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The Exterminating Angel (1962)

El ángel exterminador (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, Fantasy | 21 August 1967 (USA)
Trailer
3:50 | Trailer
The guests at an upper-class dinner party find themselves unable to leave.

Director:

Luis Buñuel

Writers:

Luis Buñuel (screenplay by), Luis Alcoriza (story by) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
4 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Silvia Pinal ... Leticia 'La Valkiria'
Jacqueline Andere ... Alicia de Roc
José Baviera ... Leandro Gomez (as Jose Baviera)
Augusto Benedico ... Carlos Conde
Luis Beristáin ... Cristián Ugalde (as Luis Beristain)
Antonio Bravo Antonio Bravo ... Sergio Russell
Claudio Brook ... Julio
César del Campo ... Alvaro (as Cesar Del Campo)
Rosa Elena Durgel ... Silvia
Lucy Gallardo ... Lucía de Nobile
Enrique García Álvarez ... Alberto Roc (as Enrique Garcia Alvarez)
Ofelia Guilmáin ... Juana Avila (as Ofelia Guilmain)
Nadia Haro Oliva ... Ana Maynar
Tito Junco ... Raúl
Xavier Loyá ... Francisco Avila (as Xavier Loya)
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Storyline

After a lavish dinner party, the guests find themselves mysteriously unable to leave the room... and over the next few days all the elaborate pretenses and facades that they've built up by virtue of their position in society collapse completely as they become reduced to living like animals... Written by Michael Brooke <michael@everyman.demon.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Luis Bunuel's controversial and award-winning film See more »

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Out of all the films in Luis Buñuel's Mexican/Spanish film period, this is the only film he had complete creative control over. See more »

Goofs

After one of the women exits an adjoining room, she seemingly details a surrealist toilet experience to the other women, upon which they detail theirs. If the adjoining room is truly a bathroom (which would make sense since there is no indication in the film of any hygiene problems related to urination or defecation), it should have been explained why the characters could not simply drink the water from the wash basin there and instead had to resort to breaking a pipe. See more »

Quotes

Julio, Mayordomo; Steward: The help becomes more impertinent each day.
See more »

Alternate Versions

In the uncut print (featured on the Criterion DVD) the guests enter the mansion and go upstairs twice. Some versions omit the surrealistic second arrival. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Falcon and the Snowman (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

Waltz in E minor
(uncredited)
Music by Frédéric Chopin
See more »

User Reviews

 
still one of the top comedies about utter frustration
20 August 2005 | by Quinoa1984See all my reviews

The Exterminating Angel, what a movie- I've seen it twice now and each time it went against (in the best possible way) my better logic. It's a work that's the product of a kind of madman place, and it stays impressive forty plus years later due to its humor. Like Dr. Strangelove, or maybe more so akin to a Kafka work submerged in Catholic plague, the film subverts expectations. At the start of the film, Luis Bunuel makes it clear as day that his only explanation is that its nonsense. If one were wanting to dig on a pure comedy level it would work because the dialog is so strange and out of place (if taken seriously) but consistently so, and the timing of the sort of downward spiral that plunges into the denouement (if there is one). If one were wanting to look at it for more of the technical reasons, its peerless- Bunuel has a steady, carefully controlled camera, quite tradition at times. But then at others he reveals his revealing, awesome flashes of symbolism, which may or may not fly over some viewers heads.

And then, if one were to go so far, on an existential level it goes into the realm of nothingness, a kind of study of how a nonsensical existence, trapped for reasons not made clear to the viewer (barely to the rich cast of bourgeois, a running gag almost), which also calls in the Kafka aspect. By the hand of a surrealist comes a deadpan satire, and it almost becomes a dark fable (the Catholic aspect to the film) by the end. It's a rather shocking film on the first try, which is why it probably had some controversy when it first opened. Giving it another chance, the film works better, on a more sensory level almost. This is the kind of film where you're either scratching your head and turning it off midway through, or laughing (while in the grips of cringing perhaps) and in a weird awe. One of Bunuel's very best Mexican films.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

Mexico

Language:

Spanish

Release Date:

21 August 1967 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Exterminating Angel See more »

Filming Locations:

Mexico See more »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,843
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA High Fidelity)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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