Down 3,835 this week

The Milky Way (1969)
"La voie lactée" (original title)

M  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  15 March 1969 (France)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.7/10 from 4,657 users  
Reviews: 24 user | 29 critic

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.


0Check in

10 Best Back-to-School TV Shows

Dust off your varsity jacket and get excited for fall with our list of the 10 best back-to-school TV shows.

Visit our Family Entertainment Guide

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 26 titles
created 30 May 2012
a list of 22 titles
created 06 Nov 2012
a list of 25 titles
created 20 Mar 2013
a list of 40 titles
created 07 Mar 2014
a list of 35 titles
created 1 month ago

Related Items

Search for "The Milky Way" on

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: The Milky Way (1969)

The Milky Way (1969) on IMDb 7.7/10

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

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Milky Way.

User Polls

1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

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
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A young man and woman's honeymoon is cut short when the man learns that his mother has fallen ill back at home. The newlywed couple rush there to discover the other sons neglecting their ... See full summary »

Director: Luis Buñuel
Stars: Lilia Prado, Esteban Márquez, Luis Aceves Castañeda
L'Age d'Or (1930)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A surrealist tale of a man and a woman passionately in love with one another, but their attempts to consummate that passion are constantly thwarted by their families, the Church, and bourgeois society.

Director: Luis Buñuel
Stars: Gaston Modot, Lya Lys, Caridad de Laberdesque
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Buñuel's first "comeback" film since "L'Age d'Or" in 1930 (he made only a few musicals in the interim), "El Gran Calavera" concerns a family's attempts to change the patriarch's somewhat ... See full summary »

Director: Luis Buñuel
Stars: Fernando Soler, Rosario Granados, Andrés Soler
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
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
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
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The classical story of Robinson Crusoe, a man who is dragged to a desert island after a shipwreck

Director: Luis Buñuel
Stars: Dan O'Herlihy, Jaime Fernández, Felipe de Alba
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

After discovering he's being cheated on by his wife María, Quintin kicks her out of the house. Upon leaving, his wife confesses that their daughter Martha is actually not Quintin'd daughter... See full summary »

Director: Luis Buñuel
Stars: Fernando Soler, Alicia Caro, Fernando Soto
    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
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A surrealistic documentary portrait of the region of Las Hurdes, a remote region of Spain where civilisation has barely developed, showing how the local peasants try to survive without even the most basic utilities and skills.

Director: Luis Buñuel
Stars: Abel Jacquin, Alexandre O'Neill
Short | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Luis Buñuel


Cast overview, first billed only:
Paul Frankeur ...
Laurent Terzieff ...
Alain Cuny ...
L'homme à la cape / Man with cape
Bernard Verley ...
François Maistre ...
Le curé fou / French Priest
Claude Cerval ...
Le brigadier / Brigadier
Muni ...
La mère supérieure / Mother Superior
Julien Bertheau ...
Richard 'maître d'hôtel' / Maitre d'Hotel
Ellen Bahl ...
Madame Garnier
Agnès Capri ...
La directrice de l'institution Lamartine / Teacher
Michel Etcheverry ...
L'inquisiteur / The Inquisitor
Pierre Clémenti ...
Georges Marchal ...
Le jésuite / The Jesuit


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.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Comedy | Drama


M | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






| |

Release Date:

15 March 1969 (France)  »

Also Known As:

The Milky Way  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The stories in Voie lactée, La (1969) are based on real historical episodes. Luis Buñuel and Jean-Claude Carrière did extensive research for the film, primarily in the _Dictionary of Heresies_ by Abbé Pluquet. See more »


During the seen with the "free love" Catholics in the forest, the wide angle shots are taken during the day, while the close-ups and medium shots are clearly not during the day. See more »


Rodolphe, un étudiant protestant: Faith doesn't come to us through reason but through the heart
See more »


Featured in Buñuel: Atheist Thanks to God (2005) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Simply By Taking the Catholic View of History and Heresies, Bunuel Has Created a Work of Surrealism.
17 March 2009 | by (Cincinnati, OH, United States) – See all my reviews

It's not a film that has all the answers. It's a film that casts doubt on all the answers we've had. Early in the film we hear the line, "A religion without mystery is not a religion at all. A heresy that denies a mystery can attract the weak and the shallow, but can never blot out the truth." My ears perked up. I was keenly interested in a film that was going to confront both religion and its opposition head on.

Two modern-day travelers are on the road as the film opens, from Paris to Spain. It's the customary episodic framework of the poor enduring as transient vagabonds feeling purpose in heading in a particular direction. It's also the even more customary fable of the wandering adventurer and his companion in search of revelation and virtue. Spanish-born absurdist filmmaker Luis Bunuel juxtaposes these narrative customs into a sort of cinematic reality existing in a unique dimension. The pilgrims are contemporary but time and space chaperon them in a continual instant and an all-encompassed earth science.

The protagonists of blasphemy and tradition portray their ideals in age-old Palestine, in the Europe of the Middle Ages, in the Age of Reason, and in today's hotels and fashionable restaurants, and on its boulevards. The Holy Virgin, her son Jesus and his young brothers, an arrogant ecclesiastical headwaiter and his submissive workers, a bleeding child by the roadside, the pope facing a firing squad, the Whore of Babylon ambushing ramblers, the Marquis de Sade, the Jansenist fencing with the Jesuit, Satan himself decked out as a rock star, an overzealously formal schoolmarm and her programmed little students chanting anathemas, self-righteous bishops and demented priests on the lam, this panoramic cast of characters, in itself a smirking take-off of Hollywood's epic ensembles, somehow expresses the barren conceptions of Christian dissent. Is there such a thing as the Holy Trinity? Was Christ God, man, and Holy Ghost one after the other, at the same time, or was he invariably just God the Father disguised as a human, so as to be seen? Was Jesus solely the mortal embodiment of a supreme spirit? Was his anguish then just facade? Because if he experienced pain at the hands of mortals, was he a god? Was Christ merely a smidgen of God's psyche? Are we free to discern between the exploits of Jesus the man and the teachings of Christ the god? Was Christ indeed two men, one born of God the Father, the other of Mary the Mother? Did Mary become pregnant in the same manner that light exceeds through a window glass? Did Jesus have brothers?

As Buñuel conceives visual substance to these religious contemplations, he does so with far- flung ability in banter and farce. The escaped lunatic believes that Christ is in the host like the rabbit is in the pâté. The pope's death by firing squad is something we'll never see. The debate of doctrine by the hostile maître d' and his waiters is in the royal practice of slapstick comedy. The dueling clerics clanking swords for Jesuitical piety and Jansenistic sin are a comic rendition of the vintage MGM swashbuckling jousts pared down to knowingly meaningless and irrational argument.

However, side by side with the broad comical tone, Buñuel is here tussling with the inconsistencies between faith and faithlessness. The young heretic who dons the hunter's garb and shoots at the rosary receives it back from the hands of the Virgin Mary and lets tears cascade down his heretical face. Really, as Pierre tells Jean when lightning strikes, God knows all, but we don't know what he knows. Buñuel apparently favored scenes which could just be pieced together by the ends in the editing room, producing long, mobile wide shots which follow the action. He aggregates all of these significations and implications into a streaming, uninterrupted visual existence recognizing the curious obscurities of both the comformists to the approved form of Christianity and the professed believers who nonetheless maintain contrary theologies and reject church-prescribed doctrines, while prosecuting the dogmatic certitudes of both. How else could you do it? It's a concept for a film that could only befit a surrealist.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
This and Monty Python edmundhardy
Do you think I'd like this? withnothingunderneath
Ever be released on DVD?!?!?! digital_groove
Why not to open the door? kostbill
sources?? circus14
the innkeeper's lamp todtomorow
Discuss The Milky Way (1969) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: