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Au Hasard Balthazar (1966)

Au hasard Balthazar (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 25 May 1966 (France)
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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5 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Marie
Walter Green ...
Jacques
François Lafarge ...
Gérard
...
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

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

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:

, ,  »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The soundtrack for the DVD release was copied at 24-bit from the original 35mm optical soundtrack print. 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'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 »

Connections

Edited into Histoire(s) du cinéma: Seul le cinéma (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
Tells a lot of things
22 December 2009 | by (The Republic of Turkey) – See all my reviews

This is one of my all time favorite movies. It is about a donkey who is sold to several people who are all cruel or ignorant, but it is different from all the animal films or in other words from all the films which the main character is an animal. Balthazar was the first Robert Bresson film I watched and to me, it was enough to call Bresson a great director, a master. The story telling or direction is pretty low key or lusterless, but still perfect, heartbreaking and dramatic. Also it is one of the most important films so far because it tells some facts about women, women and men relationships. In the movie there is a girl. Two boys love her, one of them is a gentleman, the other is very macho and troubled and in fact not really loves her herself, to make love with her. She cannot decide, but finds the other boy dull. I won't forget the conversation between two forever. It was something like I work and take care of you. Then we have children the boy says. The girl: How boring it sounds. In movies or real life, both, aren't many women are like that? Such kind of men do not care about the women who are interested in them or the women who they are interested in. Sometimes, they insult them. However, it causes women love them more. However, Balthazar is not a love story or romance despite there is a love adventure of a girl and two boys. By the way, even if it sounds, this is not a cliché love triangle at all, in fact this is not a love triangle. Returning to Balthazar, some people write that the film has several religious references, messages. I could not any reference or message in the film, may be because I am not a Christian. I always wonder the donkey in the film, how they managed it, how it did these? It has a performance I think and its performance is great. For example, its reaction when it sees his ex owner at the circus and the final moments. It makes us feel what it feels. We feel its consciousness about the world and people around him. It seems that it is aware of many things. I would have wanted to keep it at least for a while. The power of the film comes from not only Bresson's direction, but also it tells many things through animals. For example, Balthazar tries to get closer to a flock, but they leave the area hurriedly. There would be a lot of interpretations. The film may look like a typical don't-hurt-animals or animals-are-more-human-than-human-being film, but it is not, it is an unusual film. Lastly, the music at the end of the film was great too.


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