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Pickpocket (1959)

Not Rated  |   |  Crime, Drama  |  16 December 1959 (France)
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 12,136 users  
Reviews: 62 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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Title: Pickpocket (1959)

Pickpocket (1959) on IMDb 7.9/10

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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 <>

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

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (1965)

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Film debut of Martin LaSalle. See more »


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


Referenced in Gefängnisbilder (2001) See more »


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

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User Reviews

Bresson's films are quite unlike anything else in the cinema...

In his dismissal determination to keep out elements often thought fundamental to the medium—spectacle, drama, performance— Bresson has followed an incomparable personal vision of the world that stays consistent whatever the nature of his subject matter...

In "Pickpocket," a petty thief understands life's mystery only when his conventional wisdom is violently shaken and embraces humanity through his newfound love… Most notable, however, is not the emphasis upon redemption attained through communication and self-sacrifice, but the high-purity of Bresson's style...

The camera keeps out pictorial beauty to create an abstract timeless world through the detached, detailed observation of hands, faces, and objects; natural sounds rather than music to satisfy the need… In thus rejecting conventional realism and characterization, Bresson manifested a fascination not with human psychology but with the capacity of the soul to survive in a world of pain, disbelieve, and restriction...

29 of 39 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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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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