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Pierrot le Fou (1965)
"Pierrot le fou" (original title)

Not Rated  |   |  Crime, Drama, Romance  |  8 January 1969 (USA)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 16,729 users  
Reviews: 70 user | 90 critic

Pierrot escapes his boring society and travels from Paris to the Mediterranean Sea with Marianne, a girl chased by hit-men from Algeria. They lead an unorthodox life, always on the run.

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Title: Pierrot le Fou (1965)

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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Ferdinand Griffon, 'Pierrot' (as Jean Paul Belmondo)
...
Graziella Galvani ...
La femme de Ferdinand
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Storyline

Pierrot escapes his boring society and travels from Paris to the Mediterranean Sea with Marianne, a girl chased by hit-men from Algeria. They lead an unorthodox life, always on the run. Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

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Release Date:

8 January 1969 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Pierrot le Fou  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$300,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Despite continual claims that Godard shot the majority of his films without scripts or preparation, actress Anna Karina has subsequently claimed that they were in fact very carefully planned out to the smallest of details, with an almost obsessive level of perfectionism. See more »

Quotes

Ferdinard: I wonder what's keeping the cops. We should be in jail by now.
Marianne: They're smart... They let people destroy themselves.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Peut-être (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Jamais je ne t'ai dit que je t'aimerai toujours
By Antoine Duhamel and Serge Rezvani
Performed by Anna Karina
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Godard Clowns Around, Creates Masterpiece
23 November 2004 | by (somerville, ma) – See all my reviews

Artists are often remembered more for their brasher, earlier work - films, novels, paintings, etc. that pushed the boundaries of their medium to create something bold and unique. Sometimes, though, we ignore the faults of those earlier works, while more mature, more perfect later works are ignored because they lack the visceral shock of the new inherent in the artist's first pieces.

Godard strikes me as an artist of which this occurrence is particularly true. His Breathless ushered in the Nouvelle Vague of French cinema and has long been held as not only a classic, but also his masterpiece. As wonderful and fun as Breathless is, I find it much slighter Godard's later work, most notably Vivre Sa Vie, Le Mepris, Bande A Part, Weekend, and, of course, Pierrot Le Fou.

Breathless represents more technical innovation than anything else. It is a terrific story, but one that lacks the thematic depth of those other films. Godard touches upon the ideologies that will concern him later, but he does not delve into the plight of woman, the pitiful nature of the bourgeoisie, or the nature of film as much as he would in a couple years.

For me, the greatest achievement of Godard is Pierrot Le Fou. In it, he combines comedy, the road picture, extreme pathos, a scathing indictment of Capitalism, and a critique of contemporary society in an unimaginable way. The film moves along, following Ferdinand and Marianne, but any semblance of a normal narrative gets lost along the way. This is, of course, welcome. You do not come to Godard expecting the ordinary.

Though it lacks the photographic beauty of Le Mepris, Pierrot nevertheless represents one of Godard's most brilliant uses of color. The use of color filters in an early scene, reminiscent of Ivan the Terrible II's final scenes, is quite arresting and the overall use of the eastmancolor pallet is gorgeous. This is a very, very colorful film, which is appropriate for such a playful narrative.

The acting is similarly brilliant. Belmondo gives a more nuanced and more demanding performance here than he did in Breathless, and Karina matches him. Like one of the great starlets of the 40s and 50s, she bestows a grace, beauty, and elegance to her scenes. It helps that Godard's camera absolutely adores her (not quite as much, though, as it adored Brigitte Bardot's rear in Le Mepris), but much of what she does in this film derives from her talent rather than Godard's.

Again, though, I must warn that Pierrot is not a film for everyone.

Yes, it's a funny, brilliantly acted, and beautiful film, but it's also Godard, one of the most acquired tastes in the history of cinema.

That said, if you've not seen this film and consider yourself a fan of this director, see it soon - you'll not be disappointed.


41 of 52 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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