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Cet obscur objet du désir
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That Obscure Object of Desire (1977) More at IMDbPro »Cet obscur objet du désir (original title)

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That Obscure Object of Desire -- Lius Bunuel's final film explodes with eroticism, bringing full circle to the director's lifelong preoccupation with the darker side of desire. 
					Bunuel regular Fernando Rey plays Matthieu, an urbane widower, tortured by his lust for the elusive Conchita.


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Luis Buñuel (scenario)
Jean-Claude Carrière (collaboration)
View company contact information for That Obscure Object of Desire on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
8 October 1977 (USA) See more »
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 12 wins & 3 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
not your everyday love story, or is it? See more (55 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Fernando Rey ... Mathieu

Carole Bouquet ... Conchita

Ángela Molina ... Conchita (as Angela Molina)
Julien Bertheau ... Edouard
André Weber ... Martin (as Andre Weber)
Milena Vukotic ... Femme dans le train
María Asquerino ... Encarnación - madre de Conchita
Ellen Bahl ... Manolita
Valerie Blanco ... Isabelle (as Valérie Blanco)
Auguste Carrière ... La femme qui reprise dans la vitrine (as Auguste Carriere)
Jacques Debary ... Un voyageur
Antonio Duque ... Conducteur
André Lacombe ... Portier
Lita Lluch-Peiro ... Ballerine
Annie Monange
Jean-Claude Montalban
Muni ... Concierge
Bernard Musson ... Deporting Policeman
Piéral ... Psychologist (as Pieral)
Isabelle Rattier
David Rocha ... El Morenito
Isabelle Sadoyan ... Jadiner
Juan Santamaría
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Mario David ... (uncredited)
Agnès Gattegno ... (uncredited)
Silke Humel ... (uncredited)
Roger Ibáñez ... (uncredited)
Richard Leduc ... (uncredited)
Guy Montagné ... (uncredited)
Justo Ruiz ... Sect's Member (uncredited)

Directed by
Luis Buñuel  (as Luis Bunuel)
Writing credits
Luis Buñuel (scenario) (as Luis Bunuel)

Jean-Claude Carrière (collaboration) (as Jean-Claude Carriere)

Pierre Louÿs (inspired by the book "La femme et le pantin")

Produced by
Serge Silberman .... producer
Cinematography by
Edmond Richard (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Hélène Plemiannikov  (as Helene Plemiannikov)
Production Design by
Pierre Guffroy 
Set Decoration by
Pierre Lefait 
Costume Design by
Sylvie de Segonzac 
Makeup Department
Jean-Pierre Berroyer .... hair stylist
Odette Berroyer .... key makeup artist
Production Management
Ulrich Picard .... production manager (as Ully Pickard)
Carlos Ramón .... production manager: Spain (as Carlos Ramon)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Louis Becker .... trainee assistant director
Juan Luis Buñuel .... assistant director (as Juan-Luis Bunuel)
Norbert Damman .... trainee assistant director (as Norbert Dammann)
Pierre Lary .... assistant director
Art Department
Enrique Alarcón .... set designer: Spain (as Enrique Alarcon)
Pierre Barbet .... furniture
Claude Moesching .... assistant production designer
Sound Department
Gina Pignier .... sound editor
Jacqueline Porel .... sound re-recordist
Alex Pront .... sound mixer
Guy Villette .... sound engineer
Olivier Villette .... assistant sound engineer
Special Effects by
François Suné .... special effects (as François Sune)
Camera and Electrical Department
Casimiro Dengra .... chief electrician: Spain
Jean Distinghin .... still photographer
Jean Harnois .... camera operator
Alain Herpe .... assistant camera
Philippe Houdart .... assistant camera
Julio Leyva .... assistant camera (as Julio Leiva)
Hubert Segond .... chief electrician
Pierre Vespier .... key grip
Alain Tanguy .... additional electrician (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
María Teresa García Trueba .... dresser (as Maria Teresa Garcia)
Mimi Gayo .... assistant costume designer
Editorial Department
Jean Goudier .... apprentice editor
Other crew
Julio Arriva .... location manager: Spain
Ginette Billard .... assistant general manager
Santiago DeBenito .... accountant: Spain (as Santiago de Benito)
Marie-Jo Duchemin .... production secretary
Jacqueline Dudilleux .... production administrator
Suzanne Durrenberger .... script girl
Michele Nicholson .... secretary: Spain
Jacqueline Oblin .... production administrator
Jean Revel .... location manager
Gille Schneider .... general manager
Serge Silberman .... presenter
Alan Best .... trainee (uncredited)
Michel Piccoli .... voice dubbing: Fernando Rey (uncredited)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Cet obscur objet du désir" - France (original title)
See more »
102 min
Color (Eastmancolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Argentina:18 (original rating) | Argentina:16 (re-rating) | Finland:K-16 | France:U | Hong Kong:IIB | Ireland:15 | Netherlands:16 | Portugal:M/12 (Qualidade) | Singapore:M18 | Sweden:15 | UK:15 | UK:X (original rating) | USA:R | West Germany:16 (original rating) | West Germany:12 (re-rating)

Did You Know?

The final scene of the movie in which a woman mending a bloody nightgown was the last scene Luis Bunuel shot as a director.See more »
Mathieu:I respect love too much to go seeking it in the back streets.See more »
Movie Connections:
Die WalküreSee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
17 out of 25 people found the following review useful.
not your everyday love story, or is it?, 21 November 2001
Author: rogierr from Amsterdam, Netherlands

Luis Buñuel is still concerned with chastity and sexual morality. In 'obscur' he concludes a trinity in my opinion (after 'fantôme' and 'discret') and his career as a director. These three films represent roughly the films he made in b/w: 'fantôme' represents the surrealism and random dreams of his first films, 'discret' represents his critical anticlericism and anti-bourgeois denouncement and 'cet obscur objet du désir' represents a number of films in which Buñuel expresses his concerns about sexual morality (Tristana, Belle de jour, Journal d'une femme de chambre). The great Fernando Rey (French Connection, Tristana, Viridiana, Campanadas a medianoche) and the great cinematographer Edmond Richard (Campanadas a medianoche '65, le Procès '63, Fantôme liberté '74, Charme discret '72) complement Buñuel's intriguing techniques. Even the cover of the video (a stitched mouth) complements the preceding two (a statue of liberty with a limp torch, a mouth with two legs and a hat). Unfortunately 'obscur' is not as startling and inventive as many of Buñuel's other films: it's not one of his best, but still very worthy.

A man (Fernando Rey) step in a train, throws a bucket of water over a woman and tells his surrounding passengers (a professor in psychology, a judge, a child and her mother, who inquire because they're eager to hear the sordid details) about how he met Conchita (former maid, Carola Bouquet/Ángela Molina) and tried to win her by paying her's and her mother's bills. This bourgeois man thinks he can buy her love and her mother's help (like buying furniture, or like trapping a mouse with a mouse-trap). Those are the premises for a moralistic but incredibly subtle story (not a farce) about subversiveness. There is no music in the film, apart from the end scene and some flamenco source music. I do appreciate a film that doesn't need music to emphasize emotions. That was one of Buñuel's many virtues.

The mysterious actress Muni appears several times. But really strange are the two actresses playing the same woman. They probably represent the two Conchitas: one rational and very careful not to get trapped (wearing an iron maiden and a white handbag), the other with temperament, attracted to Mathieu but devious and deceitful (with a black handbag just one second after carrying the white one). In Mathieu's mind Conchita was a hypocrit (Rey: 'You will appreciate that she deserved the chastisement'). Or is it only the same woman in the mind of Mathieu? Are the two Conchitas representing Mathieu's constantly changing mind? Or did something happen to one of the actresses on the set so that Buñuel had to finish shooting with another actress? Later that day Conchita carries a brown handbag, after having thrown a bucket of water over Mathieu she must have made some message clear to him, uniting the former two handbags in one (?) and uniting the two Conchitas in one? Their relationship explodes eventually. I'm wondering how that emerged from the novel by Pierre Louÿs: writer of 'La femme et le pantin' (1958).


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