Backbone

    Directed by Guillermo del Toro • 2001 • Mexico, Spain
    Starring Marisa Paredes, Eduardo Noriega, Federico Luppi

    One of the most personal films by Guillermo del Toro, THE DEVIL’S BACKBONE is also among his most frightening and emotionally layered. Set during the final week of the Spanish Civil War...

Extras

  • THE DEVIL’S BACKBONE Commentary

    Recorded in 2004, this audio commentary features writer-director Guillermo del Toro.

  • Guillermo del Toro Introduction

    In this 2010 introduction, writer-director Guillermo del Toro provides some context for both THE DEVIL’S BACKBONE and many of the supplements included in the film’s Criterion release.

  • Summoning Spirits in THE DEVIL’S BACKBONE

    In this interview with Guillermo del Toro, conducted in 2013, the filmmaker and expert creature conjurer delves into the aesthetics and philosophies that brought to life one of his most beautiful and haunting achievements, the ghost Santi from THE DEVIL’S BACKBONE.

  • ¿Qué es un fantasma?

    This 2004 documentary by Javier Soto details the making of THE DEVIL’S BACKBONE and features interviews with writer-director Guillermo del Toro; director of photography Guillermo Navarro; and actors Eduardo Noriega, Marisa Paredes, and Federico Luppi.

  • Spanish Gothic

    This 2010 interview with writer-director Guillermo del Toro, conducted by Javier Soto, explores the influence of the Spanish Gothic genre on THE DEVIL’S BACKBONE and del Toro’s 2006 Academy Award–winning feature, PAN’S LABYRINTH.

  • Designing THE DEVIL’S BACKBONE

    To bring THE DEVIL’S BACKBONE to life, Guillermo del Toro collaborated with a crew of artists and craftsmen who provided the initial designs and prosthetics for the characters, effects, and art direction. This interview with the filmmaker, conducted in 2013, features those designs and del Toro’s ...

  • THE DEVIL’S BACKBONE Deleted Scenes

    Four deleted scenes from THE DEVIL’S BACKBONE, directed by Guillermo del Toro.

  • THE DEVIL’S BACKBONE Deleted Scenes with Commentary

    Four deleted scenes from THE DEVIL’S BACKBONE, featuring audio commentary by writer-director Guillermo del Toro.

  • Sketch, Storyboard, Screen

    These video pieces from 2004 provide side-by-side comparisons of writer-director Guillermo del Toro's initial thumbnail sketches, Carlos Giménez's production storyboards, and the corresponding scenes from THE DEVIL’S BACKBONE. (Please note that the last two videos do not include thumbnail sketches.)

  • Sebastiaan Faber on THE DEVIL’S BACKBONE

    In this interview, conducted in 2013, Spanish Civil War scholar Sebastiaan Faber, author of “Exile and Cultural Hegemony,” looks at the presence of the conflict in THE DEVIL’S BACKBONE and discusses the potency of its representation when filtered through fantasy.