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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 8,921 users   Metascore: 100/100
Reviews: 62 user | 83 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

Referenced in The Road to Bresson (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
Bresson - a movie makers apart movie industry
12 April 2006 | by (France) – See all my reviews

In this movie, which has for an original subject a donkey, we see the chance of characters that the donkey encounters, their destiny and lives. It is not a bright vision of life, though it is realistic and sincere. Life is made of few things, and this donkey, named Balthazar like one of the Magus King, is the line between all those different lives. He suffers the cupidity, the stupidity or even the simple evilness of humans.

The non-professional actors, as surprising they may be for the non-initiated public, really add to the fascination that comes out this movie.

Bresson is a real master in cinema art, and as we follow this poor Balthazar, we understand great things about life.


5 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
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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