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À Bout de Souffle

Jean-Luc Godard | 1960 | 103 MINS
France | Subtitles
A small-time thief (Jean-Paul Belmondo) steals a car and impulsively murders a motorcycle policeman. Wanted by the authorities, he reunites with a hip American journalism student.

In Detail

Michel Poiccard (Belmondo), an irresponsible sociopath and small-time thief, steals a car and impulsively murders the motorcycle policeman who pursues him. Now wanted by the authorities, he renews his relationship with Patricia Franchini, a hip American girl (Jean Seberg) studying journalism at the Sorbonne, whom he had met in Nice a few weeks earlier.

Poiccard seems oblivious to the dragnet that is slowly closing around him as he recklessly pursues his love of American movies and libidinous interest in the beautiful American. Luc Godard pays homage to the pace and energy of American gangster B-movies of the 1940s. The young Jean-Paul Belmondo, his face battered by boxing, was cast in the lead, modelling his manner on his idol, Humphrey Bogart. A revolution swept French cinema into the 1960s, and this film seized the public by its throat.

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