Huevos de Oro


by Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

Bigas Luna has made a career out of odd films, and this is no exception to the rule. In terms of visuals it has kind of an Almodovar meets Salvador Dali meets Russ Meyer kind of thing going on, combining colorful and flamboyant locales with surrealistic dreams and breasts. In terms of source material, it's a blend of Scarface, Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead, and the Sydney Sheldon novel of your choice. Layered on top of all of that are the type of quirky characterizations and obsessions one might find in a Peter Greenaway movie, with a leading man who has to have a woman of precisely the correct weight, and gets off on drawing specific geometric patterns on his women.

I know that all of those things don't really go together, but Mr. Luna does not know that, which is what makes him a unique and oftentimes fascinating filmmaker.

As in Scarface, a working class guy seems to have an impossibly big dream. He wants to be the biggest developer in Spain and to build its tallest skyscraper. Never mind that he's an uncultured boor doing military service in Africa and knows nothing about either business or architecture. He has one very important talent - women like him. A lot. The name of the film is "Golden Balls," and that reflects the fact that he turns his testicles into success. An aspiring model/actress (Maribel Verdu) is so in love with him that she's willing to sleep with important clients and bankers to advance his career. He has such a complete hold on her that he calculates correctly that she will continue to serve him if he marries another woman, so he marries the daughter (Maria de Medieros) of a big-time banker who can help his career. You'd think his world would start to collapse when his wife and mistress find out about the various arrangements, but it turns out that they are soulmates, and fall in love with one another, while also continuing to have sex with him, sometimes in a threesome.  At this point, he has everything a man could want. Starting with no education nor money nor family connections, he has achieved power and wealth and has two great women who love him and agree to share him.

Now that he has reached his apex, he is finally cruising for a fall, and that's what the rest of the film is about. He loses his mistress in an automobile crash, and also loses his manhood in the accident. Without his golden balls, he is nothing. Trying to recapture his studly mojo, he tries to replace the mistress with a hot floozy (Raquel Bianca), thinking his wife will also accept her as a replacement in their threesome. The wife finds this idea ludicrous, and divorces him. He then loses the financing for his buildings, and loses his best friend in an industrial accident. He ends up living in Miami with the floozy in a run-down little house, but he can't even hold on to her because of his impotence, so she ends up having an affair with their gardener (Benicio del Toro!!). To add insult to injury, the floozy is actually paying the gardener to give her a good hearty rogering from time to time. The second half of the movie ends up just as the first half did - with a sexual threesome, but this time it is Bardem sitting and watching, impotent and helpless, while the robust gardener pleasures his woman - and gets paid for it.

The end.

That plot summary only reflects the Sydney Sheldon and Ayn Rand portions of the film's influences. You probably realize that the plot above is the essence of every book by Sydney Sheldon (not to mention Arthur Hailey and Harold Robbins), but if you also noticed a close kinship to Rand's The Fountainhead, give yourself an "A" for remembering your freshman "Survey of Literature" class. But all that is merely plotting, and that alone doesn't really convey the flavor of the film. The path to the end of the story is nowhere near as straightforward as I've led you to believe. Along the way are 15 minutes of sex scenes, drawn-out karaoke to a Julio Iglesias song, a surrealistic dream sequence, fey men prancing about in small bathing suits, and all sorts of obsessive talks about Rolex watches, smells, and women's precise weights.

There's plenty of symbolism playing on the whole correlation between his erections and his ... other erections, but it's so subtle that you might not be able to pick up on it without a Ph.D. in literature. See if you can spot the subtle link between the two in the frame below:

One of the sex scenes would have involved some graphic cunnilingus -  except that Bardem couldn't stop talking about business deals long enough to concentrate on Maribel Verdu's honeypot. Of course that seems normal compared to another scene where Bardem watched his wife and his mistress copulate, interrupting their passion to ask his wife if his beige shirt was ironed for his trip the next day.

As I indicated at the beginning of this essay, it's odd stuff. One thing you can grant to writer/director Bigas Luna is that he is unique. Golden Balls is so exaggerated and so far from real life that it's not even possible to determine whether it is supposed to be a morality play structured like a Sheldon-style melodrama or whether it is a dark parody of that kind of movie.

Actually, I'm not sure it really matters. Any movie with Maribel Verdu naked for five minutes at a time is OK by me.


* widescreen anamorphic, 2.33:1

* Spanish language

* optional English subtitles





  No major reviews online.


6.1 IMDB summary (of 10)













There is a full fifteen minutes of nudity, including a three-way sex scene with two women and another with two men!

  • Maribel Verdu - full frontal, rear, and breasts
  • Maria de Medeiros - breasts
  • Raquel Bianca - breasts and thonged bottom
  • Elisa Tovati - breasts
  • One unknown - breasts


Our Grade:

If you are not familiar with our grading system, you need to read the explanation, because the grading is not linear. For example, by our definition, a C is solid and a C+ is a VERY good movie. There are very few Bs and As. Based on our descriptive system, this film is a:


Who knows. It's one of those offbeat films that may work for you, but Luna is definitely an acquired taste.