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

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User Rating:
7.8/10   13,634 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Up 5% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Robert Bresson (writer)
View company contact information for Pickpocket on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
16 December 1959 (France) See more »
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:
2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
simple is as simple does, which includes stealing and living an isolated life See more (62 total) »


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

Did You Know?

Michel studies the book "Prince of Pickpockets" (1930), a biography of the Irish pickpocket George Barrington written by Richard S. Lambert.See more »
Michel:Oh, Jeanne, to reach you at last, what a path I had to take.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Harry in Your Pocket (1973)See more »
Suite de symphonies d'Amadis (selection)See more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
36 out of 63 people found the following review useful.
simple is as simple does, which includes stealing and living an isolated life, 10 October 2005
Author: MisterWhiplash from United States

Robert Bresson's Pickpocket has many great moments, even as it didn't quite do it for me on a first viewing as a 'masterpiece'(some have said to see it twice, perhaps I will). Bresson's use of the camera is often intoxicating in the most subdued, subtle, in-direct distinctions; at times it does take on the prowess of literature. But my only minor nitpick with the film is that it leaves a sort of cold viewing on a viewer, with such simplicity and emotions stripped from the character(s) that it's hard to connect. And yet, this is really made up tenfold with the sort of style that can be likely called Bressonian; straightforward angles, tense medium close-ups, serene editing, and little to no music.

Whatever it sets up for this actor to do, it sets up well. Indeed, the actor who plays the protagonist here is actually very good, aside from the disconnection, and provides an excellent way for us to get along his side. He is a decent person, but there are certain things that get to him, which is why he feels he must steal. At times I almost had a grin as he made some successful grabs, by himself or his cohorts. Was I rooting for him, or just pleased by the pay-off of Bresson's suspense? Maybe both; there is definitely one truly virtuoso sequence in the film, when the pickpockets go on the train.

Like A Man Escaped, there is that sort of dissection, quietly and without really digging too deep, into what a man wants with his life, or doesn't want. While the hero has only one determination in Man Escaped, to get out, Pickpocket has a man who doesn't know what to do with himself, only coming to a genuine catharsis behind bars. I think I like Pickpocket a little more, but I may like it even more on another viewing.

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Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Pickpocket (1959)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Pickpocket scenes are so phony lonelybirthday
7.9? moiestatz
'Quaint' jday-1
Can someone who loves this film defend it? richardinkerry
Why has this got such a high rating on IMDB Bobbygolucky
Stiff acting alllexis
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