IMDb > Breathless (1960)
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 -- Three Reasons Criterion Collection trailer

Overview

User Rating:
8.0/10   44,611 votes »
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Down 15% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
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 »
NewsDesk:
(334 articles)
Breathless Screens at The Tivoli This Tuesday Night
 (From WeAreMovieGeeks.com. 22 March 2015, 7:33 PM, PDT)

Insurgent or There's a Bomb in the Theatre
 (From CultureCatch. 20 March 2015, 8:24 AM, PDT)

Daily | Carné, Doillon, Petri
 (From Keyframe. 11 March 2015, 12:49 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Too cool for (film) school See more (170 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:
Melville's film, "Bob the Flambeur, in "Breathless" when Poiccard asks Tomatchoff how to cash the check he gives him. Tomatchoff responds, "Try Bob Montagne," who is the title character in the Melville film. Poiccard replies, "But he's in jail."See more »
Goofs:
Revealing mistakes: During street shots, countless passersby keep on staring into the camera, revealing the shots to be made without appropriate filming barriers and not using extras for pedestrians.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 it mean when Michel makes those three faces: open mouth, big smile, frown?
Who did the movie's soundtrack? Is it available to buy?
What is the movie playing in the theater when Michel and Patricia are trying to escape from the detectives?
See more »
34 out of 45 people found the following review useful.
Too cool for (film) school, 17 February 2007
Author: marissas75 from United States

Together with François Truffaut's "The 400 Blows" (one of my favorites), Jean-Luc Godard's "Breathless" is considered the defining, instigating film of the French New Wave. It's more ironic and detached, less emotionally accessible than "The 400 Blows," and its technical innovations like jump cuts are perhaps even more surprising. For these reasons, I found "Breathless" easier to admire than to love—though by the end I grew to enjoy its too-cool- for-(film)-school tone.

Ironically, the pace of this movie isn't "breathless" at all. It begins abruptly and takes a while to get going: Michel (Jean-Paul Belmondo), a character we barely know, drives a stolen car around, talks at the camera, and shoots a police officer who has tried to pull him over. Then he goes to Paris and tries to borrow money from some friends, while the police-shooting plot goes undeveloped. I only became fully engaged with the introduction of Patricia (Jean Seberg), a young American who sells newspapers on the Champs-Elysees. The relationship between Michel and Patricia is the heart of the film, especially a 25-minute-long scene in Patricia's apartment where the characters smoke, flirt, and laze around in bed, though nothing really happens. That's where I really started to admire "Breathless," because I was so captivated by a scene that, on paper, doesn't sound all that captivating.

Eventually the police catch onto Michel and launch a manhunt, but this doesn't really ratchet up the suspense. Instead, Michel is (or at least, Michel acts) aimless and nonchalant about the whole thing—this is not a typical "man on the run" movie. The cool jazz score adds to the hip, laid-back tone.

Since I didn't care for the movie too much until the scenes between Michel and Patricia, I believe a lot of the credit for the film's success has to go to the charismatic performances of Belmondo and Seberg. Belmondo, with a perpetual cigarette dangling from the corner of his mouth, is the archetypal cocky criminal who models himself after Humphrey Bogart (there's a great scene where he sees some Bogart photos and gets a vulnerable look in his eyes, as though saying "I'll never be as cool as this"). Seberg plays Patricia as a confused girl who is delighted by the attention she gets as an American in France.

It's easy to see why "Breathless" was so influential—the jump cuts, the ragged style perfectly match this story about amoral, aimless youth. Definitely a movie that expanded the range of stories the cinema can tell, and perhaps a major precursor to youth-oriented '60s culture. Nearly fifty years later, it still seems "hip," and still challenges our expectations of how movies should behave.

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Breathless (1960)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
This film is so sexist liveandletdie-189-174252
Boring, sorry to say bpollen
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
Is there a character in movie history that smokes more than Michel? BigDanTeague
Which director now reminds you of the early Godard? filmfancritic
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