The discreet charm of the bourgeoisie

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German title The discreet charm of the bourgeoisie
Original title Le charme discret de la bourgeoisie
Country of production France , Spain
original language French
Publishing year 1972
length 102 minutes
Age rating FSK 12
Director Luis Buñuel
script Luis Buñuel
Jean-Claude Carrière
production Serge Silberman
camera Edmond Richard
cut Hélène Plemiannikov

The discreet charm of the bourgeoisie (original title: Le charme discret de la bourgeoisie ) is a feature film by Luis Buñuel from 1972.


A group of six members of the bourgeoisie - consisting of two wealthy French couples, a young woman and the corrupt ambassador from Miranda, a fictional Latin American country - plans a stylish meal in a small group. However, the meal is repeatedly postponed due to constant incidents and misunderstandings. Sometimes the guests come on the wrong day, sometimes the hosts have sex with each other, whereupon the other guests leave after waiting 20 minutes in vain. The main plot is split into numerous secondary threads, in which clergy, prison guards, commissioners, terrorists, gangsters and melancholy soldiers play a role.


The special thing about the film - besides the typical Buñuel, especially concentrated mockery against high society and the decadent senselessness of its rituals - is its surrealistic narrative style. A large part of the plot takes place only as a dream of individual protagonists. One bourgeois might dream the life of another and vice versa. Once even one bourgeois dreams that another bourgeois has dreamed something until he wakes up and dismisses everything as an “absurd dream”. With each of these changes in the context of the narrative, the entire truth of what has been shown up to that point is called into question.

The universe, inhabited by the bourgeoisie with their discreet charm, has fallen apart insofar as it is constantly threatened by traumatic events. So all dreams end in the individual trauma of one of the dreaming. Stylistically, the film swings back and forth between the basic mood of a comedy and set pieces from the horror film , among other things .

In 1974 Buñuel shot a kind of sequel with Das Gespenst der Freiheit , especially with regard to the erratic, episodic and incoherent nature of the film plot. In his memoirs, Buñuel wrote:

“When I think back to it today, it seems to me as if The Milky Way , The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie and The Specter of Freedom , all three of which were based on original material, form a kind of trilogy, or rather a triptych like the ones that existed in the Middle Ages . The same themes recur in all three films and sometimes even the same sentences. They speak of the search for the truth, which one has to flee as soon as one believes to have found it, of the unyielding social ritual. You speak of the indispensable search, of chance, of personal morality, of the secret that must be respected. "


The German dubbed version made in 1973 the Berliner Synchron from Wenzel Lüdecke in Berlin on. The dialogue book was written by F. A. Koeniger , the dubbing director was Dietmar Behnke .


source rating
Rotten tomatoes

"In his third from last film Buñuel ties in with the earliest surrealist patterns and leads the denunciation of the bourgeoisie, denounced as rotten, to a climax by smashing a coherent 'bourgeois' dramaturgy and draping its fragments as dream elements around an operetta-like inventory of people."

"Buñuel has unfolded this grotesque panorama of a charming, inhumane, indulgence-addicted upper class with playful elegance, without the film, despite all its comedic lightness, being inferior to earlier works in terms of aggressive sharpness."

- ARD press


In 1973 , The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie won an Oscar for best foreign-language film , while Buñuel and Jean-Claude Carrière were nominated for another Oscar for the script. The two and Stéphane Audran for their role in the film also won the British Film Awards in 1974 ; the film received three other nominations. In 1973, she was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for best foreign film and won the French Prix ​​Méliès .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. See Samuel Strehle: Review at
  2. See ibid.
  3. Luis Buñuel: My last sigh . 4th edition. Ullstein, Frankfurt / M. / Berlin 1994, ISBN 3-548-27537-0 , pp. 242 .
  4. Thomas Bräutigam : Stars and their German voices. Lexicon of voice actors . Schüren, Marburg 2009, ISBN 978-3-89472-627-0 , enclosed data CD
  5. The discreet charm of the bourgeoisie. In: German dubbing file , accessed on March 22, 2020 .
  6. a b The Discreet Charm Of The Bourgeoisie (Le Charme Discret de la Bourgeoisie) (1972) from Rotten Tomatoes , accessed December 29, 2014
  7. a b The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie at Metacritic , accessed December 29, 2014
  8. The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie in the Internet Movie Database (English)
  9. The discreet charm of the bourgeoisie. In: Lexicon of International Films . Film service , accessed February 19, 2020 .Template: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used