7.8/10
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Band of Outsiders (1964)

Bande à part (original title)
Not Rated | | Comedy, Crime, Drama | 5 August 1964 (France)
Trailer
1:47 | Trailer

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Two crooks with a fondness for old Hollywood B-movies convince a languages student to help them commit a robbery.

Director:

Jean-Luc Godard (as Cinéma)

Writer:

Dolores Hitchens (novel)

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Cast

Credited cast:
Anna Karina ... Odile
Danièle Girard Danièle Girard ... English Teacher
Louisa Colpeyn Louisa Colpeyn ... Madame Victoria
Chantal Darget Chantal Darget ... Arthur's Aunt
Sami Frey ... Franz
Claude Brasseur ... Arthur
Georges Staquet Georges Staquet ... Legionary
Ernest Menzer Ernest Menzer ... Arthur's Uncle
Jean-Claude Rémoleux Jean-Claude Rémoleux ... L'élève buveur d'alcool
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Michel Delahaye Michel Delahaye ... Le portier
Louis Jojot Louis Jojot ... (as Monsieur Jojot)
Claude Makovski Claude Makovski ... Pupil
Michèle Seghers Michèle Seghers ... Student in English Class
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Storyline

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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A Who-Dunit, Who's Got-It, Where-Is-It-Now Wild One From That "Breathless" director Jean-Luc Godard!

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

BFI (distributor) [UK]

Country:

France

Language:

French | English

Release Date:

5 August 1964 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Band of Outsiders See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$120,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$28,656, 19 August 2001, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$37,651, 7 August 2016
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The voice narrations are provided by the director, Jean-Luc Godard. See more »

Goofs

When the English teacher writes the word 'Classique' on the board, the first shot shows a much larger 'C' than the following shot. Also, the blackboard now looks like it has just been wiped with a wet sponge. See more »

Quotes

Arthur: The situation couldn't be clearer. But what's not clear is the part I'll be playing.
See more »

Crazy Credits

For the last time (?) on the screen Music by Michel Legrand See more »


Soundtracks

J'entends, j'entends
(uncredited)
Written and Performed by Jean Ferrat
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A great film
21 April 2001 | by zetesSee all my reviews

Sure, it may not be as important as Breathless historically, but I think it is more successful in a lot of ways. Wheeler Winston Dixon, in his book _The Films of Jean-Luc Godard_, a rather good exploration of Godard's cinema, devotes a single paragraph to Bande a part, having written several pages each for such other Godard films as Breathless, My Life to Live, and Une femme est une femme. Basically, his consensus on Band a part is that it is a slight film that more or less is just a repitition of Breathless. He doesn't say it, but it is just as easily said that it is also a repitition of Truffaut's Shoot the Piano Player and Jules and Jim.

Why would Godard, who has just expanded into making a film, a major film, like Contempt (and will go on to make Pierrot le fou (which I haven't seen yet, though I will in the next few days) and Alphaville) go back to a cheap crime movie? I would guess that it has something to do with the conditions Godard underwent when making Contempt (harassed by producers and Jack Palance alike). And I don't know what Godard himself felt about Contempt, but I personally found it really stuffy, self-important and ultimately disappointing. After dealing with a big budget, internationally produced film (by three separate producers), I'm sure that another cheaply made crime film appealed to him.

And I have to admit that I fell into that critical trap when I began watching this film. It seemed a lot like Breathless (and Shoot the Piano Player and Jules and Jim). And although I was liking it, I was also kind of bored. That is until about a half an hour through, when there is this amazing dance scene, probably the most famous part of this film if there is any famous part at all. The three main characters, Arthur, Odile and Franz do this great dance (kind of a proto-line dance, although a lot more attractive) to a great jazz piece (the music is great throughout, like it is in all of Godard's other films; he has quite the ear for it). As they dance, the music stops (as it did in Une femme est une femme) and Godard inserts what each of the characters are thinking as they still dance around musicless. It is a great scene, as good as any of Godard's other innovations, and it completely won me over. After that, everything about the movie seemed to get better and better as it went along. Perhaps my attention was unfocused before that, but afterwards I became involved. The characters started to become three dimensional, and the story, although from a cheap dime-store novel, became compelling. And its greatness escalated steadily as the film progressed, until it ended.

Let's discuss for a moment the acting of Anna Karina, at the time Godard's wife and obsession. I don't remember Alphaville enough to recall how she was there, but, just lately, I have seen her in Une femme est une femme and Vivre sa vie. I was unsure whether she was a good actress or not. Of course, she was hypnotizing. For the sake of mankind, she has to be one of the most beautiful women who ever lived. Her eyes are just amazing. In Vivre sa vie, Godard compared her godly visage to that of Marie Falconetti of The Passion of Joan of Arc. Now that film I take seriously, never putting up with any derogatory thing said about it. And I was initially offended that Godard would be so bold as to compare his wife to Falconetti, perhaps the best actress who ever lived. But now, I'm no longer offended. Karina is a great actress. In the three films that I remember seeing her in, she has played three very different characters successfully. In Une femme est une femme, her role required a woman of strong convictions and independence with a twist of camp. She was great there. In Vivre sa vie, her role required also strong convictions and independence, but in a completely different way. Une femme est une femme was joyful in mood, for the most part, kind of sweet, really, but Vivre sa vie is a definite tragedy. Her convictions and independence end up destroying her. Now in Bande a part, Karina is a young girl who is fed up with her daily routine. She finds two guys from the wrong side of the track who seem to be offering her a better life. She soon, however, realizes that they are using her. Her trusting innocence is completely believable, and so is the nervousness that comes later. It's a very subtle performance, and Karina develops her character marvelously.

Bande a part is not the typical Godard movie. The experimentation is much less than in his other films. Therefore, no one who writes on Godard ever needs to bring it up. If it had been made by another director, its fame may have been greater. My prediction is that a Godard enthusiast will dislike it, or at least see it as lesser. One who despises Godard may find him/herself liking this film, especially if that person likes Truffaut's films better. Myself, I appreciate Godard a lot, but do not idolize him. Some will defend him no matter what. I believe that he can make mistakes, such as Contempt and Alphaville (two films which many people idolize). I believe that, just because Bande a part repeats other films a bit, there is no real reason to ignore it, for it has a lot of greatness in it. 10/10


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