8.0/10
28,391
70 user 109 critic

The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972)

Le charme discret de la bourgeoisie (original title)
PG | | Comedy | 22 October 1972 (USA)
A surreal, virtually plotless series of dreams centered around six middle-class people and their consistently interrupted attempts to have a meal together.

Director:

(as Luis Bunuel)

Writers:

(scenario) (as Luis Bunuel), (in collaboration with)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Won 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Recounted in flashback are the romantic perils of Mathieu, a middle-aged French sophisticate as he falls for his nineteen year-old former chambermaid Conchita.

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

This surrealist film consists of a series of only vaguely related episodes, most famously the dinner party scene in which people sit on lavatories round a dinner table, occasionally ... See full summary »

Director: Luis Buñuel
Stars: Jean-Claude Brialy, Adolfo Celi, Michel Piccoli
Viridiana (1961)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 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
Short | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí present seventeen minutes of bizarre, surreal imagery.

Director: Luis Buñuel
Stars: Pierre Batcheff, Simone Mareuil, Luis Buñuel
Tristana (1970)
Drama
    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
Short | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

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.

Director: Luis Buñuel
Stars: Silvia Pinal, Claudio Brook, Enrique Álvarez Félix
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
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
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 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
L'Age d'Or (1930)
Comedy | Drama | Horror
    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
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Paul Frankeur ...
...
Bulle Ogier ...
Florence
...
Alice Sénéchal (as Stephane Audran)
...
Julien Bertheau ...
...
Maria Gabriella Maione ...
Guerilla
Claude Piéplu ...
Muni ...
...
Sgt de police
François Maistre ...
Delecluze
...
Ministre
Ellen Bahl
Edit

Storyline

Several bourgeois friends planning to get together for dinner experience a succession of highly unusual occurrences that interfere with their expected dining enjoyment. Written by Ed Cannon <ecannon@mail.utexas.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

22 October 1972 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$800,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$12,864 (USA) (12 May 2000)

Gross:

$198,809 (USA) (1 December 2000)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

In an interview, co-writer Jean-Claude Carrière revealed he and Bunuel had a starting point for the story but then became stuck. After meeting with the Producer, Serge Silberman, Silberman gave them inspiration when he recounted a story of how he had run into two Brazilian friends in the streets of Paris. Silberman invited these friends to do dinner the following Tuesday, forgetting that he had another dinner that day. It happened so quickly the producer forgot to tell his wife. The two Brazilians and their wives turned up to the Silberman household on the Tuesday night after Mrs Silberman had eaten and settled down for the night, and was watching TV in her dressing gown when the doorbell rang. This real-life event was used in the film for a similar scene. See more »

Goofs

After sending the terrorist out of his apartment, Rafael's position in the windows changes between shots. See more »

Quotes

Peasant: Father? I want to tell you something.
Bishop Dufour: Then tell me, my child.
Peasant: I really don't like Jesus Christ. Even as a little girl I hated him.
Bishop Dufour: Such a good, gentle God? How is it possible?
Peasant: Want to know why?
Bishop Dufour: Let me tend to this sick man first, then we'll talk.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Settling the Score (2006) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

open up your ears and clean out your eyes
6 August 2001 | by (Amsterdam, Netherlands) – See all my reviews

A satire on everyone who's too big for their boots (or secretly wants 2 B), because they will not achieve the aims they pursuit and are ultimately doomed to be separated from their privileges when they wake up to reality. The story may also come across as remote parody on The Last Supper, but from the bourgeois point of view (who never really get their supper), in contrast with 'Viridiana' (1961, Buñuel), where the poor and disabled DO get their Last Supper. But I don't know much about the bible, so I'm probably wrong about that. It proves though that you don't have to be pious to appreciate Buñuel's films; in fact, you'd better NOT be.

The 'adventure' of the protagonists is a proverbial sinking ship, because they seem to know what they want, but never reach their goal, which is quite simple and basic (to eat), because they're so caught up in supposed etiquette. They have all kinds of knowledge about manners and gestures, but they cannot sit down and eat. That is actually a fairly clear message: 'look before you leap' or 'behold the priorities of life'.

What's more indiscrete: drinking a martini the wrong way, or selling cocaine abusing your position as an ambassador and fooling around in the garden while you're having friends over for diner? And are you ultimately discrete simply because nobody discovers your subversive or criminal actions? These guys just can't control their carnal and financial lust, while complaining: 'No system can give the masses the proper social graces. But you know me, I'm not a reactionary.' Blah.

Cinematographer Edmond Richard (Le Procès (1963, Welles), Fantôme de la liberté, Cet obscur objet du désir) exhibits his excellent collaboration with Buñuel's visions. Buñuel tried before to make it easier for audiences to understand the imagery by incorporating it in a dream sequence (e.g. Tristana, 1970), but he returns here (as in Belle de Jour, 1967) to the early days (1930) where the dream sequences were just put forward as if they were reality. You'll never know what is a dream and what is real. As always, there is no music here to guide you, apart from the ringing church bells. Just open up your ears and clean out your eyes and you'll not be disappointed.

One last remark: the cover of the video is definitely one of the most applicable and distinctive covers (Ferracci) ever made, as is the cover of 'Fantôme de la liberté' (an odd-faced statue of liberty with a limp torch) by Jean-Paul Commandeur and the cover of 'Cet obscur objet du désir'. Buñuel didn't worry about the surrealism in his own life. He seemed to live in harmony with all his contradictions and hypocrisy.

10 points out of 10 :-)


44 of 60 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?