La Voie lactée (The Milky Way) (1969) - Rotten Tomatoes

La Voie lactée (The Milky Way) (1969)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Religious pilgrims Pierre (Paul Frankeur) and Jean (Laurent Terzieff) journey to a shrine in the north of Spain. Their faith is severely tested by some of the irreverent characters they confront in the course of their pilgrimage. Even chance meetings with Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary and the Devil are not quite what Pierre and Jean have been prepared for in their religious training. Filmmaker Luis Buñuel's ongoing disdain of Roman Catholicism reaches a satiric pinnacle in The Milky Way, which contains all the logic of a daydream and all the reverence of breaking wind at the Confessional. Need we add: this is not a remake of the 1936 Harold Lloyd comedy The Milky Way.


Delphine Seyrig
as The Prostitute
Edith Scob
as Virgin Mary
Alain Cuny
as Man with Cape
Francois Maistre
as French Priest
Claude Cerval
as Brigadier
as Mother Superior
Julien Bertheau
as Maitre d'Hotel
Ellen Bahl
as Mme. Garnier
Michel Piccoli
as The Marquis
Agnes Capri
as Lamartine Institution Directress
Michel Etcheverry
as The Inquisitor
Pierre Clémenti
as The Devil/Angel of Death
Georges Marchal
as The Jesuit
Jean Piat
as The Jansenist
Denis Manuel
as Rodolphe
Daniel Pilon
as Francois
Julien Guiomar
as Spanish priest
Marcel Peres
as Spanish Innkeeper
Augusta Carriere
as Sister Francoise
Jean-Daniel Ehrmann
as Condemned Man
Pierre Lary
as Young monk
Bernard Musson
as French Innkeeper
Michel Dacquin
as M. Garnier
Pierre Maguelon
as Civil Guard Corporal
Marius Laurey
as Blind Man
Jean Clarieux
as Apostle Peter
Christian Van Cau
as Apostle Andrew
Rita Maiden
as Priscillian's Daughter
Beatrice Constantini
as Priscillian's Daughter
Claude Jetter
as Virgin in Spanish Inn
Jacqueline Rouillard
as Restaurant Maid
Jose Bergosa
as Priscillian's First Deacon
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Critic Reviews for La Voie lactée (The Milky Way)

All Critics (14) | Top Critics (2)

Everything is photographed straightforwardly, in cheerful but not bilious color, and seen with documentary-like clarity.

Full Review… | May 9, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

A bit of a poor relation among the magnificent films of Buñuel's late period, but rarely shown and well worth seeing.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Has some laughs mostly at the expense of Catholic dogma.

Full Review… | September 20, 2007
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

You can feel the master laughing heartily at his own hijinks, and that takes away all pretension and makes the film interesting.

Full Review… | September 13, 2007
Combustible Celluloid

Though not unanimously considered one of the director's greatest works, The Milky Way may be one of his most poignant explorations of true spirituality ...

Full Review… | August 27, 2007

describing it somewhat in the vein of teaching a humpback whale how to solve a Rubik's cube

August 24, 2007

Audience Reviews for La Voie lactée (The Milky Way)

A more modern and surralistic take "thy old pilgrimage". Bunuel is in a way critical of the religion itself which he is folding his story around, the christendom. A messy pilgrimage it is, stumbling across lots of events with roots from biblotic tales.

Anders Ask
Anders Ask

The bad reviews this film receives are depressing. Most people would rather watch a grown man in tights chasing 'evil-doers'. What a shame. This is not a film for idiots, I'm afraid, which means that 90% of filmgoers should just keep right on moving. For those of us who care about the world around us, and the implications of the natural order, this ought to be absolutely essential viewing. Not the very best Buñuel had to offer, but magical and transcendental in its own right.

Steve Joseph
Steve Joseph

Two down and out men travel from France to Spain for a pilgrimage, along the way meeting various absurd characters who illustrate historical Christian heresies. A remarkable Surrealist assault on religious dogmatism and hypocrisy, often using the Church's own texts against them, but it's so academic that it sometimes feels like it's all from the head, with no heart involved at all.

Greg S
Greg S

Super Reviewer

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