Jan 082021

Three Films by Luis Bunuel is a collection of films from the prolific director and includes The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972)The Phantom of Liberty (1974) and That Obscure Object of Desire (1977).



Three Films by Luis Bunuel
— The Criterion Collection —
The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie
The Phantom of Liberty
That Obscure Object of Desire


Genre(s): Drama
The Criterion Collection | NR – 101 min. / 103 min. / 104 min. – $99.95 | January 5, 2020

Date Published: 01/08/2021 | Author: The Movieman

Director: Luis Bunuel
Writer(s): Luis Bunuel, Jean-Claude Carriere
Cast: The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie: Fernando Rey, Paul Frankeur, Delphine Seyrig, Bulle Ogier, Stephane Audran, Jean-Pierre Cassel, Julien Bertheau, Milena Vukotic; The Phantom of Liberty: Adrianna Asti, Julien Bertheau, Jean-Claude Brialy, Adolfo Celi, Paul Frankeur, Michel Lonsdale, Francois Maistre, Helene Perdriere, Michel Piccou, Claude Peplu, Jean Rochefort, Bernard Verley, Milena Vukotic; That Obscure Object of Desire: Fernando Rey, Carole Bosquet, Angela Molina, Julien Bertheau, Andre Weber, Milena Vukotic

Features: Featurettes, Interviews
Slip Cover: Yes
Digital Copy: No
Formats Included: Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 3

Audio: French (DTS-HD MA 2.0)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 1.66
Subtitles: English SDH
Codecs: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A

The Criterion Collection provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.


The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972) — The ambassador of the Latin American republic of Miranda (FERNANDO REY), M. Thevenot (PAUL FRANKEUR), his wife Simone (DELPHINE SEYRIG) and her sister Florence (BULLE OGIER) arrive for a dinner party at the house of Alice Sénéchal (STEPHANE AUDRAN) and her husband Henri (Jean-Pierre Cassel), only to learn that they were mistaken about the date. In director Luis Buñuel’s surreal fantasy, the six bourgeois friends repeatedly gather for a dinner that never quite arrives.

The Phantom of Liberty (1974) — This Surrealist Spanish film, with a title referencing the Communist Manifesto, strings together short incidents based on the life of director Luis Buñuel. Presented as chance encounters, these loosely related, intersecting situations, all without a consistent protagonist, reach from the 19th century to the 1970s. Touching briefly on subjects such as execution, pedophilia, incest, and sex, the film features an array of characters, including a sick father and incompetent police officers.

That Obscure Object of Desire (1977) — After dumping a bucket of water on a beautiful young woman from the window of a train car, wealthy Frenchman Mathieu (FERNANDO REY), regales his fellow passengers with the story of the dysfunctional relationship between himself and the young woman in question, a fiery 19-year-old flamenco dancer named Conchita (played alternately by CAROLE BOSQUET and ANGELA MOLINA). What follows is a tale of cruelty, depravity and lies — the very building blocks of love.



This 3-disc collection are each housed in their own fold-out digipak, the first one contains a removable 56-page booklet. For those interested, the collection numbers on these are 102, 290 and 143 respectively.

The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie:

  • The Castaway of Providence Street — From 1971, an homage to Luis Bunuel by his longtime friends and fellow filmmakers Arturo Ripstein and Rafael Castanedo
  • Speaking of Bunuel — Documentary from 2000 on the director’s life and work as told by Jose Luis Lopez-Linares and Javier Rioyo.
  • Once Upon a Time: The Discreet Charm of Bourgeoisie — 2011 television program about the making of the film.
  • Episode of “Pour le cinema” — 1972 episode of the French program with behind-the-scenes footage of Bunuel on set, along with interviews by the director and cast members.
  • Trailer

The Phantom of Liberty:

  • Interview with screenwriter Jean-Claude Carriere from 2000.
  • Analysis of the film by film scholar Peter William Evans recorded in 2017.
  • Episodes of “Pour le cinema” — From 1974, the program features actors Michel Piccoli and Jean-Claude Brialy and another episode with Brialy as well.
  • Documentary from 1985 about producer Serge Silberman, who worked with Bunuel on five of the director’s final seven films.
  • Trailer

That Obscure Object of Desire:

  • Interview from 2000 with Jean-Claude Carriere.
  • Lady Doubles — 2017 documentary featuring actors Carole Bouquer and Angela Molina, who share the role of Conchita.
  • Portrait of an Impatient Filmmaker, Luis Bunuel — 2012 documentary featuring director of photography Edmond Richard and assistant director Pierre Lary.
  • Excerpts from Jacques de Baroncelli’s 1929 silent film Le monde du cinema from 1977 which features Carriere, actor Fernando Rey and producer Serge Silberman.
  • Conversation from 1977 with many of Bunuel’s collaborators, including Carriere, Rey, and actors Julien Bertheau, Muni, and Michel Piccoli.
  • Trailer


VIDEO – 4/5

Per the notes in the booklet, all three films are presented in their original 1.66 aspect ratio. Each are a new digital transfer culled from the original 35mm interpositives. No mention what restoration work was done, but by my eye, these movies look quite good and I imagine never looked better. Detail is sharp throughout and while colors aren’t exactly vibrant, they do seem in keeping with the 1970s time period and I prefer the natural state rather than it being artificially boosted.

AUDIO – 4/5

Similar to the video, the audio for all three films were taken from their original 35mm magnetic track and presented here in PCM Mono. Given, save for a few scenes here and there, is mostly dialogue and as such, it comes across the center channel with good clarity.




Check out some more 1080p screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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