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Pierrot le Fou (1965)

Pierrot le fou (original title)
Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Romance | 8 January 1969 (USA)
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Pierrot escapes his boring society and travels from Paris to the Mediterranean Sea with Marianne, a girl chased by hit-men from Algeria. They lead an unorthodox life, always on the run.

Director:

Jean-Luc Godard

Writer:

Jean-Luc Godard
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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Jean-Paul Belmondo ... Ferdinand Griffon, 'Pierrot' (as Jean Paul Belmondo)
Anna Karina ... Marianne Renoir
Graziella Galvani Graziella Galvani ... La femme de Ferdinand
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Storyline

Ferdinand Griffon, married to a wealthy Italian wife, has recently been fired from the television station where he worked. His wife forces him to go to a party at the home of her influential father, who wants to introduce him to a potential employer. Her brother brings babysitter Marianne Renoir to take care of their children. Feeling bored at the bourgeois party, Ferdinand borrows his brother-in-law's car to head home. He meets Marianne, who was his mistress five years ago and insists on calling him Pierrot, and offers to take her home. They spend the night together and he learns that she's involved in smuggling weapons. When terrorists chase her, they decide to leave Paris and his family behind and go on the run, on a crazy journey to nowhere. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France | Italy

Language:

French | English | Italian

Release Date:

8 January 1969 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Pierrot le Fou See more »

Filming Locations:

Gonfaron, Var, France See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$300,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The 15th most successful film at the French box office in the year of its release. See more »

Quotes

Marianne: It's easy for a girl to kill a lot of people. There's no reason why soft breasts and thighs should keep her from killing everybody to stay free or defend herself! Just look at Cuba or Vietnam or Israel.
See more »

Alternate Versions

On the French Studio Canal Blu-Ray release, the green tinting is missing in the party scenes near the beginning of the film. It is intact on the American Criterion Collection Blu-Ray release. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Godard in America (1970) See more »

Soundtracks

Jamais je ne t'ai dit que je t'aimerai toujours
By Antoine Duhamel and Serge Rezvani
Performed by Anna Karina
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Godard Clowns Around, Creates Masterpiece
23 November 2004 | by jay4stein79-1See all my reviews

Artists are often remembered more for their brasher, earlier work - films, novels, paintings, etc. that pushed the boundaries of their medium to create something bold and unique. Sometimes, though, we ignore the faults of those earlier works, while more mature, more perfect later works are ignored because they lack the visceral shock of the new inherent in the artist's first pieces.

Godard strikes me as an artist of which this occurrence is particularly true. His Breathless ushered in the Nouvelle Vague of French cinema and has long been held as not only a classic, but also his masterpiece. As wonderful and fun as Breathless is, I find it much slighter Godard's later work, most notably Vivre Sa Vie, Le Mepris, Bande A Part, Weekend, and, of course, Pierrot Le Fou.

Breathless represents more technical innovation than anything else. It is a terrific story, but one that lacks the thematic depth of those other films. Godard touches upon the ideologies that will concern him later, but he does not delve into the plight of woman, the pitiful nature of the bourgeoisie, or the nature of film as much as he would in a couple years.

For me, the greatest achievement of Godard is Pierrot Le Fou. In it, he combines comedy, the road picture, extreme pathos, a scathing indictment of Capitalism, and a critique of contemporary society in an unimaginable way. The film moves along, following Ferdinand and Marianne, but any semblance of a normal narrative gets lost along the way. This is, of course, welcome. You do not come to Godard expecting the ordinary.

Though it lacks the photographic beauty of Le Mepris, Pierrot nevertheless represents one of Godard's most brilliant uses of color. The use of color filters in an early scene, reminiscent of Ivan the Terrible II's final scenes, is quite arresting and the overall use of the eastmancolor pallet is gorgeous. This is a very, very colorful film, which is appropriate for such a playful narrative.

The acting is similarly brilliant. Belmondo gives a more nuanced and more demanding performance here than he did in Breathless, and Karina matches him. Like one of the great starlets of the 40s and 50s, she bestows a grace, beauty, and elegance to her scenes. It helps that Godard's camera absolutely adores her (not quite as much, though, as it adored Brigitte Bardot's rear in Le Mepris), but much of what she does in this film derives from her talent rather than Godard's.

Again, though, I must warn that Pierrot is not a film for everyone.

Yes, it's a funny, brilliantly acted, and beautiful film, but it's also Godard, one of the most acquired tastes in the history of cinema.

That said, if you've not seen this film and consider yourself a fan of this director, see it soon - you'll not be disappointed.


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