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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 22,019 users   Metascore: 93/100
Reviews: 65 user | 101 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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Won 1 Oscar. Another 9 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Paul Frankeur ...
...
Bulle Ogier ...
Florence
...
Alice Sénéchal (as Stephane Audran)
...
Julien Bertheau ...
Milena Vukotic ...
Maria Gabriella Maione ...
Guerilla
Claude Piéplu ...
Muni ...
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 | boredom | rich couple | 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

In his autobiography, _My Last Sigh_, Luis Buñuel said he had difficulty finding a title for the film. On the last day of writing the script, he came up with _A bas Lénine, ou la Vierge à l'écurie_ - Down with Lenin, or The Virgin in the Manger. Someone suggested _Le Charme de la Bourgeoisie_, and the adjective "discret" was eventually added. Buñuel said he and co-writer Jean-Claude Carrière never once thought of the word "bourgeoisie" while working on the screenplay. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

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 »

Connections

Referenced in Metropolitan (1990) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Dinner Is Served
12 April 2005 | by (Biloxi, Mississippi) – See all my reviews

Director Luis Bunuel is often described as a surrealist, but the word misapplied in reference to his later works, where the the term absurdism is much more appropriate. Such is the case with the Academy Award-winning THE DISCREET CHARM OF THE BOURGEOISIE, which begins with four friends who arrive at their hosts' home only to discover they have arrived on the wrong night--a plausible situation. But before the film has run its course, Bunuel unravels his tale of a meal that never quite happens in the most unexpected ways imaginable.

The film works on several levels, mocking social conventions, the church, and eventually spilling its action into a series of overlapping nightmares in which various attempts to dine are frustrated by everything from the corpse of a restaurant manager in a nearby room to military maneuvers. On one memorable occasion, the friends are invited to dine and are seated around an elegant table--when a curtain suddenly rises behind them and reveals them to be seated on a stage before a hostile audience! The cast (which features Fernando Rey, Delphine Seyrig, Paul Frankeur, Bulle Ogier, Stephane Audran and Jean-Pierre Cassel as the constantly frustrated diners) plays with considerable aplomb, performing the most irrational scenes with a magnificent realism. When combined with Bunuel's absurdist story, the result is a disquieting yet often very funny discourse on frustrated appetites both real and imagined, and with many layers of incidental meaning along the way.

A word of caution to the uninitiated: Bunuel is not for those who seek a tidy plot line with clear-cut meanings. But if you come to it with an open mind, you'll find plenty of food for thought!

Gary F. Taylor, aka GFT, Amazon Reviewer


52 of 61 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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