Death in the Garden (La Mort en ce jardin) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Death in the Garden (La Mort en ce jardin) Reviews

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½ July 29, 2018

[Luis Buńuel]
May 25, 2014
surrealists master bunnel tries a commerical pic with signoret as a ho that doesn't do much business but every scene she is in a different faboulous costume!
December 12, 2012
Encontrarse con personajes tan complejos en una pelĂ­cula que parece que no va a ningĂșn lado es refrescante. No el mejor trabajo de Buñuel pero sin duda lo suficientemente bueno como para recomendarla.
September 17, 2012
Disappointingly lifeless for a Bunuel film, regardless of the fact that in it he remains true to dealing with some of his favourite themes.
½ September 10, 2012
I am not a patient viewer, I need something to grab my attention rather quickly, an image, an opening quote, I need to be drawn in. With films like Coppola's "Somewhere" or Leone's "The Good the Bad and the Ugly", there isn't dialogue right away, but there is intrigue. Death in the Garden has the poorest production quality I've ever seen except for maybe a version of Romeo and Juliet I glanced at from the early thirties. It looks like a T.V movie from the 90's. I'm sort of shocked that Criteron has this in there collection, because it's one of the worst they have to offer. There is nothing to like about this film, the dialogue is silly, the camerawork is abysmal and awkward, and the acting is dreadful. I want this movie destroyed.
½ August 18, 2012
Great, Unknown Bunuel--Great adventure!!
Super Reviewer
½ June 17, 2012
There was some "lost classic" hype buzzing around "Death in the Garden," when the film was belatedly released on DVD last year.

Sorry to say, the hoopla is not earned. I had a harder time sitting through this than any other Luis Bunuel film I've seen, and I've seen most of his less appreciated works. And people try to compare this with "Aguirre, Wrath of God"?

The heart of the plot is a small, eclectic band of people tramping through the jungle, trying to escape a South American village governed by a corrupt police force. The group includes a priest (Michel Piccoli, in his first of seven Bunuel pictures), a prostitute (Simone Signoret), a macho outsider (Georges Marchal), a deaf girl and her cook father.

The main problem is that the film takes about 50 minutes to arrive at this point. Before that, the story just wanders around the village, establishing characters and the fundamental conflict: a riot brewing after the police seize the diamond mine that provides everyone's livelihood. There is one notable flash of perversity, however: Marchal's character, Shark, enters the film by casually flipping his middle finger at the troops. A somewhat shocking inclusion, by 1956 standards.

Once the central characters are on the run, the story becomes a bit more interesting. The fugitives turn punchy with exhaustion and hunger, and a more primal clash of personalities emerges. Signoret has promised herself to the cook, but only because of the money he has stockpiled to open a restaurant. But she has second thoughts, and starts feeling drawn toward Marchal instead. Piccoli tries to be a calming presence, but is predictably ineffectual (this is a Luis Bunuel film, after all). The five hope to sail away to Brazil, but their internal tensions may become more of an obstacle than the police pursuing them.

All this sounds much more compelling than it is. It's one of Bunuel's earliest color projects, and plenty of gun action helps cover the incongruity of a Spanish director making a French-language film about South America. And there are two subversive insertions which can't be missed: a memorable image of a large snake being swarmed by fire ants (Bunuel always loves his insects!) and a strange, delirious anecdote from Piccoli about an old seminary classmate who liked to eat soft-boiled eggs. But the first half's tedium can't be overcome and, in the end, "Death in the Garden" doesn't feel like much more than a second-rate adventure movie.
February 16, 2012
I need to watch it a second time to get a better judgement of it (Had to see it in two sittings which caused me to forget certain plot threads). It's certainly recognizable as a Bunuel film despite its "adventure" elements.
February 2, 2012
A small tropical town is rocked when a revolution from miners breaks out, forcing the army to come and speculate. The supposed leader of the pack (Vanel) is soon recognized by the troops, as well as an adventurer (Marchal), and the commander decides to kill four people for every day the two don't show up. Instead of doing the right thing, they venture out into the jungle, along with earthy prostitute Djin (Signoret), a priest (Piccoli), and the leader's beautiful deaf-mute daughter (Girardon). During the journey, the group all strips down their past identities and instead fight for survival. "La mort en ce jardin" was legendary Spanish director's Luis Buńuel's first movie in color, and one his first and possibly only movie that appeals to all audiences. Considering he's known for more artsy, symbol-filled films, I really felt mixed results with the film. Filmed during Buńuel's middle period (where he still wasn't known as a master, that wouldn't be until "Viridiana"), it's obvious to me that he was really to get started in more powerful films, yet to come in the '60's. But because the movie is more action-packed and crowd-pleasing than any of his other films, and it takes a similar narrative to many of action/adventure movies of the same time. Considering most of his films are such a unique experience, I think I was mostly disappointed in this just because I feel like this was even comparable to the likes of his later works. On the bright side, we get nice looking Eastmancolor photography (one of the most popular solutions to Technicolor in the '50's), an excellent performance by the smoldering Simone Signoret (who never seemed to be able to smile on camera), and beautiful shots of South America. "La mort en ce jardin" is a good movie, but is definitely not as groundbreaking as the director's other works, making it a forgettable experience.
½ November 14, 2011
Being human into the wild!
Super Reviewer
½ October 23, 2011
It's "The Exterminating Angel" with a jungle setting, with characters being pray to their surrounds and revealing their real personalities to the audience an to each other. The colour cinematography is quite striking, especially when you have a very blonde and very dangerous Simone Signoret in red lisptick.
August 3, 2011
Meh. Mostly I liked the whore's dresses and the deaf girl's dress in the jungle. Otherwise, I wasn't much impressed. Herzog's wandering around in the jungle movies are all better.
July 14, 2011
On aime l'aventure, la jungles, le parfum de revolution au frontiere du Bresil avec Simone Signoret en femme de poigne. Ce n est pas un chef d oeuvre mais rien n est deplaisant dans ce film.
Super Reviewer
½ July 11, 2011
In "Death in the Garden," the military of a South American country is ordered to nationalize the diamond mines and has given a day for everyone to clear out. In response, they go to talk to Captain Ferrero(Jorge Martinez de Hoyos) who surprisingly agrees to a meeting but only on the condition that they leave their guns outside. This they will not do and a small gunfight erupts, with the miners fleeing in the wake of superior firepower. After the smoke clears, Chark(Georges Marchal) gives the soldiers a one finger salute. He treats Djin(Simone Signoret) better before she rats him out to the local authorities.

With his film "Death in the Garden," Luis Bunuel makes a logical case for the randomness of the universe and against a higher power while also ironically making use of a deus ex machina. How else do you explain a priest(Michel Piccoli) on a fool's errand who is better dressed than anyone else? The military might be in their rights to kick out the foreigners who only seek to exploit the mineral wealth of their country but they are horribly brutal in their methods. The disparate group of characters at the heart of the movie, as more than one character points out, is all in the same boat, literally and figuratively, no matter their respective sins.
March 16, 2010
A prospector along with his deaf-mute daughter, an adventurer, a priest and a prostitute flee into the jungle in order to escape from a corrupt Latin American government. A French-Mexican movie from Bunuel that contains a few scenes that presage his more famous movies, but that tells a fairly straight-forward story. Movie is also notable as the first time that Piccoli appeared in a Bunuel movie.
March 14, 2010
"La Mort en ce jardin" (1956) 3/5

No estå mal, pero muy convencional para ser de Buñuel, no me esperaba algo así. Lo mejor es la segunda mitad.
½ February 7, 2010
Slow but entertaining commercial effort from Luis Bunuel, newly restored with a fine color print on DVD with a commentary track and lengthy interviews. As far as color jungle adventure goes it's better than "Robinson Crusoe", but there are more important Bunuel Mexican films still unavailable that need the treatment this one got.
December 2, 2009
Best known for his surrealist art films, Luis Bunuel also directed this big-budget studio pulp adventure, and it's easily one of his most satisfying and engaging films. A fun, melodramatic, action-packed plot, colorful characters, an exotic locale, great Eastman color cinematography, and many fascinating images - not to mention the odd, nihilistic ending. An absolute classic.
½ October 9, 2009
An atypical Bunuel, although it does contain a healthy dose of his cynicism, and a priest character much like the one in Nazarin. It's an action/drama, not bad but not that great. I didn't find much of interest here besides some role reversals and a touch of moral ambiguity. It didn't seem to have much point to it beyond being a bummer.
½ July 7, 2009
Very cool movie from Luis Bunuel. Simone Signoret is stunning as the greedy prostitute!
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