IMDb > Pickpocket (1959) > Reviews & Ratings - IMDb
Pickpocket
Quicklinks
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
Overview
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guide
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
Promotional
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

Reviews & Ratings for
Pickpocket More at IMDbPro »

Write review
Filter: Hide Spoilers:
Page 6 of 7: [Prev][1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [Next]
Index 62 reviews in total 

20 out of 41 people found the following review useful:

Filming the soul.

10/10
Author: Alejandro Dávila (entreacto@hotmail.com) from Aguascalientes, México
9 August 2001

In Pickpocket theres nothing but the souls of the characters. Bresson's technique is perfect: the softness on the movements of his camera, his direction of his models ( he never called them actors ), all in form is headed to make a content:a story about crime and redemption. The ending is a breathtaking, a moment of true beauty: The thief on her beloved arms, a resemblance of Michelangelo's "La pietá" in one of the highest points cinema as a major art.

Was the above review useful to you?

0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Pickpocket :A Robert Bresson film which continues to exercise tremendous influence on modern viewers.

6/10
Author: FilmCriticLalitRao from Paris, France
17 June 2013

The French film "Pickpocket" is considered as one of Robert Bresson's most acclaimed films. It continues to have tremendous influence on some of the world's major filmmakers as versatile as Paul Schrader and Darezhan Omirbayev.It is true that despite its simple title, Pickpocket does not have the necessary American cinema style thrills which are usually associated with films about pickpockets. It is due to the focus on the psychological impact of the protagonist's initial nervousness that the film is able to engage the viewers as one watches with bated breath how the film's leading man gains confidence in his pickpocketing career. A large part of the film is shot in interiors where a student's humble dwelling are portrayed in natural light. The exterior shots present a good picture of old Paris during nights when one could effortlessly hope onto to a moving bus. Apart from a recent private viewing,Film critic Lalit Rao got a chance to see "Pickpocket" in 1998 at Russian Cultural Center, Chennai when a comprehensive retrospective of Robert Bresson's film was organized including post screening discussions with French actress/writer Florence Delay who acted in Robert Bresson's "Procès De Jeanne D'Arc".Lastly, Pickpocket remains as fresh as well as meaningful as it was seen first time.It can even be said that some minor comparisons with Meursault might also be made given the fact that Pickpocket's Michel shares certain behavioral traits which are common with those exhibited by Camus' eternal hero.

Was the above review useful to you?

0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Good

7/10
Author: Cosmoeticadotcom (cosmoetica@gmail.com) from United States
21 June 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

All in all, while the film is good- mainly on the strength of several bravura isolated scenes, it often comes off as something akin to Neo-Realism Lite. There is nothing of the real pathos nor insight that invests some of the classics from Federico Fellini, Vittorio De Sica, and the Italian classics that were made a decade before this film. Consequently, the film comes off as all head with little heart or soul, and, despite its occasional bravura moments, the film is not particularly deep, and especially so considering it against the titanic achievements of Mouchette and Au Hasard Balthazar. Also, there are numerous little moments that just clunk, starting with the film's titled opening, wherein words scrawl across the screen and tell us of what we are about to witness, that this film is not a thriller but a work of art about the communion of two souls. This overt invocation of Romantic bidungsromans just tanks, in and of itself, and because it utterly destroys the film's end. We know that Michel and Jeanne will end up together, and, worse, the film does not mitigate this solecism by providing a meaningful how the end is reach, even if we know what the end will be.

So, Pickpocket is not a great film, much less a masterpiece, in any sense of the term that has relevance, but it is a film that shows potential for plumbing things at a level deeper than even films that are better realized. Unfortunately for it, and its viewers, that potential would only be realized in later Bresson offerings. Of course, there are certainly worse things in life, though. Ask Michel or his portrayer.

Was the above review useful to you?

1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Good Movie

Author: Michael_Elliott from Louisville, KY
28 February 2008

Pickpocket (1959)

*** (out of 4)

A pickpocket can't see those around trying to help him until it's too late. This is my second film from Robert Bresson and it would rank well behind A Man Escaped. This remains a very interesting film, visually but the story is fairly weak, especially the moral lesson as well as the ending, which didn't really work for me. The most interesting thing is seeing how the pickpockets work. We get various demonstrations of the work being done, which is very interesting and filmed in a grand manor. Performances are decent but nothing overly good but it's still worth seeing.

Was the above review useful to you?

1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Good Movie

Author: Michael_Elliott from Louisville, KY
28 February 2008

Pickpocket (1959)

*** (out of 4)

A pickpocket can't see those around trying to help him until it's too late. This is my second film from Robert Bresson and it would rank well behind A Man Escaped. This remains a very interesting film, visually but the story is fairly weak, especially the moral lesson as well as the ending, which didn't really work for me. The most interesting thing is seeing how the pickpockets work. We get various demonstrations of the work being done, which is very interesting and filmed in a grand manor. Performances are decent but nothing overly good but it's still worth seeing.

Was the above review useful to you?

10 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

Good, but overrated

8/10
Author: zetes from Saint Paul, MN
17 December 2001

This is the first Robert Bresson movie I've watched, and perhaps I did miss something. It is usually considered a masterpiece, one of the best films ever made. I personally liked a lot of it, found a couple of individual parts amazing, and felt unsatisfied when it ended after only 75 minutes. I don't know, it could even be an edited copy that I watched (although I did see the New Yorker version of the VHS).

I would like to praise over everything the performances, especially by the pickpocket himself and the woman who played Jean. They are both excellent. I also found the editing in a couple of the pickpocket montages remarkable. I give it an 8 out of 10. If I hadn't been expecting a masterpiece, I might have liked it more.

Was the above review useful to you?

12 out of 26 people found the following review useful:

I Love Bresson Films, But This One Is His Most Overrated

8/10
Author: Sturgeon54 from United States
30 September 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Having seen the unanimous regard for this film as brilliant, in addition to critic Roger Ebert's putting it on his list of the greatest films ever made, I was expecting another masterpiece in the vein of Bresson's "A Man Escaped" and "Au Hasard Balthazar." I watched this film twice, and unfortunately I came away each time entertained but perplexed. Bresson's technique in film is similar to that of Ernest Hemingway or Raymond Carver in writing - a pure minimalism with everyday life stripped away to its essentials but great passion submerged underneath. Characters in a Bresson film are emotionless, perpetually casting their gaze downward as if hiding their true feelings from the camera. Unfortunately, I don't believe this technique was the proper one for a cinematic interpretation of Dostoyevsky's "Crime and Punishment." Dostoyevsky's novel was long, dense, and filled with long meditations on the human soul. By contrast, this film is short (75 minutes), clipped, and has minimal philosophical exploration. There are some short dialogue scenes portraying the title character Michel's Nietzschian belief in the ubermench who can be permitted to live outside conventional morality in order to further society creatively. However, we never get any sense that he is an intellectual, that he reads heavily, or even that he has one original thought. All we have is a sullen young man who refuses to take a job and gives into his compulsions to steal.

There are some very good things about this film: Bresson's choreography of the pickpockets is like pure ballet. His casting of characters is perfect - the faces of each seem to convey things with little work from the actors themselves. However, there are several problems. The technique that the police use to finally capture Michel is way too far-fetched. Also, I couldn't help but get the impression that large, important passages were removed in the editing room. Michel's one final display of emotional catharsis with Jane at the end had the potential to pack a great wallop, but with hardly any backstory or interaction between the two previously, it seems to come out of nowhere. Just as some short stories are meant to be novels, this is a long, probing psychological story reduced to something of a short film. After all, could you imagine "Crime and Punishment" as a short story?

I have been able to understand even the more controversial entries on Ebert's Great Films list, like Errol Morris' 1978 pet cemetery documentary "Gates of Heaven" or "Saturday Night Fever," but this is the one film I think Ebert made a mistake on. Who knows, maybe he saw a longer, more complete version of the movie?

Was the above review useful to you?

11 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

Masterpiece

10/10
Author: Daniel Karlsson from Sweden
21 January 2003

There seems to be those who love Bresson, mainly film critics and cinéastes, and those who think his films are slow and dead. I used to be closer to the the second group, after watching "Un condamné à mort s'est échappé" a year ago. This film is in many ways similar to "Un condamné...", but I like this film better (not saying the other one is bad). Bresson's way of filming in a puristic, artistic, slow-paced way might be annoying to some people. The acting is very unemotional and controlled. No one raises his voice (except for a extremely short moment), nobody runs, nobody loves...very relaxed, harmonious...almost Japanese in a way. Not much talk either. It reminds me strongly of Camus, existentialism, Crime and Punishment and Orson Welles' adaption of The Process by Kafka. I really would have liked to see a Bresson adaption of one of these novels. Sometimes I feel that the unemotionality gets disturbing, but at the same time it is legitimate.

The film as a whole is a true piece of art, from the beginning to the end. Very good opening, music, and ending. The ending btw is the only part in which the main character seems to express any emotions, and still he is very controlled. The ending, as well as other endings in French movies during the 50ies and 60ies (for example The 600 Blows), seems to be a little abrupt, it feels like the story isn't over. I think though that has more to do with that we are so used to traditional (Hollywood) endings, because when you think about it, the ending is more or less perfect. The thefts are also particularly interesting.

9 or 10.

Was the above review useful to you?

1 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Pickpocket

7/10
Author: Jackson Booth-Millard from United Kingdom
12 November 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

From director Robert Bresson (Au Hasard Balthazar, L'Argent), the title of this film, featured in the book 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die as the one of the entries, was distinctive and one that sounded worth watching, I was hoping for the best for this French film. Basically in Paris, France lives Michel (Martin LaSalle), a young man who finds an interest and a skill in picking pockets, i.e. slipping his fingers into or sneaking out wallets and purses from people's pockets. He is caught quickly the first time he does it a horse racing venue, but the Inspector (Jean Pélégri) released him because of lack of evidence, and he is allowed to take the money, and soon after this he becomes part of a group of pickpockets who teach him more skills. Michel visits his Mother (Dolly Scal), and he also meets Jeanne (Marika Green), who he begs to visit more often, and he gets the chance to get to know her better while on a date with his friend tagging Jacques (Pierre Leymarie) along, but he leaves this after he steals a watch at the carnival. He wants to clean up some of his guilt by visiting the Inspector and showing him a book he got about professional pickpocketing, but the police officer hardly glances at it, but he returns to his apartment and realises the Inspector was shunning him while he was there so that the police could search his apartment, but they failed to find the stolen stash of cash. Michel's Mother dies, and he attends the funeral with Jeanne, and after it the Inspector tells him that before she died she had some money stolen from her, he suspects her son did it, but he does not arrest him and he leaves the country to live an honest life without crime, but he throws all his money away spending on booze and women. Eventually Michel returns to France, and to Jeanne who he is shocked to find out mothered a child with Jacque but they did not marry and she has been left with nothing, so he starts working again to support her and the child, but he gives into temptation and is back to pickpocketing. In the end Michel is arrested and jailed with a confirmed theft by pickpocketing, and it is in prison that he realises with her regular visits that he does not truly love Jeanne. Also starring Kassagi as Accomplice, Pierre Étaix as Accomplice and César Gattegno as Detective. Leading actor LaSalle does well using hardly any facial expression at all to make an intriguing character that you unsure whether to be sympathetic or concerned for, I will admit first off that I sort of dozed or did not pay full attention to midway through, by I understood just about what was going on, and it was certainly an interesting enough crime drama. Very good!

Was the above review useful to you?

8 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

Desert island film!

10/10
Author: lsettal from Brescia, Italy
5 January 2000

Absolutely stunning! The best film of one of the greatest geniuses in cinema. Its analytical quality is a breath of fresh air for eternity. Desert island film.

Was the above review useful to you?


Page 6 of 7: [Prev][1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [Next]

Add another review


Related Links

Plot summary Ratings Awards
External reviews Parents Guide Plot keywords
Main details Your user reviews Your vote history