Cet obscur objet du désir (1977) from Tuna

Cet obscur objet du désir (1977) is the last film by Luis Buñuel (some would say thank God), and is a 103 minute film about the world's greatest cock tease, and the old guy who puts up with everything she dishes out and comes back for more. I must caution you that it is politically correct to like this film, as Luis Buñuel is one of THE great directors. That being said, I was alternately bored and bewildered through most of it. There is a recurring theme of international terrorism, but I could never figure out why. Then there is the fact that Buñuel used two actresses to play the same role at the same age. Carole Bouquet played Conchita in France, and Ángela Molina played her in Spain.

The story opens with our hero, Fernando Ray, checking out of his room,  boarding a train, then pouring a bucket of cold water on a woman on the platform. For the rest of the film, he relates their story to the other people in his compartment, which include a judge, a woman with her daughter, and a midget Psychologist. I am nearly certain that there is a lot of symbolism in this film, or at least that my High School English teachers could have found some, but I understood nothing but the tale of  the old fool and the cock tease. 


Bouquet shows breasts in several long and well lit scenes, and Molina showed pretty much everything including full frontal in a famous nude Flaminco dance scene.
 If you have ever had lovers' nuts, you might relate to this film. 

In French with subtitles.

DVD info from Amazon.

  • Widescreen anamorphic, 

  • video interview with the writer

  • part of a silent film from the same novel

 Scoop's comments:

Don't pay any attention to that little man behind the curtain. I am the mighty and powerful Buñuel.

Frankly, I don't understand one thing Buñuel has ever done. Ditto for Antonioni. I suppose they are too profound for me in their rejection of the middle-class values I am steeped in, such outdated values as cause-effect reasoning, logical thought, structure, cohesion,  narrative, and common sense.

But what he lacks in linear thought he more than makes up for in midgets.

I haven't seen this movie and, God willing, I never will, but I've seen enough Buñuel movies to know that Tuna made a good choice of adjectives when he picked "bewildered". Buñuel was almost 80 when he made this film, but you can't blame his age. His 1929 film makes far less sense. Fortunately, that one is only 16 minutes long.

The Critics Vote

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDb voters score it 7.6 
IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is a C+.

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