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That Obscure Object of Desire (1977)

Cet obscur objet du désir (original title)
Recounted in flashback are the romantic perils of Mathieu, a middle-aged French sophisticate as he falls for his 19-year old former chambermaid Conchita.


(as Luis Bunuel)


(scenario) (as Luis Bunuel), (collaboration) (as Jean-Claude Carriere) | 1 more credit »

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 6 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Conchita (as Angela Molina)
Julien Bertheau ...
André Weber ...
Martin (as Andre Weber)
Femme dans le train
Encarnación - madre de Conchita
Ellen Bahl ...
Valerie Blanco ...
Isabelle (as Valérie Blanco)
Auguste Carrière ...
La femme qui reprise dans la vitrine (as Auguste Carriere)
Jacques Debary ...
Un voyageur
Antonio Duque ...
André Lacombe ...
Lita Lluch-Peiro ...
Annie Monange


Just after boarding a train, much to the surprise of his fellow passengers, a man pours a bucket of water over a young girl on the platform. Over the next few hours he explains (and we see in flashback) how he became obsessed by her (so much so that he failed to notice that she was played by two different actresses, representing different sides of her personality), and how she tantalised him, but would never allow him to satisfy his desire for her... Written by Michael Brooke <michael@everyman.demon.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:







Release Date:

8 October 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

That Obscure Object of Desire  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$8,673 (USA) (13 July 2001)


$55,261 (USA) (16 November 2001)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The decision to use two actresses to play Conchita saved the movie from dropping out. See more »


Mathieu: My Conchita...
See more »


Edited into Final Cut: Ladies and Gentlemen (2012) See more »


Die Walküre
Written by Richard Wagner
Performed by Orchester der Bayreuther Festspiele
Conducted by Karl Böhm
Philips 6747947
See more »

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User Reviews

Using two actresses for one role not a planned plot device
22 December 1999 | by (San Carlos, California) – See all my reviews

Contrary to the initial comment on this page, the director Luis Bunuel did not use two different actresses to play the lead role as a plot device to show "One actress for her placid nature and another actress for her tempermental side."

While this is an oft-repeated misconception, it's not remotely true. In Luis Bunuel's autobiography, "My Last Sigh" (A fantastic book, still in print) the director discusses the reason for this unique directorial device, and how funny he finds it that so many "fans" assume that the choices were based on the actresses temperment or his desire to "express" something obscure. In truth, two actresses were used simply because the lead actress quit partway through production after having completed many critical scenes. Luis was beside himself over the wasted time and money in reshooting, so he hired a replacement to shoot only the missing scenes, and edited them irregardless of who was acting in a given scene. It served him well, as the end result was brilliant.

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Why two different actresses? Spectrocon
The sack? liatamv
uncut version paul22-5
why terrorists? wyeja
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