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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

The main actress of this movie, Anne Wiazemsky, also became an author; in her book "Jeune Fille", she describes the making of the movie. 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

Referenced in Wiener-Dog (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

 
One of the most memorable endings in cinema
24 August 1999 | by allyjackSee all my reviews

The film's ending is one of the most memorable in cinema, and achieves an eerie grace, consistent with its almost unique tone - allusively Biblical and allegorical, yet resistant to specific meanings and interpretations. The plot is a narrative of human cruelty and escalating despair, but always with enough mystery in the motivation to ward off easy condemnations; and perhaps even to indicate divine guidance. Throughout, Wiazemsky seizes on the donkey as a symbol of transcendence(her mother calls it a saint in the end); it's formally christened at the beginning and undergoes something approaching a formal funeral, all of which gives its life the contours of a spiritual journey of discovery. The narrative encompasses both revelations (the interlude in the fair; new tortures like the mean old man who starves and beats him) and retrenchment; both life's austerity, its roots in servitude, and its enormous potential dignity. Never was a donkey filmed so evocatively - but as always with Bresson, the simplicity is thrilling too - there's no false artistry here; no dubious anthropomorphism. A necessary film, and I'm amazed that I'm the first one to be commenting on it here.


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