Rent That Obscure Object of Desire (1977)

3.7 of 5 from 126 ratings
1h 39min
Rent That Obscure Object of Desire (aka Cet obscur objet du désir) Online DVD & Blu-ray Rental
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Recounted in flashback to a group of railway travellers, the story wryly details the romantic perils of Mathieu, a wealthy, middle-aged French sophisticate who falls desperately in love with his 19-year-old former chambermaid Conchita. Thus begins a surreal game of sexual cat-and-mouse, with Mathieu obsessively attempting to win the girl's affections as she manipulates his carnal desires, each vying to gain absolute control of the other.
, , , , , , , , , , , Antonio Duque, , Lita Lluch-Peiro, , , , , , Isabelle Rattier
Serge Silberman
Luis Buñuel, Jean-Claude Carrière
Cet obscur objet du désir
Classics, Comedy, Drama, Romance
The Instant Expert's Guide, The Instant Expert's Guide to Luis Buñuel, Top 10 Best Last Films: World Cinema
Release Date:
Run Time:
99 minutes
French LPCM Mono
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.66:1
  • 'A Body of Work to Mend' - Documentary
  • Theatrical Trailers
Release Date:
Run Time:
103 minutes
English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono, French DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono, German DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono
English, French, German
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.66:1
BLU-RAY Regions:
  • Arbitrary Desire (Interview with Jean-Claude Carriere)
  • Interview with Carlos Saura
  • Double Dames (Interview with Carole Bouquet and Angela Molina)
  • A Portrait of Luis Bunuel (Interview with Pierre Lary and Edmond Richard)

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Reviews (3) of That Obscure Object of Desire

Life and Death of an Old Frenchman and a Youngt Trollop - That Obscure Object of Desire review by Cato

Spoiler Alert

A clever film on an old subject wherein a rich man getting on in life falls for a young woman at a train station who in turn leads him a merry dance as he tries to pull her. And that's it really, except that this happens in the 70s and bombs are being set alight in Paris by nasty people (so watch out Mathieu). It's a film with a difference, in that the old man relates all of his story to a train carriage full of very interested people (including some young girls, whom I'm sure wouldn't have been allowed to listen to all the details by their mother). Well, maybe in France perhaps. I must admit that I'd not noticed that there were two actresses playing the part of the naughty girl who tempts the old Parisian. Why, I don't know, but it was a creative masterpiece, as they say.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

Ageless film - That Obscure Object of Desire review by CSF

Spoiler Alert

I dare not to criticize Bunnuel. He is one of the cinema genius and has an incredible knowledge of the human's dark corners. I saw all his films in France, when I was 18 because he was a 'must' in France. It took me 20 years to understand and appreciate them. It was a big shock in film making. That's what I call breaking ground. It took me even longer to understand Belle de Jour but I've never forgotten it.

I was a little disturbed to watch 2 different actresses for the same part. I can't make up my mind whether it was an excellent idea to show the two sides of the woman or it was not necessary and rather artificial.

My favourite film is The Discreet Charm of the Bourgoisy. So clever!

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

The actress switching, a moment of inspiration from Buñuel - That Obscure Object of Desire review by Timetravel

Spoiler Alert

The interviews on the BluRay reveal that the actress switching idea was conceived after the start of filming.

Buñuel was struggling to work with the hired female lead (a well known 1970s actress) and was on the point of abandoning the shoot and locked himself in his room. The crew set out to find two possible alternatives and found Carole Bouquet in Paris and Ángela Molina in Spain and Fernando Rey rehearsed one day with each before a note was slipped under Buñuel's door to ask him to watch both auditions.

Although he was reluctant, he emerged from his room. In high pressure auditions Bouquet and Molina both delivered and Buñuel was inspired once again. He thought they were both wonderful. One problem... there was only one main female role. He then said he would decide which to work with, and came down in the morning smiling for the first time in days. He had decided on the switching actress idea overnight, Bouquet to represent the coldness of the character and Molina to represent the warmth.

Of course it would have been easy to implement this idea badly but it works due to Buñuel's skill as director. Even though the actresses do not look similar (they even have different hairstyles throughout the film) subsequent tests showed that sixty percent of viewers unaware of the switching did not realise there was more than one actress.

It helps that the performances of Carole Bouquet and Ángela Molina (at the time two relatively new actresses) are engaging and charismatic. Both went on to have successful careers, became big stars in France and Spain respectively and have over 200 film credits between them!

Underneath all of this the movie quietly makes its points about the abuse of the poor by the wealthy. Visually it stands up far better today than many films from the late 1970s ( I wish there was a four and a half stars rating.)

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

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