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My Dearest Señorita

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Original title
Mi querida señorita
Running time
80 min.
Spain Spain
Jaime de Armiñán, José Luis Borau
Rafael Ferro
Luis Cuadrado
, , , , ,
El Imán / Incine / Impala
Comedy. Drama
Synopsis / Plot
Adela is a 43-year-old spinster who lives quietly alone in an isolated northern provincial Spanish village. With no other accomplishments of a "lady of rank" and a small annuity, she spends her days sewing and doing charity work. Never feeling particularly attracted to men, she is waited upon in her home by a faithful lady's maid named Isabelita, who adores her.

One day, the local bank manager starts to court Adela and sets his sights on marriage. Adela, repelled by the physical contact of her suitor, resolves, after an argument with her Isabelita over the situation, to consult a doctor. Adela fires Isabelita, but sees the doctor anyway. Adela discovers after the consultation that she is not a woman after all, but a man. The former Adela takes then a new masculine identity as "Juan", and moves from the village to Madrid.

Juan arrives in Madrid and accidentally meets Isabelita, the servant girl he fired when he was Adela. Juan searches for a job and a new purpose in his life with his new identity. Life is very hard in Madrid and Juan uses his sewing skills to bring him a small income and enable him to obtain a work permit. However, he has problems securing an identity card.

As Juan prospers, he falls in love with Isabelita, but denies himself consummation of their affair for fear of a poor sexual response. Eventually, Juan is able to fulfill his duties as a man and is successful with Isabelita. While making love to her, he warns that one day he will tell her a secret. Isabelita says then: "There is no need, señorita", showing that she has known for sometime his secret.
1972: Nominated for Oscar: Best Foreign Language Picture
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