IMDb > L'argent (1983)
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L'argent (1983) More at IMDbPro »

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Robert Bresson (writer)
Leo Tolstoy (short story "Faux billet")
View company contact information for L'argent on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
18 May 1983 (France) See more »
A forged 500-franc note is cynically passed from person to person and shop to shop, until it falls into... See more » | Add synopsis »
3 wins & 2 nominations See more »
(10 articles)
The Films Of Robert Bresson: A Retrospective
 (From The Playlist. 18 April 2012, 10:40 AM, PDT)

Berlinale 2012. Denis Côté's "Bestiaire"
 (From MUBI. 10 February 2012, 2:29 PM, PST)

Bresson. Supplementary Roundup
 (From MUBI. 7 February 2012, 5:38 AM, PST)

User Reviews:
money is the root of evil See more (32 total) »


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Directed by
Robert Bresson 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Robert Bresson  writer
Leo Tolstoy  short story "Faux billet" (as Tolstoï)

Produced by
Antoine Gannagé .... executive producer
Jean-Marc Henchoz .... producer
Daniel Toscan du Plantier .... producer
Cinematography by
Pasqualino De Santis 
Emmanuel Machuel 
Film Editing by
Jean-François Naudon 
Production Design by
Pierre Guffroy 
Costume Design by
Monique Dury 
Production Management
Richard Dupuy .... unit production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Olivier Péray .... first assistant director
Sound Department
Jean-Marc Lentretien .... sound mix technician
Jacques Maumont .... sound mixer
Jean-Louis Ughetto .... sound engineer
Luc Yersin .... sound engineer
Camera and Electrical Department
Michel Abramowicz .... first assistant camera
Music Department
Johann Sebastian Bach .... composer: additional music
Crew believed to be complete

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Additional Details

Also Known As:
85 min | Argentina:87 min (Mar del Plata Film Festival)
Color (Eastmancolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Last film directed by Robert Bresson.See more »
Yvon Targe:Wait. Everyone will be happy soon. I won't wait around for that. Believe me, it will bore us stupid. I want happiness now, on my terms.See more »
Movie Connections:
Version of Frozen Land (2005)See more »


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17 out of 17 people found the following review useful.
money is the root of evil, 18 July 2007
Author: dbdumonteil

"L'Argent" is Robert Bresson's very last film and a piece of work that went through a lot of financial problems to see the light of day. It was dismissed by many producers before being finally taken in hand by the Ministry of the Arts. At that time, Jack Lang was the ministry and his daughter served as a "model" for Bresson in the film where she is Yvette, Yvon's wife.

Sourced from a short story by Léon Tolstoï, "l'Argent" is first the assessment of a downward spiral for the main hero of the film, Yvon. Because he was given a forged note, this domestic oil delivery man will be caught in a chain of unfortunate events which will see him jailed, losing his cute, little daughter and wife before turning into a murderer. Through his decay, all forms of dishonesty, cruelty, injustice will be stated with money at their core, particularly in the first half of the film. Money is used for rewarding cowardice (the photograph who rewards his employee Lucien for his false evidence), for buying people's silence (Norbert's mother who gives the photograph's wife money to compensate her) and more generally, money is a God that makes Yvon's fate take a tragic dimension and drives a cruel, unfair world.

Its depiction is a perfect opportunity for Bresson to let his sparse, cold, neutral cinematographic writing shine. The more the film goes on, the more these epithets prevail with an accumulation of close-ups of objects, audacious elliptical sequences, a tightened editing and deliberately bland models who recite their texts and don't "act" it. Bresson's minimalist approach of this tragic story and harsh society amounts to a limpid harmony that inevitably brings an unshakable emotion and it's important to note down the moment when Yvon is put up by the old lady. These sequences are like lulls in Yvon's grisly fate and it's impossible to remain indifferent to the old lady's dreary way of life or when she's offered a few hazelnuts by Yvon. There's even a glimmer of hope when she pronounces the words: "I would forgive to the rest of the world".

It's true that Bresson's highly elliptical, straightforward style will leave many viewers baffled as there is no psychology or action but if you're sensitive to his unspectacular directing, you will realize that he pushed his art to the extreme to better get the audience involved in Yvon's woes. You can watch it only once but it will forever stay in your mind.

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