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Au Hasard Balthazar (1966)

Au hasard Balthazar (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 25 May 1966 (France)
The story of a mistreated donkey and the people around him. A study on saintliness and a sister piece to Bresson's Mouchette.

Director:

Robert Bresson

Writer:

Robert Bresson

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5 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Anne Wiazemsky ... Marie
Walter Green Walter Green ... Jacques
François Lafarge François Lafarge ... Gérard
Jean-Claude Guilbert ... Arnold
Philippe Asselin Philippe Asselin ... Marie's father
Pierre Klossowski ... Merchant
Nathalie Joyaut Nathalie Joyaut ... Marie's mother
Marie-Claire Fremont Marie-Claire Fremont ... Baker's wife
Jean-Joël Barbier Jean-Joël Barbier ... The Priest
Guy Renault Guy Renault
Jean Rémignard Jean Rémignard ... Notary
Guy Brejac Guy Brejac
Mylène Weyergans Mylène Weyergans
Jacques Sorbets Jacques Sorbets ... Police Officer
François Sullerot François Sullerot ... Baker
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Storyline

This is the story of a donkey and the somewhat difficult life it leads. During a summer holiday, the baby donkey is a child's pet but when they return home, it begins it's life of misery. It works as a farm animal, pulling a delivery cart and working as any manner as various owners require of it. Meanwhile, the young girl who first acquired Balthazar as a pet grows up, only to be badly treated herself by an indifferent and selfish boyfriend. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France | Sweden

Language:

French | Latin

Release Date:

25 May 1966 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Au Hasard Balthazar See more »

Filming Locations:

Guyancourt, Yvelines, France

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,325, 19 October 2003, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$39,388, 14 December 2003
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Balthazar was an untrained donkey during most of the filming, which made Bressons's work a real challenge. The only scene for which the donkey was trained was the circus math trick. See more »

Goofs

The "for Sale" sign that is on the fence when Balthazar runs through the gate is different to the one seen in close-up. Also, when he runs through the gate, the sign is in shadow but in close-up it is in full sun. See more »

Quotes

Marie: Don't you believe in anything?
Merchant: I believe in what I own. I love money. I hate death.
Marie: You'll die like everyone else.
Merchant: I will bury them all.
See more »

Connections

Edited into Histoire(s) du cinéma: Seul le cinéma (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Piano Sonata No.20 in A Major, II. Andantino (D. 959)
Written by Franz Schubert
Performed by Jean-Joël Barbier
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Essential
18 October 2000 | by scr1veSee all my reviews

Its restraint is its strength- beautiful monotone images, silences, gestures all laced with a a simple piano sonata that underscores the mood of the film perfectly. Trancendental and sometimes joyful, the film (in typical Bressonian style) eventually gives way to an unbearably sad vision of 'life'. As always, this film's style and content are a product of Bressons Catholic beliefs (As a hardy atheist- Bressons films are about as trancendental as my life gets...) But thats enough about style.

The content matches the style in its ingenuity and simplicity. Godard called this film 'life in 90 minutes' and it does seem to be complete in the sense that this is not 'about' anything specific- but the journey of life- which applies to us all without exception. It is this simplicity of focus on life that makes 'Balthazar' stand out as a work of cinematic art, and enables me to label it above all other films that I have seen as: my favourite. As a subjective (this must be noted) and highly moving interpretation and meditation on life, Bresson's vision is essential to anyone with a pulse.


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