Exterminating Angel

Cannes Film Festival
Palme d’Or
Cannes Film Festival
A macabre comedy, a mordant view of human nature that suggests we harbor savage instincts and unspeakable secrets.


The Exterminating Angel

Luis Buñuel's THE EXTERMINATING ANGEL - Anniversary Screenings October 12 at three Laemmle Locations

Continuing the 60th anniversary celebration of the milestone film year 1962, Laemmle Theatres and the Anniversary Classics Abroad Series present Luis Buñuel's scathing surreal satire, THE EXTERMINATING ANGEL. The film plays one night only, Wednesday, October 12 at 7:00 PM at three Laemmle locations: West Los Angeles, Glendale, and Santa Clarita.

Buñuel, a Spanish-born iconoclast and provocateur, spent most of his career working outside his native country. In 1962, at the age of 62, Buñuel was enjoying international acclaim after being coaxed out of Mexican exile the year before to make 'Viridiana,' which was suffused with his characteristic caustic wit and anti-religious sentiment. The film’s notoriety revived his career and placed him at the center of international film culture for the remainder of his career. THE EXTERMINATING ANGEL, made in Mexico, further cemented his credentials as a mordant satirist. The story, written by Buñuel and Luis Alcoriza, deals with a lavish dinner party at the home of wealthy opera patrons in which the upper-class guests find themselves unable to leave after the meal. After a few days a rescue party is organized but the would-be rescuers cannot enter the house, and chaos ensues. During the ordeal the guests find their veneer of civilization slowly stripped away.
Critics were struck by Buñuel's unrepentant approach to skewering the ruling elites.Andrew Sarris, the esteemed film critic of The Village Voice, called Buñuel “The last of the classic surrealists of the screen,” and was impressed with his “stylistic serenity. Where he was once merely profane, he is now eminently profound.” Leonard Maltin called it a “wry assault on bourgeois manners,” while Roger Ebert more exuberantly cited it as “a macabre comedy, a mordant view of human nature that suggests we harbor savage instincts and unspeakable secrets.” Although a curmudgeonly Bosley Crowther of the New York Times gave it an unfavorable review upon its delayed U.S. release in 1967 after years of legal issues over distribution rights, the film’s stature and influence were fully recognized by its inclusion in The New York Times publication, “The Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made” in 2004.

THE EXTERMINATING ANGEL premiered at the 1962 Cannes Film Festival and was selected as the opening night entry of the first New York Film Festival the following year. Buñuel was propelled into the most successful phase of his long career, and he followed it with a number of memorable films, 'Belle de Jour' (1967), 'The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie' (1972), and his final film, 'That Obscure Object of Desire' (1977) among them. Later, THE EXTERMINATING ANGEL’s influence extended beyond the screen---in 2016 it was adapted as an opera of the same name by composer Thomas Ades.

Not Rated
Drama, Anniversary Classics
Luis Buñuel
Luis Buñuel
Silvia Pinal, Enrique Rambal, Enrique García Álvarez, Jacqueline Andere, César del Campo, Nadia Haro Oliva, Ofelia Montesco, Claudio Brook
Winner, FIPRESCI Prize, Cannes Film Festival
Nominee, Palme d’Or, Cannes Film Festival
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