Buñuel had plans to film Matthew Gregory Lewis's controversial masterpiece, but finally handed the project over to his friend Kyrou. Buñuel is still credited as co-screenwriter (with Jean-Claude Carrière), and the production remains comparatively faithful to Lewis both in atmosphere and intention. The ending is more cynical (though much less horrific) in the film, while there are many simplifications and one very perverse interpolation; but the character of Ambrosio (a pious clerical superstar who is damned by a sudden all-engulfing sexual passion) remains the centrepiece. The problem with the film is that nobody can shoot a Buñuel script quite like Buñuel, and elements that might have become gold in the hands of the master tend to be flat. Still, there are few enough adaptations of Gothic novels, and this one is more intricate and intelligent than most.