7.6/10
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Delicatessen (1991)

R | | Comedy, Crime | 3 April 1992 (USA)
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Post-apocalyptic surrealist black comedy about the landlord of an apartment building who occasionally prepares a delicacy for his odd tenants.

Writers:

Jean-Pierre Jeunet (screenplay), Marc Caro (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 15 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Pascal Benezech Pascal Benezech ... Tried to Escape
Dominique Pinon ... Louison
Marie-Laure Dougnac ... Julie Clapet
Jean-Claude Dreyfus ... Clapet
Karin Viard ... Mademoiselle Plusse
Ticky Holgado ... Marcel Tapioca
Anne-Marie Pisani ... Madame Tapioca
Boban Janevski Boban Janevski ... Young Rascal
Mikael Todde Mikael Todde ... Young Rascal (as Mikaël Todde)
Edith Ker Edith Ker ... Grandmother
Rufus ... Robert Kube
Jacques Mathou ... Roger
Howard Vernon ... Frog Man
Chick Ortega Chick Ortega ... Postman
Silvie Laguna Silvie Laguna ... Aurore Interligator
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Storyline

Centered on a post-apocalyptic society where food is scrarce and used as currency. In an apartment building with a delicatessen on the ground floor. The owner of the eatery also owns the apartment building and is in need of a new maintenance man since the prior one "mysteriously" disappeared. A former clown applies for the job and the butcher's intent is to have him work for as little as possible, and then serve him to odd tenants who pay the butcher in grain. The clown and butcher's daughter fall in love and she tries to foil her father's plans by contacting the "troglodytes", a grain eating sub-group of society who live entirely underground.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A futuristic comic feast

Genres:

Comedy | Crime

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French

Release Date:

3 April 1992 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Delicatessen See more »

Filming Locations:

France

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Box Office

Budget:

FRF 24,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$1,794,187
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »

Goofs

The hammer on the mailman's revolver falls *after* the revolver explodes. Since it would not have exploded until he attempted to fire it, the hammer should already be down at that point. See more »

Quotes

Louison: Nobody is entirely evil: it's that circumstances that make them evil, or they don't know they are doing evil.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the opening credits, crew members' names appear on objects that the camera tracks across: the director of photography's name appears on a camera, the composer's name on a broken 12" record, etc. See more »

Connections

References Time Bandits (1981) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Only the French could have pulled this off
18 May 2002 | by csm23See all my reviews

`The French,' said James Russell Lowell, `are the most wonderful creatures for talking wisely and acting foolishly that I ever saw.' And good old Henry Adams once said that what he disliked most about the French was their mind, their way of thinking. Why? Because, he said, the French were not serious.

France is not serious. It's an insult; and, it's a compliment. Once their proclivity for playing `Sidewalk Socrates' is understood, one can begin to enjoy them. Henry Adams loved Paris when he got past the surface: `France was not serious, and he [Adams] was not serious in going there.'

I say this by way of introduction to the French movie Delicatessen because, frankly, most French movies really bite. They have that bottom of the birdcage quality, which comes from trying too hard to be deep and philosophical, coming off as ineffably silly instead.

Delicatessen avoids all of that because it doesn't try to be serious. There's nothing pretentious about it. But it could be. It's an outrageously funny black comedy. Only the French, with the penchant for speaking wisely, and acting foolishly, could have pulled this off. It's almost a satirical caricature of French society as a whole.

Set in an apartment complex with a ground floor delicatessen, drifters check in, but don't check out – that is, until a former circus clown shows up. The owner's daughter and the erstwhile circus performer fall in love, throwing her father's brutally perfected supply `system' (fresh meat) all out of whack. The `process,' it seems, cannot tolerate exceptions to the rule, especially not such impractical sentiments as love.

Delicatessen has some outrageously comical setups. And best of all, the inhabitants are all laughable, each in their own way, from the murderous landlord, to his delicate little daughter named Julie. I won't spoil the fun for you by telling you any more. I urge you to find out for yourself.


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