"The Exterminating Angel" Is Released
The Exterminating Angel (Spanish: El ángel exterminador), is the second of the Buñuel/Alatriste/Pinal film trilogy, written and directed by Luis Buñuel, starring Silvia Pinal, and produced by her then-husband Gustavo Alatriste.
It is considered by the Mexican film critics as the 16th best film of the Mexican cinema and one of the best 1000 films by the New York Times.
The great screen surrealist Luis Buñuel co-wrote and directed this dark, bitterly witty satire. A group of people in formal dress arrives at an elegantly appointed home for a dinner party. However, once dinner is over and the guests retire to the drawing room, they discover that the servants have gone away, and for some reason they cannot leave. There is no explanation why -- there are no locked doors or barred windows preventing them from going home -- but the guests are convinced that they're stranded. Left to their own devices, they slowly but gradually degenerate into genteel savagery, taking an axe to a water pipe for drinking water, killing and eating a sheep that was to be part of the post-dinner entertainment, hiding the bodies of dead guests in the closet, dabbling in witchcraft, and burning the furniture. Buñuel's dry, quixotic wit is abundantly displayed in this film. Leading the cast was Silvia Pinal, the renowned actress who starred in several of Buñuel's Mexican films (she was married to noted producer Gustavo Alatriste, who produced several films with Buñuel). Other than the short subject Simon of the Desert, El Angel Exterminador proved to be Buñuel's last film made in his adopted homeland. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide