The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972)
"Le charme discret de la bourgeoisie" (original title)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Fantasy  |  22 October 1972 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 25,516 users   Metascore: 93/100
Reviews: 67 user | 106 critic | 12 from

A surreal, virtually plotless series of dreams centered around six middle-class people and their consistently interrupted attempts to have a meal together.


(as Luis Bunuel)


(scenario) (as Luis Bunuel) , (in collaboration with)
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »



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


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama | Fantasy


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

22 October 1972 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$800,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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


$198,809 (USA) (1 December 2000)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The original title of the film was 'Bourgeois Enchantment'. See more »


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


Rafael Acosta: Finally, if you think about it, the only solution to starvation and poverty is in the hands of the army. You'll realize it in Miranda, when you have to open your pretty thighs to an infantry battalion.
See more »


Referenced in A Decade Under the Influence (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

The Empty, Hypocrite and Pointless Existence of the Bourgeoisie Class
8 May 2009 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

In Paris, the ambassador Don Rafael Acosta (Fernando Rey) of the South American country Miranda, who is also an smuggler of cocaine, comes to a dinner part in the house of Henri (Jean-Pierre Cassel) and Alice Sénéchal (Stephane Audran) with their common friends M. Thevenot (Paul Frankeur), his wife Simone Thévenot (Delphine Seyrig) and her sister Florence (Bulle Ogier) but on the day before the scheduled. Henri is not at home and they invite Alice to go with them to a restaurant close to her house, but an incident does not allow them to have meal together in the place. They reschedule another meal together many times, but problems occur in every occasion and they do not succeed in their intent.

"Le Charme Discret de la Bourgeoisie" is one of the funniest movies of the master of the surrealism Luis Buñuel. This intellectual director was a great critic of the values of the Bourgeoisie Class and this movie is a witty joke, blurring the fears this class with reality and nightmare, and open to the most different interpretations. The empty, hypocrite and pointless existence of the Bourgeoisie Class is highlighted by the shallow interest of the characters in meal, sex, etiquette and money and their final journey to nowhere; or the behavior of the disloyal ambassador that betrays his friend having a love affair with his wife; smuggles cocaine using his diplomatic immunity; or shoots the toy of a terrorist in front of the Embassy of Miranda. Further, in 1972, the countries of South America lived under military dictatorship with many exiled people living in Paris, and the arrogant Don Rafael Acosta is hilarious denying the truth about his country. Buñuel does not spare the church in his satire, with the funny Monsignor Dufour trying to interfere in every subject without the appropriate knowledge. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "O Discreto Charme da Burguesia" ("The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie")

22 of 26 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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