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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

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8.0/10   46,920 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:
To those who "don't understand" 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:
Certification:

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:
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 True Love (2006/II)See more »

FAQ

What is the movie playing in the theater when Michel and Patricia are trying to escape from the detectives?
What does it mean when Michel makes those three faces: open mouth, big smile, frown?
What does Michel say at the end of the movie?
See more »
257 out of 302 people found the following review useful.
To those who "don't understand", 1 December 2005
Author: izmatt (izmatt18@cinci.rr.com) from Cincinnati, Ohio

I don't blame those who state that they do not "understand" the superlatives surrounding Jean-Luc Godard's 1960 masterpiece, Breathless. It's primarily because to appreciate Breathless, one has to view the movie from a historical context, which also requires studying of not only the French New Wave, but film theories as a whole, and the lives of those apart of the New Wave. Breathless accomplished many things unprecedented prior (many completely unprecedented, but some things are not-so-much).

Roger Ebert put it best when he said that just as film fanatics may now stand outside a movie theatre waiting for the next Quentin Tarantino movie to be released, film enthusiasts were doing so for Godard in the 1960s. He was a revolutionary, which is why MovieMaker magazine called him the 4th most influential director of ALL-TIME (only behind Welles, Griffith, and Hitchcock)! What did Godard do different? Breathless is all style, simple as that. The story line is interesting, yes, but is Godard's aesthetics, production modes, subject matters, and storytelling methods that are key. First of all, the whole movie was shot on a hand-held camera, just like most all New Wave pictures. It was, however, only shot by two people (Godard and his cinematographer, Rouald) on a budget that did not top $50,000, a mere fraction of what most pictures cost at the time (another facet of the New Wave). It was shot completely on location in Paris, and utilized new film-making techniques that would be used by film-making students for decades to come (such as putting the camera in a mail cart on the Champs Elysees and following Belmondo and Seberg). Note Godard's use of American cinema influence, and how the montage art of the 1950s impacted this aesthetic.

(A brief New Wave lesson: Most New Wave directors were displeased with the "tradition of quality," or the older generation directors who, as Truffaut put it, made the "twelve or so" pictures per year that represented France at Venice and Cannes. Most of these pictures classic or modern literary adaptations, completely stagnant in artistic quality with rehashed subject matters based on historical periods. New Wave directors supported NEW tales of modern Parisian life, primarily, and were sick of the themes found in the tradition of quality films.) The storytelling methods in Breathless are perhaps the most fascinating part of the film. The jump cuts may seem lame, but one must again view them from a historical context: it had never been done before. This is exactly why Breathless is important -- practically every technique was revolutionary. They are so submerged into film-making practices now that Breathless seems typical. Yet at the time, it was, as I said prior, unprecedented.

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Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Breathless (1960)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
A VERY Mediocre And VERY Amateurish Film !!! EveryManHisPart
This Film Is Available At Criterion.com/Hulu !!! EveryManHisPart
Which director now reminds you of the early Godard? filmfancritic
New Wave-An Intellectual Fraud For The Ages EveryManHisPart
Is there a character in movie history that smokes more than Michel? BigDanTeague
This film is so sexist liveandletdie-189-174252
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