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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 46,079 users  
Reviews: 173 user | 165 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:

£25,164 (UK) (7 July 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

According to Raoul Coutard, some sleight of hand was involved in getting a permit to shoot on the streets of Paris. A complete script was needed to obtain the permit, so Jean-Luc Godard had an assistant type up a mock script for a film that would never be shot. 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

Featured in A Letter to Elia (2010) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
French New Wave for Dummies
8 December 2004 | by (United Kingdom) – 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.


178 of 257 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
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
New Wave-An Intellectual Fraud For The Ages joseph-kulik-919
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