IMDb > Pickpocket (1959)
Pickpocket
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Pickpocket (1959) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
7.9/10   10,421 votes »
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Down 8% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writer:
Robert Bresson (writer)
Contact:
View company contact information for Pickpocket on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
16 December 1959 (France) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
Michel is released from jail after serving a sentence for thievery. His mother dies and he resorts to pickpocketing as a means of survival. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
2 nominations See more »
NewsDesk:
(47 articles)
The invisible man by Anne-Katrin Titze
 (From eyeforfilm.co.uk. 27 September 2014, 3:01 AM, PDT)

New on Video: ‘Pickpocket’
 (From SoundOnSight. 22 July 2014, 6:19 PM, PDT)

New DVD Blu-ray: 'Under the Skin,' 'Rio 2'
 (From Moviefone. 15 July 2014, 9:30 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Crime and Punishment, Bresson style See more (59 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Martin LaSalle ... Michel (as Martin La Salle)
Marika Green ... Jeanne
Jean Pélégri ... L'inspecteur principal
Dolly Scal ... La mère
Pierre Leymarie ... Jacques
Kassagi ... 1er complice

Pierre Étaix ... 2ème complice
César Gattegno ... Un inspecteur
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Sophie Saint-Just ... Bit Part (uncredited)
Dominique Zardi ... Un passager du métro / Subway passenger (uncredited)

Directed by
Robert Bresson 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Robert Bresson  writer

Produced by
Agnès Delahaie .... producer
 
Cinematography by
Léonce-Henri Burel  (as L.-H. Burel)
 
Film Editing by
Raymond Lamy 
 
Production Design by
Pierre Charbonnier 
 
Production Management
Michel Choquet .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Jacques Ballanche .... assistant director
Claude Clément .... assistant director
Michel Clément .... assistant director
 
Art Department
Pierre Guffroy .... first assistant decorator (as P. Guffroy)
 
Sound Department
Antoine Archimbaud .... sound
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Jacques De St. Girons .... second assistant camera (as J. de Saint Girons)
André du Breuil .... first assistant camera (as A. du Breuil)
Henri Raichi .... assistant camera
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Luce Scatena .... wardrober (as L. Scatena)
 
Editorial Department
Geneviève Falaschi .... assistant editor (as G. Falaschi)
 
Other crew
Kassagi .... technical advisor: pickpockets' skills
Odette Lemarchand .... script girl (as O. Lemarchand)
Léon Sanz .... administrator
 
Crew believed to be complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
75 min | Argentina:79 min | Finland:77 min (1965)
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Michel studies the book "Prince of Pickpockets" (1930), a biography of the Irish pickpocket George Barrington written by Richard S. Lambert.See more »
Quotes:
Jeanne:I don't know. Perhaps everything has a reason.
Michel:Jeanne, are you that naïve?
See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Il ladro (2003)See more »
Soundtrack:
Suite de symphonies d'Amadis (selection)See more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
28 out of 41 people found the following review useful.
Crime and Punishment, Bresson style, 3 December 2006
Author: TrevorAclea from London, England

Looking like a French movie but sounding like Russian literature with all the furniture cataloguing removed, Pickpocket is from the days when Bresson still drew more naturalistic performances from his non-professional casts rather than turning them into stilted and self-conscious mannequins (although Marika Green falls into the latter category, always looking at her feet as if her lines were written on her shoes in classic Bresson automaton mode), and combines the sleek look of a studio policier with a pared down moral debate from Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment, with theft replacing murder.

Unlike Bresson's more obviously spiritual films (A Man Escaped, Au Hasard Balthazar, Diary of a Country Priest), there's no religious quest here: instead, there's a determinedly atheistic one, with Martin LaSalle's would-be Prince of Pickpockets pursuing an ideal of intellectual elitism as justification for crime against society's morality, failing to realise that he's just another of the thousands of petty egotist in the criminal little leagues. He simply has the ability to articulate his own notions of superiority, completely unaware that he probably works harder at his criminal skills than he would ever do at a proper job.

It's also possibly Bresson's most overtly cinematic work despite the underplaying of the dialogue scenes. The fluidity of the railway station sequence, with its extraordinary display of tricks of the trade that seem more magic act than crime (the DVD also includes an extract from sleight-of-hand adviser and supporting player Kassogi's cabaret act) and the stylised nature of the sound that always keeps LaSalle at a slight remove from the world around him are much more exhilarating displays of technique than you usually associate with Bresson's more controlled and understated approach in his other films, as even he gets caught up in the LaSalle's addiction to the perfect high that only crime can give him. In that respect, it's the Bresson film you can safely recommend to people who hate Bresson fans without losing points with the faithful.

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Message Boards

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Can someone who loves this film defend it? richardinkerry
Why has this got such a high rating on IMDB Bobbygolucky
'Quaint' jday-1
Pickpocket scenes are so phony lonelybirthday
On TCM on October 14/15, 2013 Ariane1998
Stiff acting alllexis
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