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The Exterminating Angel (The Criterion Collection)

4.4 out of 5 stars 56 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

A group of bourgeois cosmopolitans are invited to a mansion for dinner and inexplicably find themselves unable to leave, in Luis Buñuel's daring masterpiece The Exterminating Angel. Made just one year after his international sensation Viridiana, this is a furthering of Buñuel's wicked takedown of the rituals and dependencies of the frivolous upper classes, full of eerie and hilarious absurdity.

SPECIAL EDITION DOUBLE-DISC SET FEATURES:
New, restored high-definition digital transfer
The Last Script: Remembering Luis Buñuel, a 2008 documentary featuring Jean-Claude Carrière and Jean Luis Buñuel
New interviews with filmmaker Arturo Ripstein and actress Silvia Pinal
Theatrical trailer
New and improved English subtitle translation
PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by film scholar Marsha Kinder and a reprinted interview with Buñuel

Review

Extraordinarily powerful and imaginative. --The Spectator

Brilliant. --Roger Ebert

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Directors: Luis Bunuel
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, NTSC, Special Edition, Subtitled
  • Language: Spanish (DTS ES 6.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Criterion Collection
  • DVD Release Date: February 10, 2009
  • Run Time: 94 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001LMU19G
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,072 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Exterminating Angel (The Criterion Collection)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on October 11, 1998
Format: VHS Tape
When invited guests arrive for an elegant dinner party and find themselves unable to leave the dining room, Spanish surreal master Luis Bunuel, enters the undeworld of human desires and relations, peeling the crust of the burgoeis thinking and emancipating the subconcious of all the characters. After three days, hunger, thirst and desperation take over, leaving the semi-savage guests to undergo a formidable transformation of both, mind and spirit. After hearing the disturbing news, the social institutions (police, army, politicians, even other citizens) are unable to even enter the house, moved by the same invisible force. Filmed in 1962 and considered by many his greatest surreal film after L'age D'or, Exterminating Angel gives Bunuel a chance to go back to his cultural roots of the French Surrealism, not allowing culture, education, religion or other institutions to interfere with the content of characterization but to allow his characters to roam free like dreams or sometimes nightmares in a world of pre-fabricated emotions.
Arthur A. Sabina New York END
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Format: VHS Tape
A brilliant concept if I've ever heard one, Bunuel's finest film involves a group at a dinner party who are inexplicably unable to go home. Absolutely nothing is holding them back -- doors are unlocked, there are no barriers -- but they just can't leave the house. Kind of a precursor to Godard's 1967 masterpiece, WEEKEND, we then witness socialites and the upper-class reduced to barbaric acts of desperation. Although Bunuel claims ANGEL has no literal meaning, his contempt for the rich has never been more obvious, and he would return to similar terrain with 1972's DISCREET CHARM OF THE BOURGEOISIE, where dinner guests find themselves unable to sit down and eat. Subtle surreal touches round off this film, as random scenes repeat for absolutely no reason and sheep run about the house; not to mention the frustratingly incomprehensible yet inexplicably appropriate final scenes.
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Format: VHS Tape
The Exterminating Angel is a brilliant movie. Luis Bunuel is one of the few directors to be able to create a completely fascinating world with seemingly mundane ideas. The film is about guests arriving at a dinner party and for various reasons are unable to leave. This simple, but interesting premise illustrates how we do not live our lives in any logical fashion and how the situations with which we are faced are what shape our world not anything as ridiculous as free will. For anyone who can see life as it really is and not brainwashed by our societies propoganda this is the most entertaining movie ever made about human nature. This is not a movie to take a date to it is one to be savored the rest of your life as you watch an innocent situation turn into the most thought provoking film you will ever see. The pace is slow, but in the hands of Bunuel it is also very entertaining and yes funny.
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By A Customer on February 7, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
For those of you who have never seen a Luis Bunuel film, The Exterminating Angel is both an excellent beginning and one of his very best.
The famous dinner party. The guests that can't leave. The animals (human and otherwise). The dark house. The repeating scenes. All this and more await you.
But it's the camera work that really leaves no doubt that we are seeing the work of a master of masters of the cinema. LB moves right and left, in and out without changing the lens setting, which sets up an erie feeling in perfect relationship to the subject matter of the film. A film not to be missed, and a movie to take a chance on. You won't be disappointed.
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Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
The film's central characters are overcome by their bourgeois sense of propriety and, due to pretense, are seemingly trapped in an opulent parlor room by their incapacity to overcome their own outrageous forms of hypocritical propriety. The inability to leave the dinner party first grows to absurd proportions leading to the inability of all attendees to leave at all. They are psychologically impaired and degenerate, slowly, into their basest elements until they realize, collectively, that escape is possible.
Rejecting rationalism, and accessing the unconscious desires of mankind, is at the heart of this film. The constructs of man, the masks of artifice he appropriates, are fashioned out of rationalism and serve to obfuscate reality. Man becomes pretentious, corrupt, immoral, and despondent because he has lost sense of himself. For Buñuel, the bourgeoisie is ripe for attack, given that they shape and determine the values of their society. If our social leaders reject true humanity, then how can society hope to find truth? For Buñuel, humanity cannot thrive under such conditions. Hell is divestiture from the self.
This film is for anyone who enjoys an intelligent and beautiful film (Cinematography by Mexican master Gabriel Figueroa). Buñuel is clearly one of the greatest pillars of modern film.
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Format: DVD
Since I don't boast a degree in psychology, my summing up of Luis Buñuel's freaky THE EXTERMINATING ANGEL pretty much goes like so: damn, what an odd movie. Definitely art-house and subject to provocative interpretations. Is it a damning allegory of the privileged class? Absolutely. Is it Buñuel's contempt for the idle rich manifesting? Looks like it. Bottom line is that I love how off left field it is, how strange it is, and how it quickly takes on aspects of The Twilight Zone. It is subversive and absurd. Scenes repeat themselves, some more obvious than others, and contribute to a dreamlike quality that suffuses the screen.

Irony, thou resides on Calle de la Providencia. On that street, a group of guests congregates to attend a dinner party. Later, they find themselves unable to leave the drawing room, trapped there inexplicably by their own inertia. As time elapses, the group's initial besument deteriorates into appalling social disorder. It's like LORD OF THE FLIES but with fancy napkins.

I like THE EXTERMINATING ANGEL for its unique title and for its blend of black comedy and surrealism. A sense of creeping horror sneaks up on the viewer as days elapse in the film and the guests remain unable to find egress. Claustrophobia sets in. Food and water quickly run out. Interactions among the guests grow increasingly vicious. A foul odor begins to permeate the drawing room. Outside, the smell reaches those a street away. The physician in the group - and lucky the group is to have him - is one of the few to keep a level head. He cautions: "Only by dispassionate analysis can we get to the bottom of our inaction."

Some years ago I got stuck for hours in an elevator with someone, and, by the time I got out, I was ready to strangle the guy.
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