Le Fantôme de la Liberté (The Phantom of Liberty) (The Specter of Freedom)

1974

Le Fantôme de la Liberté (The Phantom of Liberty) (The Specter of Freedom)

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

90%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 20

91%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 5,548
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Le Fantôme de la Liberté (The Phantom of Liberty) (The Specter of Freedom) Photos

Movie Info

The Phantom of Liberty is the Luis Buñuel film in which eating is presented as a private function, while going to the toilet is a social event. It is also the film wherein a peddler of "filthy French postcards" deals only in harmless scenic pictures. It is also the film in which an indiscriminate sniper is lauded as a hero. With all this going on, we should not be surprised that a little girl, who remains in full view of the audience throughout, is regarded as a missing child. Imagine the fun 20th Century-Fox had back in 1974 when trying to come up with an advertising "handle" for the doggedly indescribable Phantom of Liberty. They certainly could not exploit the aforementioned toilet scene, nor the sequence in which a group of monks use their religious medallions as poker chips.

Cast

Jean-Claude Brialy
as Mr. Foucauld
Adolfo Celi
as Dr. Legendre/Dr. Pasolini
Monica Vitti
as Mrs. Foucauld
Adriana Asti
as Prefect's Sister
Milena Vukotic
as Receptionist
Michael Lonsdale
as Jean Bermans
Anne-Marie Deschott
as Edith Rosenblum
Michel Piccoli
as 2nd Prefect of Police
Claude Piéplu
as Inspector
Paul Frankeur
as Innkeeper
Julien Bertheau
as 1st Prefect of Police
Pierre Maguelon
as Gendarme Gerard
Werner H. Furst
as Captain of Gendarmes
Claude Jaeger
as Colonel of Gendarmes
Alix Mahieux
as Hostess
Marie-France Pisier
as Mme. Calmette
Jenny Astruc
as Professor's Wife
Anne Marie Descott
as Miss Rosenblum
Jean Rochefort
as M. Legendre
Ellen Bahl
as Legendre's Nanny
Pascale Audret
as Mme. Legendre
V. Blanco
as Aliette
Agnes Capri
as Headmistress
Bernard Verley
as Captain of Dragoons
Paul Leperson
as Father Gabriel
Maxance Mailfort
as Lt. of Dragoons
Muni
as Foucauld's Nanny
Philippe Brigaud
as Sinister Stranger
I. Carriere
as Veronique Foucauld
Jean Champion
as Foucauld's Doctor
Marc Mazza
as Tank Sergeant
Bernard Musson
as Father Raphael
Marcel Peres
as Old Monk
Gilbert Montagne
as Young Monk
Sala
as Bootblack
Didier Flamand
as 1st Prefect's Secretary
Orane Demazis
as Prefect's Mother
Marius Laurey
as Cemetery Attendant
André Royer
as Police Sergeant
Jacqueline Rouillard
as 2nd Prefect's Secretary
Jean Mauvais
as Policeman
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Critic Reviews for Le Fantôme de la Liberté (The Phantom of Liberty) (The Specter of Freedom)

All Critics (20) | Top Critics (5)

Audience Reviews for Le Fantôme de la Liberté (The Phantom of Liberty) (The Specter of Freedom)

  • Oct 08, 2015
    The Phantom of Liberty is straightforwardly surreal and absurd. The film has a knack for maintaining interest by making one alternatively wonder at what strange thing will happen next and to what extremes it can be taken. It is also amusing enough to earn a passing grade.
    Robert B Super Reviewer
  • May 15, 2014
    Buñuel at his most playful and hilarious, it might also be his most daring film. It jumps from one absurd scenario to another without bringing any of those pieces to a satisfying conclusion but the film never feels inconsistent or jarring.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Jun 10, 2013
    The final segment's ending reminds of El Ángel Exterminador (1962); the only difference is that you shouldn't make a meaning out of it. Since La Voie Lactée (1969), Buñuel was now irremediably obsessed with religion and contradictions. Since the religious side had already been explored, it was the turn for, once again and for the last time, mocking at the "relativity of moral consensus". You cannot argue with Buñuel's logic (except religion; he was quite ignorant). Artistic freedom had always been his wet 24-fps dream. 90/100
    Edgar C Super Reviewer
  • Feb 29, 2012
    "The Phantom of Liberty" (the penultimate work of director Luis Bunuel's amazing career) is a tricky film to get a handle on, because it's structured like a "Monty Python's Flying Circus" episode. Nothing but quirky vignettes and transitions, with no sense of overall narrative shape. A DVD interview with screenwriter Jean-Claude Carriere reveals the perverse concept was to follow a story that is abandoned just when it turns most interesting, and then switch to a less interesting story. Wow. Notable sequences span a missing child who isn't really missing, a visit with a sadomasochistic couple, a surreal night of insomnia and the strangest dinner-table scene you'll ever see. Other pieces will fade from memory as soon as the film ends. The cast is stuffed with European actors whose faces are more familiar than their names, including Monica Vitti, Michel Piccoli, Jean Rochefort, Michael Lonsdale and Adolfo Celi.
    Eric B Super Reviewer

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