|Music by||Gustavo Pittaluga|
|Edited by||Pedro del Rey|
|Distributed by||Films Sans Frontières|
Cannes Film Festival
A novice named Viridiana (
Don Jaime is a recluse living on a neglected farm with a few servants: Ramona (
On her last night Viridiana, grateful for her uncle's longtime financial support, reluctantly complies with his odd request for her to don his wife's wedding gown. When Ramona informs her that Don Jaime wants to marry her, she's aghast, and her uncle seems to drop the idea. Ramona secretly drugs Viridiana's drink and Don Jaime carries the unconscious girl to her room intending to rape her, but at the last minute he stops. However, the next morning he lies and tells her that he "took her virginity," so she cannot return to her convent. When she insists that she must go back, he confesses that he lied, leaving her uncertain about what had happened.
At the bus stop, the authorities prevent her from leaving. Her uncle has hanged himself, leaving his property to her and his illegitimate son Jorge (
When Viridiana and Jorge leave for a few days to take care of some business, the paupers break into the house. At first, they just want to look around, but faced with such bounty, they degenerate into a drunken, riotous bunch and party to the strains of
The rightful owners return earlier than expected and find the house in shambles. The miscreants excuse themselves one by one and leave. Jorge confronts one of them, who pulls a knife. Another beggar strikes his head with a bottle, knocking him out. Viridiana enters the room and hastens to help Jorge who is lying on the floor. The first man grabs her. As Viridiana resists sexual assault, Jorge regains consciousness. He has been tied up, but manages to bribe one beggar to kill the would-be rapist. The police finally arrive.
Viridiana is a changed woman and young Rita burns her crown of thorns. Wearing her hair loosely, Viridiana knocks on Jorge's door, but finds Ramona with him in his bedroom. As Ashley Beaumont sings Shimmy Doll on the record player, Jorge tells Viridiana that they were only playing cards and urges her to join them: "You know, the first time I saw you, I thought, my cousin and I will end up shuffling the deck together."