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The Exterminating Angel (1962)

El ángel exterminador (original title)
Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy | 21 August 1967 (USA)
The guests at an upper-class dinner party find themselves unable to leave.

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Writers:

(screenplay by), (story by) | 1 more credit »
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3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
José Baviera ...
Augusto Benedico ...
Antonio Bravo ...
Sergio Russell
...
César del Campo ...
Alvaro, Coronel; Colonel
...
Silvia
...
Enrique García Álvarez ...
...
Juana Avila
Nadia Haro Oliva ...
...
Xavier Loyá ...
Francisco Avila
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Storyline

After a lavish dinner party, the guests find themselves mysteriously unable to leave the room... and over the next few days all the elaborate pretenses and facades that they've built up by virtue of their position in society collapse completely as they become reduced to living like animals... Written by Michael Brooke <michael@everyman.demon.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

surrealism | guest | dinner | room | party | See All (73) »

Taglines:

The degeneration of high society! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Fantasy

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 August 1967 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Exterminating Angel  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Luis Buñuel the title came from the Bible but it was also a reference to both a Spanish cult, the apostolics of 1828, and a group of Mormons. See more »

Goofs

After the butler trips in the dining room, the lady of the house follows him into the kitchen. While they speak the boom mic can clearly be seen at the bottom of the screen, extending out from under a table. See more »

Quotes

Rita Ugalde: I believe the common people, the lower class people, are less sensitive to pain. Haven't you ever seen a wounded bull? Not a trace of pain.
[Creo que la gente del pueblo, la gente baja, es menos sensible al dolor. ¿Usted ha visto un toro herido alguna vez? Impasible]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Tierra (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Sonata No. 6
(uncredited)
Music by Pietro Domenico Paradisi
Played on piano
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
still one of the top comedies about utter frustration
20 August 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The Exterminating Angel, what a movie- I've seen it twice now and each time it went against (in the best possible way) my better logic. It's a work that's the product of a kind of madman place, and it stays impressive forty plus years later due to its humor. Like Dr. Strangelove, or maybe more so akin to a Kafka work submerged in Catholic plague, the film subverts expectations. At the start of the film, Luis Bunuel makes it clear as day that his only explanation is that its nonsense. If one were wanting to dig on a pure comedy level it would work because the dialog is so strange and out of place (if taken seriously) but consistently so, and the timing of the sort of downward spiral that plunges into the denouement (if there is one). If one were wanting to look at it for more of the technical reasons, its peerless- Bunuel has a steady, carefully controlled camera, quite tradition at times. But then at others he reveals his revealing, awesome flashes of symbolism, which may or may not fly over some viewers heads.

And then, if one were to go so far, on an existential level it goes into the realm of nothingness, a kind of study of how a nonsensical existence, trapped for reasons not made clear to the viewer (barely to the rich cast of bourgeois, a running gag almost), which also calls in the Kafka aspect. By the hand of a surrealist comes a deadpan satire, and it almost becomes a dark fable (the Catholic aspect to the film) by the end. It's a rather shocking film on the first try, which is why it probably had some controversy when it first opened. Giving it another chance, the film works better, on a more sensory level almost. This is the kind of film where you're either scratching your head and turning it off midway through, or laughing (while in the grips of cringing perhaps) and in a weird awe. One of Bunuel's very best Mexican films.


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