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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 9,115 users   Metascore: 100/100
Reviews: 63 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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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

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

Gerard: Lend him to us.
Marie's mother: He's worked enough. He's old. He's all I have.
Gerard: Just for a day.
Marie's mother: Besides, he's a saint.
See more »

Connections

Featured in To Each His Own Cinema (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
Sheer poetry
15 May 2008 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

The films of Robert Bresson have a special place in the history of cinema for their sheer poetry unmatched by any other director past or present. The films are austere and precise in the extreme. Even the emotions have been deliberately drained out; histrionics are non-existent and use of music minimal. Like poetry, it's not everyone's cup of tea. However, for those who develop the taste for it, the impact is indescribably beautiful.

Au Hasard Balthazar is the pinnacle of his artistic achievement (followed closely by Mouchette).

It's the story of human exploitation and cruelty to animals as well as to other humans. The protagonist is a donkey at the receiving end from his various owners, ranging from sadists, drunks and money-minded. The only one who has some soft spot for him is a young girl, who herself is a subject of exploitation and cruelty by some of the same people. The last scene of death of the donkey among a flock of sheep is among the finest in the history of cinema.


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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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