The Exterminating Angel (1962)
"El ángel exterminador" (original title)

Unrated  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Fantasy  |  21 August 1967 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 18,574 users  
Reviews: 72 user | 63 critic

The guests at an upper-class dinner party find themselves unable to leave.



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3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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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 ...


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

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


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Parents Guide:





Release Date:

21 August 1967 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Exterminating Angel  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Out of all the films in Luis Buñuel's Mexican/Spanish film period, this is the only film he had complete creative control over. See more »


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 »


Julio, Mayordomo; Steward: The help becomes more impertinent each day.
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Spoofed in Muchachada nui: Episode #2.8 (2008) See more »


Sonata No. 6
Pietro Domenico Paradisi
Played on piano
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

An explanation? There is none.
23 October 2003 | by See all my reviews

That was what Luis Bunuel used to answer when asked about the meaning of one of his least accessible works.Much less linear than "Viridiana" -featuring the same actress Silvia Pinal-which precedes it,"El Angel exterminador" can be looked upon as an allegory.We find a lot of permanent features of the Bunuel canon in it though.

The fact that the guests cannot leave the luxury house will find an equivalent in "le charme discret de la bourgeoisie"(1972) when the five characters cannot have a good meal at the restaurant;the guests turning like lions in a cage echo to this strange picture of the five heroes of "charme discret" walking on an endless road.

This is the kind of movie that will have as many interpretations as there are users writing about it.And Bunuel would probably be the first to say that anyone is allowed to see his movie as he feels it in his soul -which is a word he would not certainly approve of though.

Another put-down of the bourgeoisie ,probably;As Charlie Chaplin would not have let an ice-cream fall on a poor woman's dress,Bunuel's wholesale massacre concerns the rich,the well-to-do.The house may be a metaphor for their world which they want to keep exactly as it is.But Bunuel soon scratches the varnish and after long hours,his powerful bourgeois are just men and rather hateful selfish cowards -the scene when they rush to get a glass of water.And as they cannot rely on themselves and on their pals,the only assistance can only come from above:so they promise God they will chant Te Deums, they will go to Lourdes and buy a washable rubber Virgin (sic).Surrealist pictures,which had been absent since "cela s'appelle l'aurore" (1955) come back for a while during one night,and they mainly deal with religion and heaven.The mystery of the night hours will come back in "le fantôme de la liberté" (1974)

The last pictures bring the missing link :the army ,shooting people (talking about a revolution?) ,as the bourgeois keep on singing(?) and praying(?)in the cathedral.

Recommended?Everything Bunuel did is crying to be watched.

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