Down 14,269 this week

Simon of the Desert (1965)
"Simón del desierto" (original title)

Not Rated  |   |  Short, Comedy, Drama  |  9 February 1970 (Mexico)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.0/10 from 6,041 users  
Reviews: 60 user | 42 critic

Simon, a deeply religious man living in the 4th century, wants to be nearer to God so he climbs a column. The Devil wants him come down to Earth and is trying to seduce him.



(based on a story by), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
0Check in

On Disc

at Amazon

IMDb Picks: May

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in May, sponsored by COVERGIRL.

Visit the IMDb Picks section

Related News

The Golden Donkey Locarno 2011

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 46 titles
created 29 May 2012
a list of 25 titles
created 24 Aug 2012
a list of 26 titles
created 26 Aug 2012
a list of 22 titles
created 13 Feb 2014
a list of 28 titles
created 1 month ago

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Simon of the Desert (1965)

Simon of the Desert (1965) on IMDb 8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Simon of the Desert.

User Polls

2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »


Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Milky Way (1969)
Certificate: M Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Two drifters go on a pilgrimage from France to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. Along the way, they hitchhike, beg for food, and face the Christian dogmas and heresies from different Ages.

Director: Luis Buñuel
Stars: Paul Frankeur, Laurent Terzieff, Alain Cuny
Tristana (1970)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

When the young woman Tristana's mother dies, she is entrusted to the guardianship of the well-respected though old Don Lope. Don Lope is well-liked and well-known because of his honorable ... See full summary »

Director: Luis Buñuel
Stars: Catherine Deneuve, Fernando Rey, Franco Nero
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

One of Luis Bunuel's most free-form and purely Surrealist films, consisting of a series of only vaguely related episodes - most famously, the dinner party scene where people sit on ... See full summary »

Director: Luis Buñuel
Stars: Jean-Claude Brialy, Adolfo Celi, Michel Piccoli
Belle de Jour (1967)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A frigid young housewife decides to spend her midweek afternoons as a prostitute.

Director: Luis Buñuel
Stars: Catherine Deneuve, Jean Sorel, Michel Piccoli
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A surrealistic film with input from Salvador Dalí. Director Luis Buñuel presents stark, surrealistic images including the slitting open of a woman's eye and a dead horse being pulled along ... See full summary »

Director: Luis Buñuel
Stars: Pierre Batcheff, Simone Mareuil, Luis Buñuel
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

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

Director: Luis Buñuel
Stars: Silvia Pinal, Jacqueline Andere, Enrique Rambal
Viridiana (1961)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Viridiana, a young nun about to take her final vows, pays a visit to her widowed uncle at the request of her Mother Superior.

Director: Luis Buñuel
Stars: Silvia Pinal, Fernando Rey, Francisco Rabal
Nazarin (1959)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Nazarin is a priest, attempting to living a pure and honest life strictly according to Christian principles - but others only show him distrust and hatred, apart from the local prostitute...

Director: Luis Buñuel
Stars: Marga López, Francisco Rabal, Rita Macedo
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Just after boarding a train, much to the surprise of his fellow passengers, a man pours a bucket of water over a young girl on the platform. Over the next few hours he explains (and we see ... See full summary »

Director: Luis Buñuel
Stars: Fernando Rey, Carole Bouquet, Ángela Molina
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Celestine, the chambermaid, has new job on the country. The Monteils, who she works for are a group of strange people. The wife is frigid, her husband is always hunting (both animals and ... See full summary »

Director: Luis Buñuel
Stars: Jeanne Moreau, Michel Piccoli, Georges Géret
Los Olvidados (1950)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A group of juvenile delinquents live a violent and crime-filled life in the festering slums of Mexico City, and the morals of young Pedro are gradually corrupted and destroyed by the others...

Director: Luis Buñuel
Stars: Alfonso Mejía, Roberto Cobo, Estela Inda
The Young One (1960)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A jazz musician seeks refuge from a lynch mob on a remote island, where he meets a hostile game warden and the young object of his attentions.

Director: Luis Buñuel
Stars: Zachary Scott, Bernie Hamilton, Key Meersman


Cast overview:
Claudio Brook ...
Enrique Álvarez Félix ...
Brother Matías
Hortensia Santoveña ...
The Mother
Francisco Reiguera ...
Luis Aceves Castañeda ...
Enrique García Álvarez
Antonio Bravo ...
Enrique del Castillo ...
The Mutilated One
Eduardo MacGregor


Simon, a deeply religious man living in the 4th century, wants to be nearer to God so he climbs a column. The Devil wants him come down to Earth and is trying to seduce him. Written by Stephan Eichenberg <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Short | Comedy | Drama | Fantasy


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

9 February 1970 (Mexico)  »

Also Known As:

Simon of the Desert  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The film was released theatrically in Italy in 1975 as a double-bill with Dutchman (1967). See more »


When the coffin is floating through the desert toward Simon's pillar, the wire pulling the coffin can be seen several times. See more »


Simon: What's this dance called?
The Devil: "Radioactive Flesh." It's the latest - and the last!
See more »


Featured in Regarding Buñuel (2000) See more »


Himnos de los Peregrinos
Written by Raúl Lavista
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Oasis in the desert
15 April 2012 | by (India) – See all my reviews

It is typical of every religion to preach that self-sacrifice is the path to find God. That giving up all the "pleasures" of the world will purify man. Wonder where those teachings came from, but it is quite a common trait, no matter what religion. Embrace asceticism, rid yourself of the so-called "worldly pleasures" or "sins" and achieve your spiritual or religious goals! The ultimate path to salvation is here! The Catholic teachings are no different, and Luis Bunuel has always been highly critical of organized religion. He has dedicated so many of his films as tools to launch razor sharp, scathing attacks on these beliefs or the Church in general.

Loosely based on the real life story of the 5th century ascetic Saint Simeon Stylites, who spent 39 years atop a column ,"Simon of the Desert" is no exception. Picture a bearded monk, Simon (Claudio Brook), devoting his life to ascetic ways. He has already spent six years, six weeks and six days atop a pillar in the middle of the desert, praying for spiritual purification. He has gained a good amount of followers; mostly peasants, some priests and other village folk who believe that he has been blessed with special powers. They come to him for help or deliver some food from time to time. He is offered a brand new, taller pillar as a token of their faith and respect for his sacrifice. Simon continues his act of good faith, keeps delivering sermons and can even seemingly perform miracles.....

Sounds like a serious, religious, deeply meaningful, preachy biography of a Saint? Not in the Luis Bunuel universe! Trust Bunuel to turn something that sounds very deep and heavy into a darkly humorous, absurd mock-fest that is unrelenting and uncompromising in its ways so much so as to scandalize half the audiences who could be believers! So this whole God-fearing stuff takes a dramatic turn as some of the priests and peasants start getting critical of Simon and think it is all in vain. Simon is taken to be an arrogant man by some, and a few others think he is faking it. Simon himself begins to deem his actions futile on several occasions. What's more...the Devil shows up too, and tries to "tempt" Simon in his many ways by appearing in the form of a beautiful woman (Silvia Pinal) in an attempt to seduce Simon out of his saintly ways! Will Simon yield to the temptation? Bunuel takes only about 45 minutes to drive his point across and does it with his masterful touch. Accompanied by Gabriel Figueroa's beautiful camera-work, Bunuel makes unpredictable transitions from realism to surrealism to hilarious absurdism all in the miniscule time frame that was available to him. Apparently Gustavo Alatriste, the producer could no longer fund the film for some reasons and that is how Bunuel was forced to abruptly end the film (with a bizarre ending that has been criticized in several write-ups, but do not be does have its place..and its own charm based on the interpretation), while in reality he wished to add more material to the film. Whatever the reasons, the end result is a highly original, savagely funny and one of the most eccentric works of cinema from the twisted mind of Luis Bunuel.

Pay especially careful attention to certain scenes in which Simon mutters random religious ramblings on seeing some ordinary creatures like an insect (that has absolutely no idea of what is going on!) and later tries to do the same with an inanimate object but gives up! Or the scene in which Simon performs a miracle and gives a cripple a new pair of hands...and the eventual consequence of it! Or that brutally funny scene in which some of the priests don't seem to know the meaning of a particular Biblical reference. Every scene drips a lot of really clever writing....and there is no question that this is an exemplary work of genius from the great director.

Bunuel's pick of actors add to the amazing experience with their superb performances, especially Claudio Brook, Silvia Pinal and the midget Jesus Fernandez.

"Simon of the Desert" is the kind of film that leaves you wanting more. Another 45 minutes of running time perhaps? Check out this not waste anymore time.

Score: 10/10.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
The song at the club? rimbauddd64
Maybe it was the insomnia, but this was one strange movie. zegras_welfsin
Criterion DVD in Feb. EdwardDWoodSr
Which part does Gluber Rocha play in the film? nemmesius
Why was the film's release date changed to 1969? twelfthapostrophe
Mexican censors oknar1977
Discuss Simon of the Desert (1965) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: