After the success of The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie there was no possibility that [Luis] Bunuel would not immediately make another film. Charm had not even been mixed before [Serge] Silberman [his producer and financer] was pressing him... Silberman came down to see him, and they sampled the liqueur together. It put both men in reflective mood.
'Luis, it's curious,' Silberman said. 'You were born in Zaragoza, you're Catholic; you were brought up by the Jesuits. Me, I was born on the border of Poland and Russia; I was brought up by lay Jews, and yet look at us; we understand one another.'