Kiss of the Spider Woman (Portuguese: O Beijo da Mulher Aranha) is a 1985 American-Brazilian film which tells the story of two men in an Argentine prison during the 1970s military government — one a political prisoner, the other in prison for his homosexuality — who learn to respect each other. It stars William Hurt, Raúl Juliá and Sonia Braga, among others like José Lewgoy, Nuno Leal Maia, Fernando Torres and Miguel Falabella in minor roles.
The movie was adapted by Leonard Schrader from the Manuel Puig novel El Beso de la Mujer Araña and it was directed by Hector Babenco.
The story is a "movie within a movie," featuring Hurt episodically telling Juliá the plot of the movie "Kiss of the Spider Woman" made in Germany during the Second World War, sc. by the Nazis. Unlike most such internal presentations, it doesn't matter how the "movie within the movie" ends; the plot is what happens to the prisoners.
William Hurt won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his role, and the film was also nominated for Best Director, Best Picture and Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium.
A musical with the same title, also based on Puig's novel, was written by John Kander and Fred Ebb with book by Terrence McNally. It opened on Broadway on May 3, 1993, played 904 performances, and initially starred Brent Carver, Anthony Crivello and Broadway legend Chita Rivera. A second New York cast, featured Brian Stokes Mitchell, Howard McGillin and Vanessa Williams was also well-received.