Edmundo and Lucia Nobile, a wealthy society couple, invite a group of twenty friends to their lavish Mexico City estate after a evening at the opera. For various, vague reasons their servants desert them as the guests arrive, leaving the bourgeois group to a truncated meal, a pretentious piano recital, enigmatic and sometimes absurdest conversation, boorish manners, and indiscreet romantic assignations. At 4 a.m. the Nobiles begin to question why no one has left, and when the dawn arrives, the estate's majordomo is unable to prepare breakfast because the usual delivery of daily provisions has mysteriously not arrived. As the day drones on, they slowly begin to realize that they are gripped by an inexplicable inertia that keeps them confined to the room. They make no conscious attempt to overcome their constraints but accept this self-imposed quarantine because no one else seems to make the effort. In the days that follow their behavior deteriorates as they use a closetful of expensive ceramic urns to relieve themselves and smash into a wall to break a water pipe to drink. Authorities that have surrounded the estate find that the same invisible barrier keeps them from entering the mansion to rescue the group. As the health and mental well-being of the occupants degenerates, they argue among themselves, begin to take drugs, and slaughter the sheep and lambs that inexplicitly wander the inside of the house for food. Bunuel's surreal black comedy is a parable that satirizes social mores, artistic pretension, moral hypocrisy, and the Catholic Church.