El Ángel Exterminador
****/**** Image B+ Sound B+ Extras B
starring Silvia Pinal, Jacqueline Andere, José Baviera, Augusto Benedico
screenplay by Luis Buñuel, based on the story "Los Náufragos de la Calle de la Providencia" by Luis Alcoriza and Luis Buñuel
directed by Luis Buñuel
by Bryant Frazer The first scene of The Exterminating Angel takes place at the gate outside a stately mansion where the house's butler, Julio (Claudio Brook), confronts Lucas (Ángel Merino), a servant trying to sneak off the grounds just as the staff is preparing a dinner party for twenty. The worker hesitates for a moment, then continues on his way, the butler calling angrily after him: "Never set foot in this house again." It's the beginning of a very long night for the steward, who is vexed as his waiters and kitchen staff, one by one or in pairs, desert their posts for the evening at the worst possible time. The servants know something's wrong, and though they're not sure what it is, none of them--save the unflappable Julio, who keeps the gears turning smoothly--are willing to stick around to find out. When Lucia (Lucy Gallardo), the frustrated lady of the house, barks her offense at this betrayal, Julio is there to reassure her. "Domestic help grows more impertinent by the day, madam," he declares.