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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 | Plot 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

The film is included on Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" list. 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

Featured in Renegade Cut: Au Hasard Balthazar (2016) 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

 
Les mémoires d'un âne
14 September 2004 | by dbdumonteilSee all my reviews

During the nineteenth century ,the comtesse de Segur wrote a novel for the children called "memoirs of a donkey" .A very pious writer,she chose the donkey as a symbol of humility...as Robert Bresson did I suppose.The very first pictures of the movie,with the children,"christening" the donkey ,might be a nod to the writer whom the young Bresson,like all his generation must have read when he was a young boy."Au hasard Balthazar " is an updated version of "les memoires d'un ane" ,but a very austere story:although Bresson's work enjoys a very high rating on the site,I must say that it's not for all tastes.I cannot imagine,say, a "matrix" fan getting enthusiastic about it.

Bresson's actors are non -professionals -with the exception of Anne Wiazemski,but it was her debut;then she became the par excellence intellectual actress,for the likes of Godard,Tanner and Garrel,all directors that easily make me yawn my head off-,but do not expect a "natural "performance.I hope the non-French speaking who wrote a comment saw the movie in French with English subtitles.Dubbed in another language ,Bresson's works lose a lot of their originality.Because the actors speak in a distant voice,in a neutral style as if they were reciting Descartes's "the Discourse on Method".They never show any emotion,even through their darkest hour (not even after the heroine's rape).

Bresson films his human characters as if they were Martians ,and his sympathy for the donkey is the only pity he has to give us.This beast of burden seems to carry on its back all the sins of the world,and his route is a calvary.A woman says "this donkey is a saint" .

Bresson showed us the Beast in Man and the Man in Beast.


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