7.2/10
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40 user 78 critic

La grande bouffe (1973)

NC-17 | | Comedy, Drama | 22 May 1973 (France)
A group of men hire some prostitutes and go to a villa in the countryside. There, they engage in group sex and resolve to eat themselves to death.

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Writers:

(scenario & adaptation), (scenario & adaptation) | 1 more credit »
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2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Marcello
...
Michel
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Philippe
...
Ugo
...
Andrea (as Andréa Ferreol)
Solange Blondeau ...
Danielle
Florence Giorgetti ...
Anne
Michèle Alexandre ...
Nicole
Monique Chaumette ...
Madeleine
Henri Piccoli ...
Hector
Maurice Dorléac
Simon Tchao ...
Le délégué de l'ambassade de Chine
Louis Navarre ...
Braguti
Bernard Menez ...
Pierre
Cordelia Piccoli ...
Barbara
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Storyline

Four successful middle-aged men Marcello, a pilot; Michel, a television executive; Ugo, a chef; and, Philippe, a judge go to Philippe's villa to eat themselves to death. After the first night, Marcello insists that women should join them. Three prostitutes make it through a day or two; Andrea, a local school teacher, stays to the end. The villa, the food, and a Bugati roadster are essential props. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Vulgar Vaudeville On An Epic Scale... A Mordant, Chilling, Hillarious Dirty Movie. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated NC-17 for some explicit sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

22 May 1973 (France)  »

Also Known As:

A Comilança  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Michel Piccoli's father Henri Piccoli plays a part in the movie, as well as his daughter Cordelia Piccoli. See more »

Goofs

After Philippe says to Nicole "actor incombit probatio", a crew member can be seen in the mirror. See more »

Quotes

Marcello: You should do a special menu. "A dinner offered by four Burgundian gentlemen to three nice Canterbury whores!"
Philippe: Ah, so they're whores, eh?
Michel: What did you expect?
Philippe: I've got a great menu idea. "The Whore Menu"! A sauté of fat and lean given by four gourmand gourmets, epicures for three young ladies, in twelve courses.
Marcello: That's it.
Philippe: Crayfish à la Mozart on a bed of rice à la Sully, with Sauce Aurora.
Marcello: Not bad.
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Connections

Featured in Zomergasten: Episode #16.5 (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

La Grande Bouffe
Written by Philippe Sarde, Piano Solo by Michel Piccoli
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User Reviews

A True Original
18 May 2006 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

Marco Ferreri is one of my all time favourite directors, for both his fearlessness in pushing boundaries and his piercing originality. Ferreri's greatest achievement was making relentlessly intellectual films that also managed to entertain. While many other European directors could get caught up in their own genius, Marco Ferreri was never pretentious enough to forget about his audience.

La Grande Bouffe is one of Ferreri's best and most notorious films. The premise is infamous, four friends gather at a country mansion with the intention of literally eating themselves to death. When this becomes tiresome they hire three prostitutes and invite the local school teacher to join them. This is not a film that follows a linear narrative, instead it expertly crafts a sense of atmosphere from a series of acutely observed vignettes. There are enough unforgettable images and surreal happenings in this film to make Salvador Dali green with envy. The meat garden, Andrea and Michel's flatulent love making and Philippe's relationship with his nanny are just three that come to mind. There is genius at work here, this is not an exercise in empty symbolism but a disturbing slice of modern life.

The impact of La Grande Bouffe has not wearied with age. The sex scenes are possibly less confronting (although Marcello's inventive use of a champagne bottle still raises eyebrows) but the film's psychological impact has not been dulled. The characters' ruthless pursuit of death is all the more disturbing given their unadulterated appreciation for life's pleasures. For a film with such disturbing content, La Grande Bouffe is also effortlessly entertaining. Ferreri somehow manages to balance the building tension with black humour, raunchy sex scenes and even budding romance.

This is probably a good time to mention the cast. Ferreri has gathered together a who's who of European cinema. Ferreri regulars like Mastroianni and Tognazzi combine brilliantly with French heavyweights like Piccoli and Noiret. Andrea Ferreol more than matches it with these acting giants. She deserves significant credit for her illuminating performance as the open minded school teacher with the appetite of a blue whale.

La Grande Bouffe is intelligent, disturbing and unrelenting. Most importantly, it is also entirely non-judgemental. Ferreri would never insult his audience by suggesting to them what they should think. If only more modern directors had taken note.


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