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.
A triangle: Franz, Arthur, and Odile. Franz, a young man with Alain Delon good looks, has met Odile in an English class. She lives in Joinville with wealthy benefactors and has mentioned to Franz that Mr. Stolz keeps a pile of 10,000 franc notes unlocked in his room. Franz tells his friend Arthur, a swarthy guy whose shady uncle is pressing him for money. Arthur and Franz, who mimic American movie tough guys, case Odile's house, pressure her to assist them with a burglary, and make passes at her as well. She's alternately compliant and distressed. Will they pull off the heist?Written by
There are two references to the French poet Arthur Rimbaud in the film. Firstly, Arthur the character says his surname is "Rimbaud", though this could be a pseudonym. Secondly, the narrator quotes from Rimbaud's work "Les Illuminations" after the visit to the Louvre - "Rien ne bougeait encore au front des palais. L'eau etait morte" ("Nothing was stirring yet at the front of the palace. The water was dead"). See more »
At the start of the movie when Franz and Arthur get out of the car, Franz shuts his door and points to the house - and again after the cut. See more »
A minute of silence can last a long time... a whole eternity.
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For the last time (?) on the screen Music by Michel Legrand See more »
With this film Godard returned to the (petty) crime genre and his fascination with American pop culture. Odile (Karina), Arthur (Brasseur) and Franz (Frey) meet in an English language class and become friends. When naive Odile tells them she lives in a house where a large amount of money is cached, their imagination runs wild. Fantasizing and discussing Hollywood B-movies and pulp literature, they decide to rob the house with the help of Odile.
Godard goes to even further extremes in "violating" traditional storytelling with his voice-over narration, giving the viewer information during the action and letting his characters talk to the camera. It might not be Godard's most innovative release, compared to let's say BREATHLESS, CONTEMPT and TWO OR THREE THINGS I KNOW ABOUT HER, but is probably more entertaining and accessible to modern audiences than almost any other pre-1970 film he made (his later work is difficult to grasp for any audience). In the case of CONTEMPT audiences might have flocked to the cinemas because of Brigitte Bardot's presence, but besides BB-devotees, that's hardly a recommendation now. But this one generally is an entertaining and insightful film, with the dancing sequence in the bar justly memorable, as is the 9-minute tour of the Louvre.
Still, essential for movie buffs. Godard even credited himself as Jean-Luc "Cinema" Godard. Quentin Tarantino paid tribute to this film naming his production company A Band Apart.
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