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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)
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A surreal, virtually plotless series of dreams centered around six middle-class people and their consistently interrupted attempts to have a meal together.

Director:

Luis Buñuel (as Luis Bunuel)

Writers:

Luis Buñuel (scenario) (as Luis Bunuel), Jean-Claude Carrière (with the collaboration of)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

Academy Award Nominee for Best Foreign Language film 1973

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French | Spanish

Release Date:

22 October 1972 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie See more »

Filming Locations:

Paris, France See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$800,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$12,864, 14 May 2000, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$198,809, 3 December 2000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In his autobiography, My Last Sigh, Luis Buñuel said he had difficulty finding a title for the film. On the last day of writing the script, he came up with A bas Lénine, ou la Vierge à l'écurie - Down with Lenin, or The Virgin in the Manger. Someone suggested Le Charme de la Bourgeoisie, and the adjective "discret" was eventually added. Buñuel said he and co-writer Jean-Claude Carrière never once thought of the word "bourgeoisie" while working on the screenplay. See more »

Goofs

After sending the terrorist out of his apartment, Rafael's position in the windows changes between shots. See more »

Quotes

[François Thévenot has unknowingly interrupted an illicit rendezvous between his wife and Rafael Acosta]
M. Thévenot: Coming home with me?
Simone Thévenot: Yes.
Rafael Acosta: No, no, wait. Let her stay just two minutes more. I must show her the sursiks.
M. Thévenot: What?
Rafael Acosta: The sursiks.
M. Thévenot: Ah, yes. I'll wait in the car.
Simone Thévenot: I'll come right away.
[François Thévenot leaves]
Simone Thévenot: What are sursiks?
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in An American Werewolf in London (1981) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Dinner Is Served
12 April 2005 | by gftbiloxiSee all my reviews

Director Luis Bunuel is often described as a surrealist, but the word misapplied in reference to his later works, where the the term absurdism is much more appropriate. Such is the case with the Academy Award-winning THE DISCREET CHARM OF THE BOURGEOISIE, which begins with four friends who arrive at their hosts' home only to discover they have arrived on the wrong night--a plausible situation. But before the film has run its course, Bunuel unravels his tale of a meal that never quite happens in the most unexpected ways imaginable.

The film works on several levels, mocking social conventions, the church, and eventually spilling its action into a series of overlapping nightmares in which various attempts to dine are frustrated by everything from the corpse of a restaurant manager in a nearby room to military maneuvers. On one memorable occasion, the friends are invited to dine and are seated around an elegant table--when a curtain suddenly rises behind them and reveals them to be seated on a stage before a hostile audience! The cast (which features Fernando Rey, Delphine Seyrig, Paul Frankeur, Bulle Ogier, Stephane Audran and Jean-Pierre Cassel as the constantly frustrated diners) plays with considerable aplomb, performing the most irrational scenes with a magnificent realism. When combined with Bunuel's absurdist story, the result is a disquieting yet often very funny discourse on frustrated appetites both real and imagined, and with many layers of incidental meaning along the way.

A word of caution to the uninitiated: Bunuel is not for those who seek a tidy plot line with clear-cut meanings. But if you come to it with an open mind, you'll find plenty of food for thought!

Gary F. Taylor, aka GFT, Amazon Reviewer


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