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

Not Rated  |   |  Drama  |  25 May 1966 (France)
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 10,832 users   Metascore: 100/100
Reviews: 65 user | 92 critic | 8 from

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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4 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Walter Green ...
François Lafarge ...
Philippe Asselin ...
Marie's father
Nathalie Joyaut ...
Marie's mother
Marie-Claire Fremont ...
Baker's wife
Jean-Joël Barbier ...
The Priest
Guy Renault
Jean Rémignard ...
Guy Brejac
Mylène Weyergans
Jacques Sorbets ...
Police Officer
François Sullerot ...


This is the story of a donkey and the somewhat difficult life it leads. During a summer holiday, the baby donkey is a child's pet but when they return home, it begins it's life of misery. It works as a farm animal, pulling a delivery cart and working as any manner as various owners require of it. Meanwhile, the young girl who first acquired Balthazar as a pet grows up, only to be badly treated herself by an indifferent and selfish boyfriend. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:







Release Date:

25 May 1966 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Au Hasard Balthazar  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

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


$39,388 (USA) (12 December 2003)

Company Credits

Production Co:

, ,  »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


The main actress of this movie, Anne Wiazemsky, also became an author; in her book "Jeune Fille", she describes the making of the movie. See more »


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 »


Marie's mother: He is in despair. Comfort him.
[Marie's father turns away]
Priest: You must forgive. Everyone. Much will be forgiven you. You have suffered.
Marie's father: I may suffer less than you think.
Priest: [Reading] God does not foresake forever. He may punish, yet he will have compassion. H does not willingly afflict the children of men.
See more »


Featured in The Story of Film: An Odyssey: European New Wave (2011) See more »


Piano Sonata No.20 in A Major, II. Andantino (D. 959)
Written by Franz Schubert
See more »

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User Reviews

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.

32 of 54 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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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
The donkey is the only one who can act in this movie! Felix_le_Chat
Too old, didn't care Lin301
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