When Parisian femme de chambre Céléstine (Jeanne Moreau) arrives at her new post at a provincial manor, she finds a cast of variously corrupt and perverse eccentrics lurking therein, including an elderly, foot-fetishist patriarch; a womanizing, small-game hunter (Michel Piccoli); a garbage-tossing neighbor; and a right-wing, anti-Semitic groundskeeper (Georges Géret). We're clearly in the world of Buñuel, though the director and co-screenwriter Jean-Claude Carrière (who also cameos as a priest) take significantly greater liberties with Octave Mirbeau's satiric 1900 novel than the 1946 Hollywood version directed by Jean Renoir. A fallback project for Buñuel after the Spanish government nixed his first attempt at Tristana, the material proved fertile for his wild imagination, and teamed him for the first time with producer Serge Silberman and Carrière, collaborators he would continue to work with for the rest of his career.

  • Directed By Luis Buñuel
  • 1964
  • France/Italy
  • 35mm
  • 101min minutes