Breathless

Breathless

Breathless

Jean-Luc Godard's innovative and hugely influential first film, what would become one of the seminal works of the French New Wave. Paying homage to the energy of American gangster B-movies of the 1940s, Godard took his plotline from a news item, supplied by contemporary François Truffaut, in which a cop-killer was harboured by his girlfriend and casually betrayed for the reward money.

"A revolution swept French cinema into the 1960s, and this film seized the public by its throat. La Nouvelle Vague (the New Wave) was a reaction against the formal polish of the well-made French film, a style too stuffy and impersonal for a radical group of critics who wrote for the influential magazine 'Cahiers du Cinema'. Among them were Claude Chabrol, Eric Rohmer, Francois Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard, all of whom became trail-blazing film-makers.

"The young Jean-Paul Belmondo, his face battered by boxing, was cast in the lead, modelling his manner on his idol, Humphrey Bogart. He is introduced as a petty street thief in Marseilles. En route to Paris in a stolen car, he kills a cop who tries to stop him. Later he holes up in the Paris apartment of an American girl (Jean Seberg) who ekes out a perilous living selling newspapers. An informer (Godard himself) spots Belmondo, and the police offer her (Seberg) a deal that ends with her lover shot down on the street in front of her." (BBC)

1960Rating: PG90 minsFranceFrench with English subtitles
DramaRomance
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Reviews & comments

Variety

Variety

press

This film, a first pic by a film critic, shows the immediate influence of Yank actioners and socio-psycho thrillers but has its own personal style.

0
The Guardian

The Guardian

press

There is simply no other film which demonstrates so perfectly what it feels like to be young and in love.

5.0
0
Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert

press

Modern movies begin here, with Jean-Luc Godard's Breathless in 1960. No debut film since Citizen Kane in 1942 has been as influential.

0
Little White Lies

Little White Lies

press

Influential. Innovative. Incredible.

0
BBC

BBC

press

A landmark film, it forever changed perceptions of cinema.

5.0
0
Variety

Variety

press

This film, a first pic by a film critic, shows the immediate influence of Yank actioners and socio-psycho thrillers but has its own personal style.

0
The Guardian

The Guardian

press

There is simply no other film which demonstrates so perfectly what it feels like to be young and in love.

5.0
0
Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert

press

Modern movies begin here, with Jean-Luc Godard's Breathless in 1960. No debut film since Citizen Kane in 1942 has been as influential.

0
Little White Lies

Little White Lies

press

Influential. Innovative. Incredible.

0
BBC

BBC

press

A landmark film, it forever changed perceptions of cinema.

5.0
0

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