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À bout de souffle
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Breathless (1960) More at IMDbPro »À bout de souffle (original title)

Photos (See all 69 | slideshow) Videos (see all 2)
Breathless -- With its lack of polish, surplus of attitude, crackling personalities of rising stars Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg, and anything-goes crime narrative, Jean-Luc Godard's debut fashioned a simultaneous homage to and critique of the American film genres that influenced and rocked him as a film writer for Cahiers du cinéma.
Breathless -- Three Reasons Criterion Collection trailer

Overview

User Rating:
8.0/10   46,020 votes »
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Director:
Writer:
Contact:
View company contact information for Breathless on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
7 February 1961 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
The film that was banned for 4 years. Why..? (original Finnish poster tagline)
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for BAFTA Film Award. Another 4 wins & 2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
"It's silly, but I love you. I wanted to see you, to see if I'd want to see you." See more (173 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Jean Seberg ... Patricia Franchini

Jean-Paul Belmondo ... Michel Poiccard / Laszlo Kovacs
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 ... Parvulesco the Writer

Jean-Luc Godard ... The Snitch
Richard Balducci ... Tolmatchoff
André S. Labarthe ... Journalist at Orly
François Moreuil ... Journalist at Orly
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Liliane Robin ... Minouche
Gérard Brach ... Photographer (uncredited)
Philippe de Broca ... A Journalist (uncredited)
José Bénazéraf ... Man in a White Car (uncredited)
Jean Domarchi ... A Drunk (uncredited)
Jean Douchet ... A Journalist (uncredited)
Raymond Huntley ... A Journalist (uncredited)
Louiguy ... (uncredited)
Michel Mourlet ... (uncredited)
Guido Orlando ... (uncredited)
Madame Paul ... (uncredited)
Raymond Ravanbaz ... (uncredited)
Jean-Louis Richard ... A Journalist (uncredited)
Jacques Serguine ... (uncredited)
Jacques Siclier ... (uncredited)
Virginie Ullmann ... (uncredited)
Emile Villion ... (uncredited)

Directed by
Jean-Luc Godard 
 
Writing credits
François Truffaut (story)

Jean-Luc Godard  screenplay (uncredited)

Produced by
Georges de Beauregard .... producer
 
Original Music by
Martial Solal 
 
Cinematography by
Raoul Coutard 
 
Film Editing by
Cécile Decugis 
 
Makeup Department
Phuong Maittret .... makeup artist (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Pierre Rissient .... assistant director
 
Art Department
Clément Hurel .... poster artist
 
Sound Department
Jacques Maumont .... sound
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Claude Beausoleil .... camera operator
Raymond Cauchetier .... still photographer (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Lila Herman .... assistant editor
 
Other crew
Claude Chabrol .... technical advisor
Suzon Faye .... script supervisor (uncredited)
 
Crew believed to be complete


Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"À bout de souffle" - France (original title)
See more »
Runtime:
90 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Having made her first few pictures in the classical Hollywood system, Jean Seberg was rattled by Jean-Luc Godard's shooting methods, and there was much tension between them. They also clashed over her character and performance, notably in the scene near the end when Patricia returns to the apartment to tell Michel she has informed on him to the police. According to Raoul Coutard, she and Godard were "at each other's throats" by this point. She wanted to do the scene in an emotional frenzy, whereas he wanted her totally calm and cool. He finally gave in and shot the scene her way, but when it came time to dub it in post, she realized he had been right, so she spoke her lines very low key, which doesn't always match her expressions on screen. Pierre Rissient later said he didn't think Seberg knew what was happening throughout the production and had no idea what kind of film this would be, so she was likely pleasantly surprised at the final product and the success it achieved.See more »
Goofs:
Crew or equipment visible: 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 »
Movie Connections:
Featured in The 100 Greatest Films (2001) (TV)See more »

FAQ

What does Michel say at the end of the movie?
Who did the movie's soundtrack? Is it available to buy?
What is the significance of Michel rubbing his lips with his thumb?
See more »
45 out of 58 people found the following review useful.
"It's silly, but I love you. I wanted to see you, to see if I'd want to see you.", 18 June 2004
Author: Galina from Virginia, USA

I finally did it. I finished watching À bout de souffle. I kept putting it off because I usually have problem when everybody tells me that such and such film is the epitome of its era or it breaks all the rules, starts the revolution, and reinvents the cinema. That's why, probably, I cannot like Citizen Kane - try to watch the arguably best film ever made - you will be under a lot of pressure.

Well, À bout de souffle does not put you under the pressure, it takes you for a ride, and you follow for 90 minutes its incredibly young characters, common crook (Jean-Paul Belmondo) and his American free-spirited girlfriend (Jean Seberg) on their journey on the streets of 1960-th Paris along with Raoul Coutard's legendary camera. I am not going to tell here how great the camera work was, how fantastic the music score and the views of Paris were - the fans of the film know that already. They also know about the beginning of French New Wave, and how it influenced the future cinema. I just want to say that the movie was made over forty years ago - the smoking was cool back then, and Belmondo made smoking look very sexy. Belmondo fascinates me in this film. I've seen him in a lot of later movies - he's always been good (I recommend Le Magnifique, 1973 and Le Professionnel,1981 ) - but in À bout de souffle he is not just good - he is embodiment of cool, his face changes its expression every moment, you can not take your eyes off him. Is it me or he does remind the very young Mick Jagger - not commonly handsome but irresistible and sexy? He and young (she was 21 at the time) Jean Seaborg made one of the best screen couples ever. My favorite scenes:

Michel drives the stolen car in the beginning of the film, and he starts to talk to us, the audience. The day is nice, the sun is shining, and the life is beautiful...

Michel and Patricia drive in the convertible. The wind plays with her short hair. We only see the back of her head and her neck. Michel tells her that he loves the girl with a beautiful neck, wrists, knees, but she is a chicken...

Patricia comes to the hotel to find Michel in her bed. They start talking about nothing and about very serious things. They smoke, she tries to find a good place for her new poster, and he wants to sleep with her. In the end of the scene, his face, he looks at her - there is love in that look...

There is more - I am sure everyone who saw it has his/her favorite scenes.



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Message Boards

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Recent Posts (updated daily)User
New Wave-An Intellectual Fraud For The Ages joseph-kulik-919
Is there a character in movie history that smokes more than Michel? BigDanTeague
This film is so sexist liveandletdie-189-174252
How does Breathless reflect the time at which it was made? rosanna-lloyd
great film but Jean Seberg's french was like nails on a chalkboard mlkyusuf
Which director now reminds you of the early Godard? filmfancritic
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