A forged 500-franc note is cynically passed from person to person and shop to shop, until it falls into the hands of a genuine innocent who doesn't see it for what it is - which will have ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Christian Patey ...
Vincent Risterucci ...
Lucien
Caroline Lang ...
Elise
Sylvie Van den Elsen ...
Grey Haired Woman
Michel Briguet ...
Grey Haired Woman's Father
Béatrice Tabourin ...
Didier Baussy ...
Marc Ernest Fourneau ...
Norbert
Bruno Lapeyre ...
Martial
François-Marie Banier
Alain Aptekman
Jeanne Aptekman ...
Yvette
Dominique Mullier
Jacques Behr
Gilles Durieux
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Storyline

A forged 500-franc note is cynically passed from person to person and shop to shop, until it falls into the hands of a genuine innocent who doesn't see it for what it is - which will have devastating consequences on his life, causing him to turn to crime and murder... Written by Michael Brooke <michael@everyman.demon.co.uk>

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Genres:

Crime | Drama

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Release Date:

18 May 1983 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Money  »

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Technical Specs

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Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »

Quotes

Yvon Targe: [to the guy who sent him to jail] You have me on your conscience. You have to answer for that now.
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Connections

Referenced in Paintbrush (2008) See more »

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User Reviews

The Cost of Money
12 May 2008 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

L'Argent (1983) ****

This is a hard film to rate for any number of reasons. It is challenging for one, and not really a movie for another. L'argent is more a philosophical essay on celluloid than anything else. This could be said for any or all of Bresson's films for that matter. His style of film-making is not really cinematic. It is philosophical and, to quote Paul Schrader, transcendental. L'Argent is a tale about the evils of money and materialist ideology. Bresson has been spoken openly about his shock and fear at the ever increasing materialism in society. The film begins as a spoiled school boy is refused the necessary money by his father to repay a debt. He goes to a friend who gives him a counterfeit bill, which they then go off to spend. They go to a photo shop, and buy something cheap so as to get as much real change as possible. The woman sees that it is fake, but accepts it anyway so as to make the sale. Her husband, the owner, scolds her for it, but does not report it, and instead passes it off to an unsuspecting oil delivery man, Yvon. He then goes to a restaurant and tries to get a drink, unknowingly using the fake bill. He is arrested, and the shop owners and their cashier refuse to acknowledge the man not only got the bill from them, but was ever in the shop to begin with. From this incident Yvon's life spirals out of control. He is let off without jailtime, but the scandal costs him his job. He turns to a life of crime to make money. He gets thrown in jail, his wife leaves him, and his child dies. From here the film goes really out there, as Yvon becomes an axe murderer upon his release. It is certainly far fetched, but I think that may have been Bresson's point. The movie is a damnation of the costs of money (no pun) replacing the sense of God. Bresson once said that today there is no more God in the world, there is only money, which has become God. The film's total disregard for a plausible narrative and sense of restraint is frustrating. It is a short film, and it feels that way, as Bresson wastes no time getting from point A to point B. That is not to say that the film is not well directed though, it is superbly directed with the care and hands of a great master of the medium. It is difficult to comprehend why Yvon does what he does once released from jail by following any logical reasoning of the narrative, but that is the point Bresson wanted to make - the lust for money and material possession and the alienation and disenfranchisement from a purposeful existence causes people to do illogical and irrational things. Bresson uses this extreme (and i do not mean that lightly) example to highlight this. Bresson accomplished exactly what he was trying to do with L'Argent, and it is difficult to criticize him for that.


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