Le Fantôme de la Liberté (The Phantom of Liberty) (The Specter of Freedom)
Want to See
Not Interested
Rate it ½ star
Rate it 1 star
Rate it 1½ stars
Rate it 2 stars
Rate it 2½ stars
Rate it 3 stars
Rate it 3½ stars
Rate it 4 stars
Rate it 4½ stars
Rate it 5 stars
Le Fantôme de la Liberté (The Phantom of Liberty) (The Specter of Freedom)
One of Luis Buñuel's most episodic films, The Phantom of Liberty focuses on no one particular narrative. In the beginning, a man sells postcards of French tourist attractions, calling them "pornographic." A sniper in Montparnasse is hailed as a hero for killing passersby. A "missing" child helps the police fill out the report on her. A group of monks play poker, using religious medallions as chips, and in the most infamous sequence, a formally dressed social group gathers at toilets around a table, occasionally excusing themselves to go into little stalls in a private… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"A tour de force, a triumph by a director confronting almost impossible complications and contradictions and mastering them. It's very funny, all right, but remember: With Buñuel, you only laugh when it hurts."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"The challenging lack of a narrative center doesn't prevent this film from having a great deal to say about the modern world and its ambivalent grasp of freedom."
‑ Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
"as illusory as a dream about a mailman and as real as the letter you find in your hand"
‑ Jake Euker, Filmcritic.com
"This heady masterwork isn't particularly easy to decipher, but it's best approached as the literal comedy of manners Buñuel intends it to be."
‑ Ed Gonzalez, Slant Magazine
"The physical production is stunning to look at. The cast is large, first-rate, but the presence that dazzles us is that of the Old Master, just off screen, mercilessly testing our senses of sanity and humor."
‑ Vincent Canby, New York Times
"Bunuel's most uninhibited venture though audacious and satisfying my Bunuel pangs, lacks a bite or enough charm to appeal to the masses."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"The Phantom of Liberty moves with great confidence and comfort. Odd that such a wicked film should feel comfortable, but there you have it. That's Bunuel."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"Second-tier Bunuel, sometimes on target but mostly ineffective."
‑ Phil Hall, Film Threat
"Albeit scattershot, Phantom does cohere as a satire of keeping up appearances in which everything is as it appears."
‑ Jessica Winter, Village Voice
"An uproarious summary of Luis Bunuel's surrealistic concerns in a collection of anecdotes starring Jean-Claude Brialy, Michel Piccoli, and Monica Vitti."
‑ Michael Scheinfeld, TV Guide's Movie Guide
"It's wild, angry and often very funny."
‑ Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)