Pickpocket (1959)

Not Rated  |   |  Crime, Drama  |  16 December 1959 (France)
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 12,384 users  
Reviews: 61 user | 83 critic

Michel is released from jail after serving a sentence for thievery. His mother dies and he resorts to pickpocketing as a means of survival.



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Complete credited cast:
Michel (as Martin La Salle)
Marika Green ...
Jean Pélégri ...
Dolly Scal ...
Pierre Leymarie ...
Kassagi ...
César Gattegno ...


Michel takes up picking pockets as a hobby, and is arrested almost immediately, giving him the chance to reflect on the morality of crime. After his release, though, his mother dies, and he rejects the support of friends Jeanne and Jacques in favour of returning to pickpocketing (after taking lessons from an expert), because he realises that it's the only way he can express himself... Written by Michael Brooke <michael@everyman.demon.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

16 December 1959 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Ficktjuven  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (1965)

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Banned in Finland until 1965 because of its depiction of authentic pickpocketing techniques. See more »


Michel: Oh, Jeanne, to reach you at last, what a path I had to take.
See more »


Featured in Il ladro (2003) See more »


Fragments from Orchestral suite No. 7 (Suite in G, Overture)
By Johann Caspar Ferdinand Fischer (1656-1746) (uncredited)
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User Reviews

A riveting classic
5 May 2002 | by (Columbia, South Carolina, USA) – See all my reviews

I hated this film the first time I saw it a few years ago. I saw it again last night because my own personal code dictates that when something is universally regarded as a masterpiece and I don't like it, then I'm the one with the problem. So I saw it again to see just what my problem was. This time I thought it was riveting. It was hard to take my eyes off the screen. It is one of the best works about compulsion I have ever seen. I guess this is one of those works, like Borges' novels for example, that needs to be experienced twice to be appreciated.

37 of 69 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Recent Posts
Can someone who loves this film defend it? richardinkerry
Why has this got such a high rating on IMDB Bobbygolucky
Stiff acting alllexis
Paul Schrader on Pickpocket. Goldmund1710
Pickpocket scenes are so phony lonelybirthday
The plot's relation to 'Crime and Punishment' lyfek
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