Delicatessen (1991)

A futuristic comic feast

Original Title : Delicatessen
Director : Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Marc Caro
Writer : Gilles Adrien
Marc Caro
Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Genre : Comedy
Country : France
Language : French
Producer : Claudie Ossard
Music : Carlos d' Alessio
Photography : Darius Khondji
Distributor : Miramax Films [us]
IMDB ID : 0101700
Official site :
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poster for "Delicatessen" by Jean-Pierre Jeunet | Marc Caro (1991)
Delicatessen (1991) - Jean-Pierre Jeunet | Marc Caro


Pascal Benezech Tried to Escape
Dominique Pinon Louison
Dominique Pinon Louison


In a post-apocolyptic society where food is so rare it's invaluable and used as currency and people eat each other a young clown applies for a job at a local delicatessen. The butcher's intent is to have him work for a little and then serve him to his stranger than normal tenants who pay him in, of course, grain. This clown falls in love with the butcher's daughter who tries to foil her father's plans by contacting the rebels. The rebels are possibly the most sensible of the lot, as they see food as food and not money.


Only the French could have pulled this off `The French,' said James Russell Lowell, `are the most wonderful creatures for talking wisely and acting foolishly that I ever saw.'And good old Henry Adams once said that what he disliked most about the French was their mind, their way of thinking.Why?Because, he said, the French were not serious. France is not serious.It's an insult,and, it's a compliment.Once their proclivity for playing `Sidewalk Socrates' is understood, one can begin to enjoy them.Henry Adams loved Paris when he got past the surface:`France was not serious, and he [Adams] was not serious in going there.' I say this by way of introduction to the French movie Delicatessen because, frankly, most French movies really bite.They have that bottom of the birdcage quality, which comes from trying too hard to be deep and philosophical, coming off as ineffably silly instead. Delicatessen avoids all of that because it doesn't try to be serious.There's nothing pretentious about it.But it could be.It's an outrageously funny black comedy.Only the French, with the penchant for speaking wisely, and acting foolishly, could have pulled this off.It's almost a satirical caricature of French society as a whole. Set in an apartment complex with a ground floor delicatessen, drifters check in, but don't check out –, that is, until a former circus clown shows up.The owner's daughter and the erstwhile circus performer fall in love, throwing her father's brutally perfected supply `system' (fresh meat) all out of whack.The `process,' it seems, cannot tolerate exceptions to the rule, especially not such impractical sentiments as love. Delicatessen has some outrageously comical setups.And best of all, the inhabitants are all laughable, each in their own way, from the murderous landlord, to his delicate little daughter named Julie.I won't spoil the fun for you by telling you any more.I urge you to find out for yourself.
poster for "Delicatessen"
331 x 475
Delicatessen (1991) - Jean-Pierre Jeunet | Marc Caro