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The Exterminating Angel (1962)

El Ángel Exterminador (original title)
Unrated | | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy | 21 August 1967 (USA)
The guests at an upper-class dinner party find themselves unable to leave.

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(screenplay)
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3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Enrique Rambal ...
Claudio Brook ...
José Baviera ...
Augusto Benedico ...
Antonio Bravo ...
Jacqueline Andere ...
César del Campo ...
Rosa Elena Durgel ...
...
Enrique García Álvarez ...
Ofelia Guilmáin ...
Nadia Haro Oliva ...
Tito Junco ...
Xavier Loyá ...
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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!

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Fantasy

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 August 1967 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Exterminating Angel  »

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

The film's cinematographer, Gabriel Figueroa, frantically approached director Luis Buñuel once he had seen the final cut of the film with concerns that there were several instances of repetition, something he was sure was an editorial mistake. Buñuel assured him that the repetition was a creative choice and reminded him that he edited his own films. The director recalled that Figueroa remained skeptical that the repetition was purposeful and not an editing mistake even after his explanation. 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

Julio, Mayordomo; Steward: The help becomes more impertinent each day.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Bunuel and King Solomon's Table (2001) 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

 
An excellent surrealist fantasy
31 October 2005 | by (Beverley Hills, England) – See all my reviews

I can't say that I'm a big fan of director Luis Buñuel. While I admire his visual flair - his movies often lack backbone, and this brings them down. The Exterminating Angel is the first Buñuel movie that I've really enjoyed. I enjoyed it because I never got the impression that the point of this film was simply to be weird. Buñuel has found a premise - basically, a satire on the behaviour of the upper class - and lampooned it brilliantly. The key to this movie is setting up the central plot, and the director does such a good job of it that after a while; we don't care that the film is based on an idea that makes no sense at all, and are just able to run with it. The film follows a bunch of guests at a dinner party. At the end of the party, none of them make any effort to go home and after a while it becomes apparent to the party that they physically cannot leave the room. We then watch as the upper class, people who are used to sipping champagne and smoking expensive cigars are reduced to surviving in the most basic ways. They have to hack through the wall to find a water pipe and even begin eating paper to quench their hunger…

The satire works because the acting is just so different to the way that the upper class usually conduct themselves - either on screen or otherwise. The structure of the social classes is clearly defined by Buñuel's film also. This is the sort of thing that would really scare the rich, while other social classes have other things to worry about. Before the nightmare begins, various people are commenting on the conduct of one of their own who has had slightly too much to drink. This wouldn't worry anyone who isn't 'high society', but the fact that these people do care about it shows the difference in values between the classes. Buñuel directs the film with almost a complete lack of emotion towards the central ensemble - and this stood out to me as it really allows the film to be funny. It's almost like the director is laughing at the situation that he's put his cast of characters into, which suggests that the Spanish director isn't the biggest fan of the upper classes. There's a million and one ways that this film could be interpreted, and that is what makes it great. If you don't like films that don't make sense; this probably won't do much for you. However, I think that this is one of those films that need to be experienced; and I definitely recommend it.


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