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Au Hasard Balthazar (1966)
"Au hasard Balthazar" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  25 May 1966 (France)
7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 9,340 users   Metascore: 100/100
Reviews: 63 user | 85 critic | 8 from Metacritic.com

The story of a mistreated donkey and the people around him. A study on saintliness and a sister piece to Bresson's Mouchette.

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Title: Au Hasard Balthazar (1966)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Marie
Walter Green ...
Jacques
François Lafarge ...
Gérard
Jean-Claude Guilbert ...
Arnold
Philippe Asselin ...
Marie's father
...
Merchant
Nathalie Joyaut ...
Marie's mother
Marie-Claire Fremont ...
Baker's wife
Jean-Joël Barbier ...
The Priest
Guy Renault
Jean Rémignard ...
Notary
Guy Brejac
Mylène Weyergans
Jacques Sorbets ...
Police Officer
François Sullerot ...
Baker
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Storyline

The sad life and death of Balthazar, a donkey, from an idyllic childhood surrounded by loving children, through adulthood as a downtrodden beast of burden. His life is paralleled with that of the girl who named him, and as she is humiliated by her sadistic lover, so he is beaten by his owner. But he finds a kind of peace when he is employed by an old miller who thinks he is a reincarnated saint... Written by Michael Brooke <michael@everyman.demon.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

25 May 1966 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Au Hasard Balthazar  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$8,325 (USA) (17 October 2003)

Gross:

$39,388 (USA) (12 December 2003)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

, ,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Balthazar was an untrained donkey during most of the filming, which made Bressons's work a real challenge. The only scene for which the donkey was trained was the circus math trick. See more »

Goofs

The "for Sale" sign that is on the fence when Balthazar runs through the gate is different to the one seen in close-up. Also, when he runs through the gate, the sign is in shadow but in close-up it is in full sun. See more »

Quotes

Marie: Don't you believe in anything?
Merchant: I believe in what I own. I love money. I hate death.
Marie: You'll die like everyone else.
Merchant: I will bury them all.
See more »

Connections

Edited into Histoire(s) du cinéma: Seul le cinéma (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Piano Sonata No.20
Written by Franz Schubert
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Essential
18 October 2000 | by (England) – See all my reviews

Its restraint is its strength- beautiful monotone images, silences, gestures all laced with a a simple piano sonata that underscores the mood of the film perfectly. Trancendental and sometimes joyful, the film (in typical Bressonian style) eventually gives way to an unbearably sad vision of 'life'. As always, this film's style and content are a product of Bressons Catholic beliefs (As a hardy atheist- Bressons films are about as trancendental as my life gets...) But thats enough about style.

The content matches the style in its ingenuity and simplicity. Godard called this film 'life in 90 minutes' and it does seem to be complete in the sense that this is not 'about' anything specific- but the journey of life- which applies to us all without exception. It is this simplicity of focus on life that makes 'Balthazar' stand out as a work of cinematic art, and enables me to label it above all other films that I have seen as: my favourite. As a subjective (this must be noted) and highly moving interpretation and meditation on life, Bresson's vision is essential to anyone with a pulse.


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this movie sucked ratsnbats
is this the best movie involving an animal with tragedy? meeyakey22
Can someone translate the title for me? rsimanski
Deserves to be in the top 250 QuickSickNick
I didn't cry psy_spectre
The donkey is the only one who can act in this movie! Felix_le_Chat
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