A dark comedy that deals with a family’s attempt to change the spending habit of the indulgent and hedonistic patriarch, Alfredo. The family decides to try to fool him into spending less by telling him that his large fortune is gone.
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Hilarious and acrid in dialogue and proceedings, this is pure character study with a seemingly moralistic message but, as always with Buñuel, not at all free from irreverent and 'human-all-too-human' anthropological acumen. Soler is marvellous as the spendthrift patriarch who indulges in all sorts of hedonistic adventures. "Pulvis e umbra sumus" may be the new motto but dust this, most certainly, is not. Delightful!
It's all great fun. With a clear and conventional narrative, the strength lies with the performances. They are all very good, and the overall effect is enjoyable. This film is important, if for no other reason that it allowed Buñuel to continue working in Mexico, and served to give him more experience in filmmaking; this was, after all, (just) his fifth film, even after having made his first film 20 years before.