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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) »


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 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

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.
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Connections

Referenced in Midnight in Paris (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
The Discreet Charm in México

I discovered surrealist cinema as an adult. Of course, there are such scenes and images in many films, but I saw the first complete surrealist movie as a grown up. It was "Belle de jour", a film by Luis Buñuel, whose work I knew since watching his "Robinson Crusoe" in my childhood. Buñuel had gone a long way since 1928's "Un chien andalou", made in France. He had gone into exile during the Spanish Civil War, first to the United States and finally to México, where he spent the rest of his life. But he made films in Europe now and then, and had regained his status as one of the masters of world cinema. Although he did not think much of his Mexican motion pictures, his masterpiece "El ángel exterminador" is my favorite of all his films. He once complained that Mexican actors were not able to convey the spirit of the "haute bourgeoisie", but what he did not take into consideration was that, if he made a film in México about the rich, he was dealing with something else, called "creole oligarchies." And in this sense, this farce of the 1960s' Latin American "filthy rich" is most accurate. Moreover, with his usual affectionate treatment of the bourgeois (something he rarely did with clergy, female characters, or street urchins), he created a most believable funny portrait of the Latino rich people, who do not know what is their origin, who they should "pay tribute to", or where they are headed, unlike their European ancestors. Here, a group of those characters, born in México, gather for dinner after an opera performance, but when the time comes to leave the house of the Nobiles they cannot leave the room where they reunited for gossiping after meal. There is no apparent reason they cannot leave, but there they stay for days, going back to a primitive state in which their dearest "discreet charm" (euphemism, the rule of the game, as in Renoir's 1939 film) vanishes. And when they are set free, and go to a church to thank the Lord... well, Buñuel sure knew how to make fun of them, with situations verging on the fantastic and funny lines of incoherent, silly or ridiculous dialogue. A wonderful movie, which is always fun to watch again, especially in a double bill with another gem, the last one Buñuel made in México: "Simón del desierto."


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