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506 Ratings


This Strange Passion

Directed by Luis Buñuel
Mexico, 1953
Drama, Romance


Francisco is rich, strict on principles, and still a bachelor. He meets Gloria by accident, and is intent on marrying her and courts her until she agrees. Now he is a dedicated husband, but his passion starts to exhibit disturbing traits.
(Also known as This Strange Passion.)

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Él Directed by Luis Buñuel
The relation to Hitchcock has been amply noted, the one to Ray’s Bigger Than Life less so. The knitting needle in the keyhole, the pistol in the bathrobe pocket, rope and thread and razor wrapped in cotton: the full panoply of obsession. (“A deeply personal definition of love,” proclaims de Córdova.)
July 21, 2014
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EL (sometimes known as THIS STRANGE PASSION) functions as a Rosetta stone of [Buñuel’s] favorite themes: Catholicism, crazy love, women’s feet—all three of which he manages to combine in the very first scene.
October 05, 2012
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Incorporating expressionistic devices of reflecting character interiority through architecture and mise-en-scène, Buñuel uses integrally tactile and voluptuous Gaudi-like structures and ornate, baroque ornamentation in Don Francisco’s secluded (and self-imprisoning) estate that paradoxically reveal the suppressed eroticism, passion, and perversion that lay beneath the façade of genteel and pious respectability.
January 01, 2004
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What are people saying?

  • Ethan's rating of the film Él

    Bunuel was a master at conveying the complex emotions of humans onto the screen. Here we get jealousy and how it can consume someone to the point of insanity. In a film that could easily be very basic, Bunuel transcends his material by building up a palpable tension throughout culminating in that brilliant climax of a breakdown and the sedated denouement where we realize nothing is ever learned, just buried.

  • David Grillo's rating of the film Él

    The montage places him next to catholicism and his upper class it transplants repression with his own strange passion that in order for this man to manipulate his estranged lover first he must manipulate his own soul. He cages his love. He is no longer the man he was and further apart from the man he is supposed to be he looses touch with his identity he looses a way to look at himself.

  • Greg S.'s rating of the film Él

    The surrealism here lies in the malleability of humanity, for the bulk of the film Bunuel makes Fransisco out to be a complete buffoon (The comments about the architecture in his home being moody provide insight to both his mentality and how Bunuel utilizes him) But when the viewer finds themselves in Fransisco's head for one of Bunuel's most surreal gestures its a truly devastating experience. Masterpiece.

  • Zachary George Najarian-Najafi's rating of the film Él

    One of my absolute favorite Bunuel films. A chilling and cheeky satire of the noble patriarch undone by his own petty jealousy and self-righteousness. What strikes me now, months after having seen the film is how voyeruistic it is. The camera is the male gaze taken to the extreme. And the cinematography and set design are beyond perfect. No wonder Hitchcock loved it, Vertigo definitely has echoes of El.

  • Pierluigi Puccini's rating of the film Él

    Amazing Buñuel film, as paranoic, mysognist and mesmerizing as always. great performance by Arturo De Córdova. some say the bell tower scene inspired Hitchcock in the equally brilliant climax of vertigo.

  • ramosbarajas's rating of the film Él

    The narrative structure is uneven. The begging is somewhat slow, considering how fast the rest of the film moves. Even though we quickly catch up, the ellipses in time are jarring. Aside from that, the performances and script are strong. Buñuel's direction is powerful, and we see some elements that recur in his later films. Figueroa's photography is a standout. Overall, it is a great film from his Mexican oeuvre.

  • FISCHER's rating of the film Él

    >>> Sur le thème de la jalousie morbide, virant à l'obsession paranoïaque, une oeuvre de qualité et de référence, signée par l'incontournable Luis Bunuel...

  • Wee Hunk's rating of the film Él

    I prefer Bunuel's surreal movies in general. This character study goes from melodrama to Hitchcockian thriller. Loved the bell tower scene.

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