L'Âge d'Or (French pronunciation: [lɑʒ dɔʁ], English: The Golden Age) is a 1930 surrealist film directed by Spanish filmmaker Luis Buñuel and written by him and Salvador Dalí. Buñuel's first feature film, it has more of a plot than his previous short Un Chien Andalou (1928), but is still pure surrealism and open to broad interpretation.
The film began as a second collaboration with Dalí, but, by the time the film went into production, Buñuel and Dalí had had a falling out, and so Dalí actually had nothing to do with the actual making of L'Âge d'Or. During this film, he worked around his technical ignorance by filming mostly in sequence and using nearly every foot of film that he shot. It has generally been seen as a scathing attack on bourgeois society and the Roman Catholic Church.
The film cost a million francs to produce and was financed by the nobleman Vicomte Charles de Noailles, who beginning in 1928 commissioned a film every year for the birthday of his wife Marie-Laure de Noailles. When it was first released, there was a storm of protest. The film premiered at Studio 28 in Paris on 29 November 1930 after receiving its permit from the Board of Censors. In order to get the permit, Buñuel had to present the film to the Board as the dream of a madman.
On 3 December 1930, a group of incensed members of the fascist League of Patriots threw ink at the screen during a screening of the film, assaulted members of the audience, and destroyed art works by Dalí, Joan Miró, Man Ray, Yves Tanguy and others on display in the lobby.
On 10 December, the Prefect of Police of Paris, Jean Chiappe, arranged to have the film banned after the Board of Censors reviewed the film. A contemporary Spanish newspaper condemned the film as “...the most repulsive corruption of our age... the new poison which Judaism, masonry, and rabid, revolutionary sectarianism want to use in order to corrupt the people.”
The Noailles family pulled the film from distribution for nearly 50 years. In 1933, it was screened at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, but the film did not have its official United States premiere until 1–15 November 1979 at the Roxie Cinema in San Francisco.