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The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972)

Le charme discret de la bourgeoisie (original title)
PG | | Comedy | 22 October 1972 (USA)
A surreal, virtually plotless series of dreams centered around six middle-class people and their consistently interrupted attempts to have a meal together.


Luis Buñuel (as Luis Bunuel)


Luis Buñuel (scenario) (as Luis Bunuel), Jean-Claude Carrière (with the collaboration of)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 7 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Fernando Rey ... Don Rafael Acosta
Paul Frankeur ... François Thévenot
Delphine Seyrig ... Simone Thévenot
Bulle Ogier ... Florence
Stéphane Audran ... Alice Sénéchal (as Stephane Audran)
Jean-Pierre Cassel ... Henri Sénéchal
Julien Bertheau ... Monsignor Dufour
Milena Vukotic ... Ines
Maria Gabriella Maione ... Guerrilla
Claude Piéplu ... Colonel
Muni ... Peasant
Pierre Maguelon ... Police Sergeant
François Maistre François Maistre ... Inspector Delecluze
Michel Piccoli ... Interior Minister
Ellen Bahl Ellen Bahl


Several bourgeois friends planning to get together for dinner experience a succession of highly unusual occurrences that interfere with their expected dining enjoyment. Written by Ed Cannon <ecannon@mail.utexas.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Academy Award Nominee for Best Foreign Language film 1973




PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


On the set, Buñuel enjoyed embarrassing Stéphane Audran by calling her Mrs. Chabrol (after her husband at the time, Claude Chabrol) in front of the cast and crew. Delphine Seyrig used to cheer her up, telling her that she had already worked with Buñuel and that he was doing this without malice. See more »


After Rafael gives the terrorist champagne, his position in the chair changes between shots. See more »


[Bishop Dufour is being introduced to the ambassador from Miranda]
Bishop Dufour: I'm delighted to meet you. We have an important mission in Bogota.
Rafael Acosta: Bogota is in Colombia.
Bishop Dufour: That's right, Colombia. Sorry, I got mixed up. I've never been to Miranda, but I hear it is a magnificent country: the Great Cordillera, the pampas...
Rafael Acosta: The pampas are in Argentina, monsignor.
Bishop Dufour: The pampas. Of course. I should've known that. Recently I saw a book on Latin America. There were photos of your ancient pyramids.
Rafael Acosta: Our pyramids? We have no ...
See more »


Featured in Une promenade parmi les ombres (2005) See more »

User Reviews

Water and soup--and restless dreams--for the cultivated classes...
16 October 2011 | by moonspinner55See all my reviews

French-Italian-Spanish co-production under the helm of director Luis Buñuel concerning an odd-duck group of upper-class friends and acquaintances in Paris who meet often for meals and conversation, only to rarely savor their cuisine due to a peculiar series of interruptions. Buñuel, who also co-authored the screenplay with Jean-Claude Carrière, at times gently skewers the hungry wealthy; his characters are not decadent nor lazy, perhaps just comically fettered; the filmmaker doesn't score points against their lives as much as he prods the folly of their ways. The lapses of reality into a satirical daisy-chain of dreams is surprising at first but finally monotonous, especially as Buñuel becomes less sly here and more mean-spirited (I could have done without the police interrogation and the piano torture). Still, there are some marvelous visual touches (such as the dinner table on-stage) accompanied by a subtle yet vivid use of color, and the cast is uniformly excellent. Academy Award winner for Best Foreign Film. **1/2 from ****

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France | Italy | Spain


French | Spanish

Release Date:

22 October 1972 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie See more »


Box Office


$800,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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