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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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Writers:

(screenplay), (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:
...
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! See more »

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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The title was taken from a friend of Luis Buñuel, José Bergamín, who was writing a play with that title but never finished it. When Buñuel wanted to title his film, he asked for the rights of the title from his friend, but he answered that there was no trouble, because it was taken from the Bible, the Book of Revelation. 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

Carlos Conde; Doctor: [Seeing a box of drugs] You kept that here?
Edmundo Nobile: Every now and then we used to meet in this room - just friends - passing unforgetable hours together.
Carlos Conde; Doctor: Why didn't you show it to me?
Edmundo Nobile: I was frightened that the world would find out about it.
Carlos Conde; Doctor: What was used for pleasure can now be used to relieve pain.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Buñuel y la mesa del rey Salomón (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Waltz in E minor
(uncredited)
by Frederich Chopin
[Played on piano]
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
The Human Condition
12 September 2006 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I just saw this for the first time yesterday. Although the movie was made in 1962, it was a very grainy print, and I am assuming that this was deliberate - it looked as though we were looking at something from the 1920s. I liked this; it was all part of it. This was an amazing movie - and amazingly prescient - a metaphor for the human condition (not just the upper classes), our life on this planet, and how fragile it all is (the slightest pressure on resources, the slightest dislocation, and the whole edifice crumbles). The room they did not want to leave is this planet earth and our life on it. The guests are a metaphor for all of us, and we are very, very attached to life. When we are having a wonderful time, for sure we don't want to leave life and the planet - and even when we have made the most terrible mess of it (because we don't want to leave) and the whole thing has degenerated into fighting, bickering,destruction, hunger, thirst - we STILL don't want to leave. In the movie, as in the cycle of life, it is not until there is a reprieve when everything suddenly clicks back into how it was (reincarnation?)that they are able to leave. They go back to the Church - but that is no answer either, because the whole same thing happens over again. At the end, the sheep all go to the church - "lambs to the slaughter" (and English phrase - I am English).

It is an interesting parable for today's world: the rich (First World countries?) take for granted food and water -- until they experience the loss of it firsthand themselves (the Third World?), and then all the social castes and 'mores' which they (we) have built up, crumble - they fight each other, they hallucinate, they hunger, they thirst. Later, even once they are free of the room, we see fighting in the streets of the city, with troops firing on the civilian population. The movie was made in 1962: does any of this sound familiar in today's world of 2006 ?


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