The Exterminating Angel

Watch The Exterminating Angel

"The degeneration of high society!"
  • NR
  • 1962
  • 1 hr 33 min
  • 8.0  (34,917)

The Exterminating Angel is a surrealist film directed by Luis Buñuel and released in 1962. The cast of the film includes Silvia Pinal, Jacqueline Andere, Enrique Rambal, and a host of other notable actors. The film takes place in the mansion of a wealthy family of Mexican aristocrats who are known for their lavish parties. After one such party, the guests find themselves inexplicably unable to leave the mansion. As the days wear on and supplies dwindle, the behavior of the guests becomes increasingly erratic and violent.

The film opens on a group of finely-dressed partygoers as they exit a church service. They walk to the mansion of Edmundo Nóbile and his wife Lucia, who are hosting a dinner party. Their guests arrive and are seated for dinner, but as the evening progresses, things become increasingly strange. First, the servants leave without explanation. Then, one guest after another finds that they are unable to leave the mansion. They are trapped, and as the days go by, their behavior becomes more and more extreme.

The Exterminating Angel is a commentary on the inertia of high society. The film suggests that the wealthy are trapped by their own privilege, unable to leave their comfortable lifestyles behind. The guests in the mansion are not imprisoned by force, but by their own sense of social obligation. They are so used to their world of privilege that they cannot imagine leaving it - even when faced with death. The film suggests that true freedom can only come from an acceptance of the value of all human beings, regardless of their social status.

Buñuel's film is relentlessly surreal. There are scenes where a sheep wanders into the mansion, and guests begin to slaughter it for food. There are long sequences where characters engage in bizarre, dreamlike conversations about nothing in particular. The film flirts with the absurd, but it is never completely unrealistic. There are moments of violence and tension that anchor the film in a gritty sort of reality.

The Exterminating Angel is a challenging film. It is difficult to put into words exactly what is happening onscreen, and at times it feels like a fever dream. The film is not concerned with tidy plot resolutions or clear character development. Rather, it exists in a world of its own making, and asks the audience to come along for the ride.

One of the most striking aspects of The Exterminating Angel is its use of sound. The score, by Gianfranco Reverberi and Leslie Baxter, is eerie and unsettling. The sound design of the film is also notable, with frequent stingers and other jarring noises punctuating the action. This emphasis on sound serves to amplify the film's surrealism, disorienting the audience and making them feel as trapped as the characters onscreen.

The Exterminating Angel has been interpreted in a number of ways. Some see it as a commentary on the upper classes in general, while others view it as a critique of Mexican society specifically. Buñuel himself has said that he did not intend for the film to be seen as an allegory at all. Rather, he saw it simply as an exploration of ideas, a chance to play with surreal imagery and sound.

Regardless of its meaning, The Exterminating Angel remains a powerful work of cinema. Its blend of surrealism and social commentary is both unsettling and thought-provoking. The film asks uncomfortable questions about the nature of privilege and power, and suggests that true freedom may require us to leave behind the things that make us comfortable.

The Exterminating Angel is a 1962 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 33 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 8.0.

The Exterminating Angel
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Where to Watch The Exterminating Angel
The Exterminating Angel is available to watch free on Plex. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV and Amazon. Some platforms allow you to rent The Exterminating Angel for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
    1962
  • MPAA Rating
    NR
  • Runtime
    1 hr 33 min
  • Language
    English
  • IMDB Rating
    8.0  (34,917)