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That Obscure Object of Desire (1977)

Cet obscur objet du désir (original title)
Recounted in flashback are the romantic perils of Mathieu, a middle-aged French sophisticate as he falls for his nineteen year-old former chambermaid Conchita.

Director:

Luis Buñuel (as Luis Bunuel)

Writers:

Luis Buñuel (scenario) (as Luis Bunuel), Jean-Claude Carrière (collaboration) (as Jean-Claude Carriere) | 1 more credit »

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 6 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Fernando Rey ... Mathieu
Carole Bouquet ... Conchita
Ángela Molina ... Conchita (as Angela Molina)
Julien Bertheau ... Edouard
André Weber André Weber ... Martin (as Andre Weber)
Milena Vukotic ... Femme dans le train
María Asquerino ... Encarnación - madre de Conchita
Ellen Bahl Ellen Bahl ... Manolita
Valerie Blanco Valerie Blanco ... Isabelle (as Valérie Blanco)
Auguste Carrière Auguste Carrière ... La femme qui reprise dans la vitrine (as Auguste Carriere)
Jacques Debary ... Un voyageur
Antonio Duque Antonio Duque ... Conducteur
André Lacombe André Lacombe ... Portier
Lita Lluch-Peiro Lita Lluch-Peiro ... Ballerine
Annie Monange Annie Monange
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Storyline

Just after boarding a train, much to the surprise of his fellow passengers, a man pours a bucket of water over a young girl on the platform. Over the next few hours he explains (and we see in flashback) how he became obsessed by her (so much so that he failed to notice that she was played by two different actresses, representing different sides of her personality), and how she tantalised him, but would never allow him to satisfy his desire for her... Written by Michael Brooke <michael@everyman.demon.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Luis Bunuel's Masterpiece

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France | Spain

Language:

French | Spanish

Release Date:

8 October 1977 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

That Obscure Object of Desire See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,673, 15 July 2001

Gross USA:

$55,261
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

Maria Schneider, frequently nude in Last Tango in Paris (1972) (Last Tango in Paris), walked off the film in protest at the amount of nude scenes. See more »

Goofs

Mathieu enters the room where Conchita dances nude, throws the leftmost table to the right, and chases out all the men. The remaining table and chairs on the left are standing upright. After they talk for two minutes the camera returns to the area with the tables, where that same table and chairs lean against the wall in disarray. See more »

Quotes

Mathieu: My Conchita...
See more »

Connections

References Un Chien Andalou (1929) See more »

Soundtracks

Die Walküre
Written by Richard Wagner
Performed by Orchester der Bayreuther Festspiele
Conducted by Karl Böhm
Philips 6747947
See more »

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User Reviews

The discreet charm of the phantom of Tristana.
25 August 2005 | by dbdumonteilSee all my reviews

Pierre Louys 's novel had already transferred thrice to the screen:by Jacques de Baroncelli in 1928,Von Sternberg in 1935 ( "Devil is a woman" starring Marlene Dietrich) and finally Julien Duvivier (1958,starring Brigitte Bardot).

When Bunuel takes a book ,he always makes it his very own :see for instance what he did with "Robinson Crusoe" !So his permanent features are present here even if personally ,I think that "cet obscur..." is the weakest of his latter days works.But even when Bunuel is not at his best,he's better than most of the rest .

Like the bourgeois in "discreet charm of the bourgeoisie" are searching for a good meal which ,in spite of their dough,they can never get,Rey is on fire:he covets a woman ,he wants to have sex with her but something happens every time he is about to assuage his passion.Besides,in order to puzzle his pitiful hero,Bunuel uses two different actresses:Carole Bouquet's character belongs to the perverse young girls with a Madonna face ,recalling Deneuve's Tristana or Severine ("Belle de jour" )whereas Angela Molina is the sensuous bitchy woman (Djin (Simone Signoret)in "la mort en ce jardin" ;Pedro's mother in "los olvidados").

Religion had always been Bunuel's bête noire :here he works ,so to speak,on a large scale(the terrorists kill in the name of the Jesus baby !) and on a smaller one (Conchita's mother ,a military man's(!) widow, goes to church every day but she is not afraid of making a prostitute of her daughter .)

The strange gathering on the train recalls that scene in "phantom of liberty "where the guests at the inn meet in a room in the middle of the night to chat,which Milena Vukotic's presence reinforces (she's featured in the two movies).

And ,last by not least,Bunuel's final opus includes a tribute to Lumière's "l'arroseur arrosé" (1895).Quoting the pioneers of cinema,what a wonderful way to say goodbye!


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