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

Unrated  |   |  Crime, Drama, Romance  |  7 February 1961 (USA)
8.0
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 44,946 users  
Reviews: 171 user | 163 critic

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.

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Title: Breathless (1960)

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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 4 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Edit

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

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
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Jean-Luc Godard couldn't afford a dolly, so he pushed the cinematographer around in a wheelchair through many scenes of the film. He got the idea from Jean-Pierre Melville, who had used the same low-budget technique in Bob le Flambeur (1956) and Le Silence de la Mer (1949). 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

Referenced in Belle de Jour (1967) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Ladies and Gentlemen, the 8th Wonder of the World: Jean-Luc Godard.
27 October 2003 | by (Olympia, Washington) – See all my reviews

This is the one that started it all. With the story of a man on the run calling himself Laszlo Kovacs (a cinematographer of the time), Jean-Luc Godard arrived in the movies (well, on the production end, at least). This also more than his typical film essay. The story by Francois Truffaut makes for a terrific Godard script (the Truffaut stamp makes it comparable to SHOOT THE PIANO PLAYER). Jean-Paul Belmondo does well in the Kovacs role, humanizing our bad-guy hero right up to the slam-bang finish. Jean Seberg is his conflicted lover who must... well, just watch. A landmark of the French New Wave, which is one of the most important movements in cinema. Vastly superior to the 1983 BREATHLESS with Richard Geer and Fassinder's homage THE AMERICAN SOLDIER. This is guaranteed to be like few movies you've seen before (unless, of course, you're a fan of the New Wave). BREATHLESS is also very memorable for its music and unusual photography. Shows how European film brought out the importance of character in film and raised it to new heights (whereas in American film, a close-up is the closest you'll get to character development). This is a must for any film student and for anyone who just loves movies.


50 of 86 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Boring, sorry to say bpollen
Is there a character in movie history that smokes more than Michel? BigDanTeague
This film is so sexist liveandletdie-189-174252
Which director now reminds you of the early Godard? filmfancritic
great film but Jean Seberg's french was like nails on a chalkboard mlkyusuf
How does Breathless reflect the time at which it was made? rosanna-lloyd
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