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  • The Exterminating Angel [1962] [1966] [DVD]
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The Exterminating Angel [1962] [1966] [DVD]

21 customer reviews

Price: £5.50 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Silvia Pinal, Jacqueline Andere, Jose Baviera, Enrique Rambal
  • Directors: Luis Bunuel
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: Spanish
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Arrow
  • DVD Release Date: 28 Aug. 2006
  • Run Time: 89 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000GI36AW
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 15,174 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

The surrealist film-maker Luis Bunuel delivered another satirical swipe at bourgeois conventions with his film about a group of dinner guests who find themselves trapped in a hell of their own making when, inexplicably, they are unable to leave the sitting room after a dinner party. One guest dies and is stuffed into a cupboard; a pair of lovers commit suicide; a witchcraft believer conjures up some demons; an incestuous brother and sister steal morphine from a guest dying of cancer, and they all degenerate into animals, showing their true natures.

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

71 of 71 people found the following review helpful By N. Lalonde on 10 Oct. 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
One of Bunuel's best films, even if it could have been even better, if he would have waited ten years to produce it with greater actors and technique. But the problem here is that there are two very important scenes missing: the guests that will be unable to leave the party should have been seen entering the house twice (Yes, it's absurd, but it has a profound link with the fact that they can't leave.) This DVD unfortunately did cut both of the scenes, as if they were an error. Unforgivable.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A. S. Potts on 14 Jan. 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This version of the film has been edited to remove a repeated shot; where the dinner guests enter the house at the start of the story. If you have never seen the film before you might not know that this DVD does not present the film as Bunuel intended.

The repeated shot in question is at the start of the film when we are shown the guests entering the grand hallway twice, separated by a shot of the maids sneaking out the front door. Not only is this very disorientating, it is also the start of a series of double takes and repeats throughout the narrative which are crucial to the denouement of the film. To my mind its absence make quite a difference.

Before I bought this Arrow DVD I emailed the company to ask if the reports of missing shots was true. They assured me that it was the correct version of the film and included the repeated shot - well it doesn't - the scene is missing. My correspondence with them would indicate that they are surprised to discover this as they thought the shot was included.

Further research has unearthed one plausible answer to its absence: possibly the owners of this particular print, having little knowledge or understanding of the film, assumed that the repeated shot was a lab error and had it cut out.

This is a no frills, no extras DVD taken from a reasonable quality print. The whites can get a bit hot but on the whole the rich B & W photography of the original is reasonably well transferred. But it's still a major disappointment because of the missing shot which does affect the balance of the film in my opinion.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Green Man Music on 14 Sept. 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
As a dinner party for wealthy arostocrats is beginning, the hosts are suddenly faced with an inexplicable mass walkout as one by one their staff leave, each with their own reason. As the evening draws to a close, equally inexplicably, none of the guests find themselves able to leave. Breaking all their social taboos they all sleep on the floor in the dining room, beginning to become violent, lustful and degenerate as the days wear on. A crowd gathers outside, and equally none of the trapped partygoers' friends or relatives find themselves able to get in.

This is a great story; it plays out like a film-length version of one of the older style "Twilight Zone" episodes, and also has the lovely sting in the tail that goes with it. There are some surreal moments as well, including the random appearences of a bear and sheep inside the house and a disembodied floating hand.

There are clear stabs here by the director at what he sees as the aloofness of certain social groups considering themselves more civilised then others; the aristocracy, the masons, and the church.

Filmed in the 1960s in black and white and with subtitles to the Spanish dialogue, none of this detracts from a great story and an engrossing film.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Charles R. Day on 20 April 2011
Format: DVD
One star for a masterpiece! - and one of Bunuel's most intriguing films - Why? Well, two other reviewers point out the lunatic editing that has been perpetrated on this film - it is surely unforgivable that this version has not been withdrawn and a properly edited version released - when that happens I will purchase a copy immediately.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By B. Moret on 28 Oct. 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Bunuel is one of the greatest moviemakers of all times and this is his best work.
Mordant, funny, ironic verging on sardonic, yet occasionally sympathetic to the
plight of its characters, and unfailingly artistic throughout.
Many single frames would by themselves win photography prizes -- the composition,
lighting, and rich B&W tones are simply gorgeous.
As in almost any Bunuel movie, there is no real story; instead, using nearly
only images (this could work as a silent movie), Bunuel tells us a parable
about bestial and noble actions, about the delicate nature of the veneer of
civilization, about mob behavior and moral virtues,
all crystallized in the light of an apparently supernatural condition
(hence the "angel" in the title).
At the end, Bunuel pulls one of his signature surprises on us, perhaps to tell us
that the rather wealthy and mostly vain people whose behavioral responses were
just illustrated under his camera's eye are just a random sample of humankind.
B&W movies do not come any better than this.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By P. Sanders VINE VOICE on 29 Aug. 2006
Format: DVD
I first saw this film about 10 years ago when i was at college and have been waiting a long time for it to come out on DVD. "The Exterminating Angel" is an attack on wealth and religion. A wealthy dinner party slowly descends into madness as the servants run away and the guests discover they are unable to leave. No physical force prevents them from going - it's just that someone tries to leave they inexplicably change their mind. The same is true for anyone trying to enter. As the outside world becomes fascinated by their plight, the guests descend into hunger, rage and madness, losing all the airs and graces that make them "civilised" and "respectable".

The film never reveals the cause of the strange curse, but the title implies some kind of divine punishment. The film is still startling today, particularly a macabre hallucination in which a woman is menaced by a disembodied hand.

A surreal classic.
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