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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 & 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:

, ,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


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 »


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: 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 »


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


Piano Sonata No.20 in A Major, II. Andantino (D. 959)
Written by Franz Schubert
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User Reviews

29 November 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Everyone who sees this film will be absolutely astonished," Jean-Luc Godard once said, "because this film is really the world in an hour and a half." Robert Bresson's 1966 masterpiece defies any conventional analysis, telling a story of sin and redemption by following Balthazar, a donkey, as he passes through the hands of a number of masters, including a peasant girl, a satanic delinquent, and a saintly fool. Perhaps the greatest and most revolutionary of Bresson's films, Balthazar is a difficult but transcendentally rewarding experience, and the director is better able than in his previous work to put his philosophy of cinema into practice, that is is to say, the filming and meditation of that which is concealed. This is a gorgeous Criterion DVD with and excellent digital transfer, and it includes some fine supplemental material such as a French television program which includes commentary from such notables as Godard, Malle, and Bresson himself, speaking about the film. Never to be missed.

19 of 26 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
Too old, didn't care Lin301
The donkey is the only one who can act in this movie! Felix_le_Chat
Deserves to be in the top 250 QuickSickNick
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