IMDb > The Phantom of Liberty (1974)
Le fantôme de la liberté
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The Phantom of Liberty (1974) More at IMDbPro »Le fantôme de la liberté (original title)

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Down 5% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
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Release Date:
27 October 1974 (USA) See more »
This surrealist film consists of a series of only vaguely related episodes, most famously the dinner... See more » | Full synopsis »
2 wins See more »
(4 articles)
Why do we find the digestive tract so hard to stomach?
 (From The Guardian - Film News. 7 November 2011, 4:10 AM, PST)

Marie-France Pisier, 1944 - 2011
 (From MUBI. 26 April 2011, 6:36 AM, PDT)

Marie-France Pisier obituary
 (From The Guardian - Film News. 25 April 2011, 4:06 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
The Dissolution of Form and Function See more (311 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Adriana Asti ... La dame en noir et la soeur du premier préfet / Prefect's Sister
Julien Bertheau ... Le premier préfet de police / First Prefect

Jean-Claude Brialy ... Foucauld / Mr. Foucauld

Adolfo Celi ... Le docteur de Legendre / Doctor Pasolini
Paul Frankeur ... L'aubergiste / Innkeeper

Michael Lonsdale ... Le chapelier / Hatter

Pierre Maguelon ... Gérard, le gendarme / Policeman
François Maistre ... Le professeur des gendarmes / Professor
Hélène Perdrière ... La vieille tante / Aunt

Michel Piccoli ... Le second préfet de police / Second Prefect
Claude Piéplu ... Le commissaire de police / Commissioner

Jean Rochefort ... Legendre / Mr. Legendre
Bernard Verley ... Le capitaine des dragons / Judge

Milena Vukotic ... L'infirmière / Nurse

Monica Vitti ... Mme Foucaud / Mrs. Foucauld
Jenny Astruc ... La femme du professeur
Pascale Audret ... Mme Legendre
Ellen Bahl ... Françoise, la nurse des Legendre
Philippe Brigaud ... Le satyre / Man with photos
Philippe Brizard ... Le barman
Agnès Capri ... La directrice d'école / Headmistress
Jean Champion ... Le premier médecin / First doctor
Jacques Debary ... Le président du tribunal (as Jean Debarry)

Anne-Marie Deschodt ... Edith Rosenblum / Miss Rosenblum
Jean-Michel Dhermay ... L'officier français (as Michel Dhermay)
Philippe Lancelot ... L'autre officier
Paul Le Person ... Le père Gabriel / Monk
Pierre Lary ... L'assassin acquitté
Marius Laurey ... Le gardien du cimetière
Alix Mahieux ... L'hôtesse à la réception mondaine
Maxence Mailfort ... Le lieutenant des dragons
Annie Monange ... La victime du tueur
Guy Montagné ... Le jeune moine (as Gilbert Montagné)
Muni ... La bonne des Foucauld / Foucauld family nanny
Bernard Musson ... Le père Raphaël / Monk
Jean Mauvais ... Un agent de police
Marc Mazza ... L'officier du tank
Marcel Pérès ... Un moine

Marie-France Pisier ... Mme Calmette / Mrs. Calmette
Pierre-François Pistorio ... François, le neveu
Jean Rougerie ... Charles, l'hôte à la réception mondaine
André Rouyer ... Le brigadier
Marianne Borgo
Auguste Carrière ... La bonne du square
Jean Degrave
Orane Demazis ... La mère du premier préfet de police
Tobias Engel
Eric Gamet
Gilbert Lemaire ... Un gendarme
Jacqueline Rouillard ... La secrétaire du préfet de police
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
T.L. Barras ... Un caballero (uncredited)
José Luis Barros ... Un condamné à mort (uncredited)
José Bergamín ... Un condamné à mort (uncredited)
Valerie Blanco ... Aliette (uncredited)

Luis Buñuel ... Un condamné à mort (uncredited)
I. Carrière ... Véronique Foucauld (uncredited)
Janine Darcey ... La cliente du second médecin (uncredited)
Didier Flamand ... Le secrétaire du préfet de police (uncredited)
Hummel ... Le corps nu de la vieille tante (uncredited)
Claude Jaeger ... Le colonel de gendarmerie (uncredited)
Jean-Claude Jarry ... Un officier français (uncredited)
Chantal Ladesou ... La jeune femme qui passe le papier toilette (uncredited)
Maryvonne Ricaud ... Sophie (uncredited)
Sala ... Le cireur (uncredited)
Serge Silberman ... Un condamné à mort (uncredited)
Hans Verner ... Le capitaine de gendarmerie (uncredited)

Directed by
Luis Buñuel 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Luis Buñuel 
Jean-Claude Carrière 

Produced by
Ulrich Picard .... executive producer (as Ully Pickard)
Serge Silberman .... producer
Cinematography by
Edmond Richard 
Film Editing by
Hélène Plemiannikov 
Production Design by
Pierre Guffroy 
Set Decoration by
François Suné  (as François Sune)
Costume Design by
Jacqueline Guyot 
Makeup Department
Alex Archambault .... hair stylist
Monique Archambault .... makeup artist
Production Management
Hervé Lachize .... assistant unit manager
Francis Peltier .... unit manager
Ulrich Picard .... production manager (as Ully Pickard)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Jacques Fraenkel .... assistant director
Art Department
Maurice Sergent .... assistant art director
Sound Department
Luis Buñuel .... sound effects
Jean Labourel .... sound assistant
Gina Pignier .... sound editor
Jacqueline Porel .... sound re-recordist
Alex Pront .... sound mixer
Claude Villand .... assistant sound mixer
Guy Villette .... sound
Special Effects by
François Suné .... special effects (as François Sune)
Visual Effects by
Thierry Vide .... model effects
Camera and Electrical Department
André Clément .... assistant camera
Jean Distinghin .... still photographer
Jean Harnois .... camera operator
Alain Herpe .... assistant camera
Marcel Policard .... chief electrician
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Olympe Watelle .... assistant costume designer
Editorial Department
Natalie Lafaurie .... assistant editor
Location Management
Pierre Lefait .... location manager
Jean Revel .... assistant location manager
Other crew
Jacqueline Dudilleux .... administrator
Suzanne Durrenberger .... script girl
Pierre Lary .... assistant: Luis Buñuel
René Menuset .... chief mechanic
Jacqueline Oblin .... accountant
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Le fantôme de la liberté" - France (original title)
See more »
USA:104 min | Argentina:104 min | West Germany:103 min
Color (Eastmancolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Director's trademark: [insects] Foucauld places a large framed spider on the mantelpiece after declaring that he is "sick of symmetry"See more »
Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): At the beginning of the movie after shooting the prisoners you can see one of the victims moving the hand although he's dead.See more »
Le docteur de Legendre/Doctor Pasolini:You have cancer of the liver.
Legendre/Mr. Legendre:Cancer? Me?
Le docteur de Legendre/Doctor Pasolini:It's in a fairly advanced state. But today, you know, these things... Cigarette?
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Lips of Blood (1975)See more »
Rhapsody in G minorSee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
11 out of 16 people found the following review useful.
The Dissolution of Form and Function, 19 July 2007
Author: hasosch from United States

Luis Bunuel's "Le Phantôme de la liberté" is a movie whose episodes are only loosely connected, because the watcher is a part of the society whose liberty and freedom is a phantom. Moreover, it is man who watches this movie that also creates the story – not on the screen, of course, but in her or his mind. This is a movie that does never go out of your mind.

The clue scene is in the episode where Margaret Mead's books are mentioned. And in fact, since this movie deals with liberty and with persons of very different cultural, religious and aesthetic backgrounds, it is a sociological movie. It was Mead who gave the direction to the late cybernetician Heinz von Foerster's (1911-2002) work: Second-order cybernetics. It is called "second order" because this theory has an environment in which subject and object have a space of liberty. Only in such an environment-based logic it is possible to reflect to oneself. And this is exactly what happened in Bunel's core-scene: The teacher speaks to his students that laws have exceptions because they are depending on man, and man is depending on evolution. Therefore, there can be no laws at all, because they also stay and fall with evolution. And if they are no laws at all, then they are no causal relations. And if there are no causal relations, then form and function vanish, exactly like in Bunuel's movie. But the most important point is that this conclusion is reflected in the movie itself. The teacher who makes this self-reflection moreover has much in common with Bunuel, so for example, when he criticizes the standard level of human life in Spain – as Bunuel did in an interview.

Another interesting point is that the physician's name is Dr. Pasolini. Bunuel's movie was released in 1974, thus just at the time when Pier Paolo Pasolini started to film his last work "Salo", in which (amongst many other marvelous events) there is the famous or infamous scene where people are forced to eat faeces. But faeces play an important role in Bunuel's "Phantom of Liberty" (so the English title of this movie), too: The teacher explains his friends how many kilograms of faeces a human produces daily, and since there are so and so many billions of people on this world, this makes so and so many tons of faeces per year. Then, the teacher has lunch in the restroom (one of the most famous scenes of this movie). And finally, in his regular bar, the teacher explains the girl who resembles to his sister that this sister died because her intestines exploded. This three-times occurrence of faeces, the mentioning of Pasolini and the insight that form and function must abolish only because of human evolution leads the critical watcher to a conclusion about the sociology of human life that is not too far away form that of Pasolini: All mankind is able to produce is faeces.

Although Bunuel made one more movie ("Cet obscur object du désir", in 1977), he considered the "Pantom of Libery" his testament. Pasolini's testament was the "Salo". Bunuel still lived nine more years after his "Phantom", Pasolini was killed shortly after the postproduction of "Salo". Pasolini was radical and consistent, Bunuel still had kept his sense of humor (the "Phantom" ranges under "comedy", at least officially). Perhaps in the end, it was the humor that let Bunuel alive, while its absence killed Pasolini. Or was Bunuel's humor gallows humor? He drank himself to death.

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