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Breathless (1960)

À bout de souffle (original title)
Not Rated | | Crime, Drama | 7 February 1961 (USA)
1:33 | Trailer

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A small-time thief steals a car and impulsively murders a motorcycle policeman. Wanted by the authorities, he reunites with a hip American journalism student and attempts to persuade her to run away with him to Italy.



(original scenario)
4,157 ( 338)
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 4 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Daniel Boulanger ...
Police Inspector Vital
Henri-Jacques Huet ...
Antonio Berrutti
Claude Mansard ...
Claudius Mansard
Liliane Dreyfus ...
Liliane / Minouche (as Liliane David)
Michel Fabre ...
Police Inspector #2
The Snitch
Richard Balducci ...
André S. Labarthe ...
Journalist at Orly
François Moreuil ...
Journalist at Orly
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jacques Lourcelles ...
(as Raymond Ravanbaz)


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 duke1029

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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


Crime | Drama


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

7 February 1961 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Breathless  »


Box Office


FRF 400,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,222, 23 April 2000, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$336,705, 31 October 2010
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Much was made at the time of release of Jean-Luc Godard's innovative use of jumpcuts. Actually these were an afterthought. The finished film was 30 minutes too long and rather than cut specific scenes, Godard decided to cut from within each scene, thus creating the jagged style of the film. See more »


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 »


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


Referenced in Mean Streets (1973) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

French New Wave for Dummies
8 December 2004 | by See all my reviews

This is the one that started it all kids, the daddy of post-modern cinema. MTV jump cuts, fractured soundtrack and images aplenty

Self reflexive to the point that it not only acknowledges its own existence, it revels in it.

All style and no substance is considered a bad thing today, unless its Tarantino. Well, if it wasn't for Godard, chances are there would be no QT.

All the characters and images, and dialogue and sets are constructed from all aspects of life - Michel is a Bogart collage. Patricia apes everything she sees, from her Interviewee's facial gestures to Michel's own.

Don't let all this technical mumbo fool you, I did my thesis on Godard and would happily bore the ass off you with a lecture in great detail about this film, but the fact is, it's a stormer.

Grips you by the throat and shakes the hell out of you, and it doesn't let go until the final breath.

Fantastically, artistically magnificent. If Godard wanted to make his debut picture to show how well he understood American ideals and the history of cinema, he couldn't have made a better picture.

Top stuff French guy.

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