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Breathless (1960)
"À bout de souffle" (original title)

8.0
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 40,064 users  
Reviews: 165 user | 161 critic

A young car thief kills a policeman and tries to persuade a girl to hide in Italy with him.

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Title: Breathless (1960)

Breathless (1960) on IMDb 8/10

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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Daniel Boulanger ...
Police Inspector Vital
Henri-Jacques Huet ...
Antonio Berrutti
Roger Hanin ...
Carl Zubart
Van Doude ...
Himself
Claude Mansard ...
Claudius Mansard
Liliane Dreyfus ...
Liliane / Minouche (as Liliane David)
Michel Fabre ...
Police Inspector #2
Jean-Pierre Melville ...
...
The Snitch
Richard Balducci ...
Tolmatchoff
André S. Labarthe ...
Journalist at Orly
François Moreuil ...
Journalist at Orly
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Liliane Robin ...
Minouche
Edit

Storyline

Michel Poiccard, an irresponsible sociopath and small-time thief, steals a car and impulsively murders the motorcycle policeman who pursues him. Now wanted by the authorities, he renews his relationship with Patricia Franchini, a hip American girl studying journalism at the Sorbonne, whom he had met in Nice a few weeks earlier. Before leaving Paris, he plans to collect a debt from an underworld acquaintance and expects her to accompany him on his planned getaway to Italy. Even with his face in the local papers and media, Poiccard seems oblivious to the dragnet that is slowly closing around him as he recklessly pursues his love of American movies and libidinous interest in the beautiful American. Written by Gabe Taverney (duke1029@aol.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

love | car | policeman | money | journalist | See more »

Taglines:

The film that was banned for 4 years. Why..? (original Finnish poster tagline)

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

7 February 1961 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Breathless  »

Box Office

Budget:

FRF 400,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$1,684 (USA) (11 August 2000)

Gross:

$336,705 (USA) (29 October 2010)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Jean-Pierre Melville, Godard asked him for consultation during the post-production stage because the first edit was too long for distribution. Melville suggested Godard remove all scenes that slowed down the action (his own turn as novelist Parvulesco included). But instead of excluding entire scenes, Godard cut little bits from here and there. This led to the "jump cut" technique this movie introduced. Melville declared the result to be excellent. See more »

Goofs

When Patricia (Jean Seberg) is going up the escalator, a plant beside it can be seen moving as if knocked by the cameraman going up in front of her. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Michel Poiccard: After all, I'm an asshole. After all, yes, I've got to. I've got to!
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in A Woman Is a Woman (1961) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
"completely and utterly awful"
9 October 2002 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

If you've never seen the BBC sitcom Black Adder, there is a scene in which the idiotic Baldrick hands Black Adder a copy of his novel (his "maximum octopus"), and it goes like this: "Once upon a time there was a lovely little sausage called Baldrick, and he lived happily ever after. The End." Black Adder, quite rightly, deems it "completely and utterly awful." Now imagine if the intellectuals of the day heralded Baldrick's manuscript as one of the best novels ever written, and it appeared constantly on critics' All-Time-Top-Ten lists. This is very close to the situation that has actually occurred with Breathless. It's one of the worst movies I've ever seen (and I'm a regular viewer of MST3K), and it is lauded by critics and famous film makers alike as a true masterpiece, up there with Citizen Kane, The Searchers, and Modern Times. Apparently, if you make a movie disjointed, poorly edited, illogically paced, and really uninteresting, all you have to do is be French, call it "new wave" and you can get away with it. Before you commie elitist snobs say I don't know what I'm talking about (probably too late), let me say I'm no stranger to so-called sophisticated films. My favorites are Andrei Rublev, 2001, 8 1/2, and The Thin Red Line, not exactly Big Momma's House. Some might be inclined to say that this movie is a style over substance, except it has no style. It has nothing. It is an artistic black hole, playing its modernist siren song to weak-minded intellectuals (a contradiction in terms, I know) and wasting people's time for over 40 years. One day, maybe five thousand years from now (give or take...), critics and cineastes will rightly ignore this movie, perceiving it's heyday popularity as a mere freak occurrence in public opinion, like disco or hula-hoops. Those of us who value rightness, decency, and good movies like The Crowd, can only hope.....


49 of 89 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Why the title? ScreenwriterVA
Come on, people. Get this into the Top 250. phxsns1
Is there a character in movie history that smokes more than Michel? BigDanTeague
Help me Understand this Film HungMaster
Which director now reminds you of the early Godard? filmfancritic
Existential or just plain meaningless? little_ste
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