19

I was watching this on UK television one afternoon in the 1980's. Subtitles and I think they were speaking Spanish (or Italian/French maybe - poor ear for languages) but my first wife came home and insisted on watching some soap so I never saw the end of the film.

A priest finished his service in a small town church but none of the congregation would leave the building, he strode down the aisle but stopped before he got to the doors, he couldn't leave either.

As the day progresses various villagers enter the church to see where their family members have got to, they too can't bring themselves to leave. Eventually the local police get involved and send in a cop, he doesn't come out either.

The view kept switching from the gathering crowds behind hastily erected barriers and the trapped people inside. I think a very well trained dog was sent in but wouldn't come out despite the owner calling through the door...(the church inner porch doors weren't in line with the main doors so nobody could see in or out)

The police chief called in the army but in the meantime somehow got hold of a flock of sheep and drove them in to see what happened, they milled around the trapped people but, despite a lot of arm waving and shouting and trying to herd them with the dog, they too would not venture back to the church doors.

That's as far as I viewed it, unfortunately

  • 4
    "You can check out any time you like... But you can never leave!" – Mateen Ulhaq Aug 26 at 9:32
20

This is Luis Buñuel's satirical/surreal film The Exterminating Angel (El ángel exterminador) from 1962.

After spending most of the film trapped in a living room, the final scene has a group of partygoers trapped in a church. Sheep enter as the film closes...

To give thanks for their salvation, the guests attend a Te Deum at the cathedral. When the service is over, the churchgoers along with the clergy are also trapped. It is not entirely clear whether those that were trapped in the house before are now trapped again. They seem to have disappeared. The situation in the church is followed by a riot on the streets and the military step in to brutally clamp down, firing on the rioters. The last scene shows a flock of sheep entering the church in single file, accompanied by the sound of gunshots.

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    interesting how the "final scene" is basically all that OP could remember & made it sound like the entire movie. – RozzA Aug 25 at 20:39
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    @RozzA - The final scene is largely an extension of the themes of the previous hour of the movie. – Valorum Aug 25 at 21:06
  • @RozzA Or how the resolution that the OP missed was in fact a non-resolution, so they didn't really miss anything at all... – Draco18s Aug 26 at 14:15
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    Looking at these comments and I must have been into the closing minute before my wife changed the channel, at least I know what I was viewing now. Over thirty years ago since watching and I remembered a lot of it. Cheers all – DannyMcG Aug 26 at 15:06
  • to explain myself, I also do this very same thing - remember huge detail (wrongly) about a small part of something and then think it was the whole thing. Books, movies, TV shows, etc. – RozzA Aug 27 at 2:34

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