A small-time thief steals a car and impulsively murders a motorcycle policeman. Wanted by the authorities, he reunites with a hip American journalism student and attempts to persuade her to run away with him to Italy.

Director:

Jean-Luc Godard

Writer:

François Truffaut (original scenario)
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Popularity
4,253 ( 187)
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 4 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Jean Seberg ... Patricia Franchini
Jean-Paul Belmondo ... Michel Poiccard a.k.a. Laszlo Kovacs
Daniel Boulanger Daniel Boulanger ... Police Inspector Vital
Henri-Jacques Huet Henri-Jacques Huet ... Antonio Berrutti
Roger Hanin ... Carl Zubart
Van Doude ... Self
Claude Mansard Claude Mansard ... Claudius Mansard
Liliane Dreyfus Liliane Dreyfus ... Liliane / Minouche (as Liliane David)
Michel Fabre Michel Fabre ... Police Inspector #2
Jean-Pierre Melville ... Parvulesco the Writer
Jean-Luc Godard ... The Snitch
Richard Balducci Richard Balducci ... Tolmatchoff
André S. Labarthe André S. Labarthe ... Journalist at Orly
François Moreuil François Moreuil ... Journalist at Orly
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jacques Lourcelles Jacques Lourcelles ... (as Raymond Ravanbaz)
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Storyline

Michel Poiccard, an irresponsible sociopath and small-time thief, steals a car and impulsively murders the motorcycle policeman who pursues him. Now wanted by the authorities, he renews his relationship with Patricia Franchini, a hip American girl studying journalism at the Sorbonne, whom he had met in Nice a few weeks earlier. Before leaving Paris, he plans to collect a debt from an underworld acquaintance and expects her to accompany him on his planned getaway to Italy. Even with his face in the local papers and media, Poiccard seems oblivious to the dragnet that is slowly closing around him as he recklessly pursues his love of American movies and libidinous interest in the beautiful American. Written by duke1029

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The film that was banned for 4 years. Why..? (original Finnish poster tagline) See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Jean-Luc Godard couldn't afford a dolly, so he pushed the cinematographer around in a wheelchair through many scenes of the film. He got the idea from Jean-Pierre Melville, who had used the same low-budget technique in Bob le Flambeur (1956) and Le Silence de la Mer (1949). See more »

Goofs

When Patricia (Jean Seberg) is going up the escalator, a plant beside it can be seen moving, as if knocked by the cameraman going up in front of her. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Michel Poiccard: After all, I'm an asshole. After all, yes, I've got to. I've got to!
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Connections

Referenced in In the Strangest Places (2005) See more »

User Reviews

Sure it revolutionized movies, no argument there, but it's not that much fun to watch thirty-odd years later.
11 November 2002 | by InfofreakSee all my reviews

Godard's 'Breathless' is regarded as one of the most important and influential movies of the modern era. And you'll get no argument from me on that score. But unlike other classics by Hitchcock, Welles, Lang, Kubrick or Peckinpah, it is a movie to be admired, but not I'm sad to say enjoyed. Watching it to me is almost like doing homework. You can immediately see in what ways it must have been daring and innovative at the time, and you can understand how many things about it, (especially the editing, which alternates jerky cuts with slow passages of dialogue about "nothing"), influenced everything from 'Easy Rider' to 'Reservoir Dogs'. But is it entertaining viewing? No. Belmondo and Seberg are cool and charismatic and act impressively, but you never care one hoot for their relationship or what happens to them. The crime angle of 'Breathless' is just a Macguffin, and Godard just uses it as an excuse for some (admittedly) very impressive shots. In many ways it is quite a cold movie. The viewer is deliberately kept at a distance, and this is its ultimate downfall. I would recommend 'Breathless' as as essential viewing for every film buff because of its technique and style, but if you were to ask me if I honestly ENJOY watching this movie I would have to say no, I don't.


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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French | English

Release Date:

7 February 1961 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Breathless See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

FRF400,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$32,424, 30 May 2010

Gross USA:

$363,031

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$398,404
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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