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

7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 21,263 users   Metascore: 93/100
Reviews: 64 user | 100 critic | 12 from Metacritic.com

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), (in collaboration with)
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Title: The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972)

The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972) on IMDb 7.9/10

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Cast

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

Plot Keywords:

dream | class | dinner | heroin | flashback | See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Fantasy

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

22 October 1972 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

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  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Luis Buñuel:  [insects]  Cockroaches emerge out of the piano during the torture scene in prison See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

[Bishop Dufour is being introduced to the ambassador from Miranda]
Bishop Dufour: I'm delighted to meet you. We have an important mission in Bogota.
Rafael Acosta: Bogota is in Colombia.
Bishop Dufour: That's right, Colombia. Sorry, I got mixed up. I've never been to Miranda, but I hear it is a magnificent country: the Great Cordillera, the pampas...
Rafael Acosta: The pampas are in Argentina, monsignor.
Bishop Dufour: The pampas. Of course. I should've known that. Recently I saw a book on Latin America. There were photos of your ancient pyramids.
Rafael Acosta: Our pyramids? We have...
[...]
See more »

Connections

References The Exterminating Angel (1962) See more »

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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 :-)


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