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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

The date Don Rafael tells Florence is his birthday, 22 February, is also director Luis Buñuel's birthday. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Rafael Acosta: You're better suited for making love than for making war.
See more »

Connections

Featured in 1,001 Movies You Must See (Before You Die) (2014) See more »

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User Reviews

open up your ears and clean out your eyes
6 August 2001 | by rogierrSee all my reviews

A satire on everyone who's too big for their boots (or secretly wants 2 B), because they will not achieve the aims they pursuit and are ultimately doomed to be separated from their privileges when they wake up to reality. The story may also come across as remote parody on The Last Supper, but from the bourgeois point of view (who never really get their supper), in contrast with 'Viridiana' (1961, Buñuel), where the poor and disabled DO get their Last Supper. But I don't know much about the bible, so I'm probably wrong about that. It proves though that you don't have to be pious to appreciate Buñuel's films; in fact, you'd better NOT be.

The 'adventure' of the protagonists is a proverbial sinking ship, because they seem to know what they want, but never reach their goal, which is quite simple and basic (to eat), because they're so caught up in supposed etiquette. They have all kinds of knowledge about manners and gestures, but they cannot sit down and eat. That is actually a fairly clear message: 'look before you leap' or 'behold the priorities of life'.

What's more indiscrete: drinking a martini the wrong way, or selling cocaine abusing your position as an ambassador and fooling around in the garden while you're having friends over for diner? And are you ultimately discrete simply because nobody discovers your subversive or criminal actions? These guys just can't control their carnal and financial lust, while complaining: 'No system can give the masses the proper social graces. But you know me, I'm not a reactionary.' Blah.

Cinematographer Edmond Richard (Le Procès (1963, Welles), Fantôme de la liberté, Cet obscur objet du désir) exhibits his excellent collaboration with Buñuel's visions. Buñuel tried before to make it easier for audiences to understand the imagery by incorporating it in a dream sequence (e.g. Tristana, 1970), but he returns here (as in Belle de Jour, 1967) to the early days (1930) where the dream sequences were just put forward as if they were reality. You'll never know what is a dream and what is real. As always, there is no music here to guide you, apart from the ringing church bells. Just open up your ears and clean out your eyes and you'll not be disappointed.

One last remark: the cover of the video is definitely one of the most applicable and distinctive covers (Ferracci) ever made, as is the cover of 'Fantôme de la liberté' (an odd-faced statue of liberty with a limp torch) by Jean-Paul Commandeur and the cover of 'Cet obscur objet du désir'. Buñuel didn't worry about the surrealism in his own life. He seemed to live in harmony with all his contradictions and hypocrisy.

10 points out of 10 :-)


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