This 1972 movie, co-written and directed by the surrealist Luis Bunuel. I never actually get what is this the title about, especially "discreet charm".

Foremost, why is it "discreet"? Secondly, is the word "charm" used ironically, since some may find this movie freaky even without making any extra connection of what it is about.

Then, what does "discreet charm" mean together? From here I think I could figure out the rest, but more explanation is always welcome. <;)

1 Answer 1


"Discreet Charm" is a common european idiom, often used sarcastically to highlights how subtly appealing could be something wrong.

Hope this helps.

  • 2
    Agree. "Discreet charm" is a common phrase referring to an understated, unobtrusive charm; the phrase is also used sarcastically when referring to people whose "charm" is not discreet to the extent that one is likely not find it charming either!
    – MJ6
    Commented Aug 25, 2012 at 16:02
  • Thanks for answering! I have problem understanding the "something wrong" part. Does "discreet charm" always referring to something that is wrong? (ie. always used for something like the small temptation of keeping a lost purse.) Or can it be used to refer both right and wrong things? (not necessarily at the same time)
    – n611x007
    Commented Aug 27, 2012 at 16:57
  • More specifically, it's a French idiom, that was translated literally. See Ngrams.
    – Peter Shor
    Commented Feb 17, 2019 at 18:58

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