For a better experience on MUBI, update your browser.
3,110 Ratings

Tony Manero

Directed by Pablo Larraín
Chile, Brazil, 2008
Crime, Drama
  • Spanish
  • English


Santiago de Chile, 1978. In the midst of Pinochet’s dictatorship, Raúl Peralta, a man in his 50s, is obsessed with impersonating John Travolta’s character in Saturday Night Fever. And his dream of being recognized is about to become a reality when the national television announces a contest.

Our take

Pablo Larraín has been making politically cutting and darkly comic sharp autopsies of the past in his native Chile since this Quinzaine breakthrough. Tony Manero, a satirical psychological study and the first part of a thematic trilogy about life under Pinochet, is biting, confrontative cinema.

Tony Manero Directed by Pablo Larraín

Awards & Festivals

Cannes Film Festival

2008 | Directors' Fortnight

International Film Festival Rotterdam

2009 | Winner: KNF Award

Village Voice Film Poll

2008 | 2nd place: Best Undistributed Film

Critics reviews

Shooting in handheld 16mm with a cinema nervosa arsenal of whip pans, extreme shallow- or out-of-focus images, jump cuts, and fast-tracking follow shots, Larraín displays a Dardennes-style adherence to Raúl’s body, which becomes a site of insistent metaphor — “You’re lifeless,” the madman’s girlfriend claims halfway through the film, critiquing his penis for getting swollen but never hard — as the director equates sexual impotence and everyday fascism in the manner of ’70s Italian cinema.
December 13, 2016
Read full article
A good little bit of fiction and a fine movie about a killer, a little bit like Vincent Price’s SCREAM AND SCREAM AGAIN. Regardless of what they’ve set out to do, the result is “an entertainment,” and that should be good enough—we should be content with Castro’s gait and his stare, and with the story of a committed John Travolta impersonator who kills on the side, shot by committed Oleg Mutu (4 MONTHS…) impersonator, cinematographer Sergio Armstrong.
September 04, 2009
Read full article

Related films