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La Grande Bouffe (1973)
"La grande bouffe" (original title)

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  20 May 1973 (France)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 7,200 users  
Reviews: 36 user | 41 critic

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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(scenario & adaptation), (scenario & adaptation), 1 more credit »
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Title: La Grande Bouffe (1973)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Marcello
...
Michel
...
Philippe
...
Ugo
Andréa Ferréol ...
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

Plot Keywords:

villa | death | prostitute | pilot | judge | 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:

20 May 1973 (France)  »

Also Known As:

A Comilança  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Gross:

SEK 837,872 (Sweden)
 »

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 the final scene in the garden - where Philipe is sitting on the bench, there is a poem by Dorothy Frances Gurney written on the bench. Many garden lovers have this poem written in their gardens. It says: "Kiss of the sun for pardon. Song of the birds for mirth. You're closer to God's heart in a garden than any place else on earth." See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Ugo: Wanting to be Marlon Brando is vanity.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Marcello Mastroianni: I Remember (1997) See more »

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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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