Bande part (Band of Outsiders) (1964) - Rotten Tomatoes

Bande part (Band of Outsiders) (1964)

Bande  part (Band of Outsiders)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Franz (Sami Frey) and Artur (Claude Brasseur) are two French youngsters attending an English class with Odile (Anna Karina). Soon all becoming friends, Odile volunteers information about some loot being stored in her aunt's (Louisa Colpeyn) home outside of Paris. Fascinated by American outlaws and crime films, Franz and Artur concoct a scheme of robbery, forcing Odile to go along. Though Artur's underworld uncle (Ernest Menzer) would like in on the fun, they leave him out. Much to their disappointment, he cannot be ignored so easily. Concerned with the characters' isolation and misguided fantasy, French writer/director Jean-Luc Godard spends more screen time with character study than with the actual events. Not long after Contempt hit the box office, critics at the time suggested this feature to be more accessible to mainstream audiences. Slightly divergent from Godard's prior films, Bande a part/Band of Outsiders does include Godard's sardonic and artistic style, but not the usual jump cuts and roving camera shots--whether because of Godard's artistic choice or financial influence (the film was completed with a budget of $100,000). Godard based his screenplay on Dolores Hitchens' novel Fool's Gold.more
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Art House & International, Drama
Directed By: ,
Written By: Jean-Luc Godard
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jan 7, 2003
Royal Films International - Official Site


Sami Frey
as Franz
Louisa Colpeyn
as Mme. Victoria
Ernest Menzer
as Arthur's uncle
Michel Delahaye
as Doorman at School
Georges Staquet
as Legionnaire
Danile Girard
as English teacher
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Bande part (Band of Outsiders)

All Critics (45) | Top Critics (14)

This 1964 feature remains one of Godard's most appealing and underrated films, relatively relaxed and strangely optimistic.

Full Review… | March 3, 2008
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

One of Godard's most open and enjoyable films.

Full Review… | February 11, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

As charming as seasoned film buffs remember and as refreshing as initiates expect.

Full Review… | January 17, 2002
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic

Delivers one clever idea atop another.

Full Review… | January 4, 2002
Detroit Free Press
Top Critic

It's as if a French poet took an ordinary banal American crime novel and told it to us in terms of the romance and beauty he read between the lines.

Full Review… | December 8, 2001
The New Republic
Top Critic

The structure of the film feels like freedom. And truth.

Full Review… | December 7, 2001
Denver Post
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Bande part (Band of Outsiders)

Two young would be criminals obsessed with old Hollywood B-movies compete for the affections of the same woman, and also try to get her to help them commit a her own home in this breezy adaptation of the novel Fool's Gold. It's Godard once again giving the world a hip, cool, and jazzy tale involving crime and disaffected youths, yet doing so in a very fun and stylish way that tweaks conventions and expectations, and gets all kinds of praise and proves very influential to many a viewer, namely Tarantino.

I dug this film, and found it to be quite enjoyable, and while it is more accessible than Breathless, it's also kinda underwhelming and struck me as somewhat overrated. There's some fun and memorable sequences, including the world record-breaking run through the Louvre, the "minute of silence", and the infectiously fun dance scene, but the film didn't really strike me as gut punchingly lasting. There's perhaps a bit more substance than maybe I picked up on, but maybe I was just too preoccupied with all the style, aesthetics, and the beauty of Anna Karina to notice.

Do I recommend it? Yeah. I don't think it's a masterpiece, but I am glad I saw it, and think it's a passable way to spend some time, especially if you want to be more familiar with one of the most revered directors in all of cinema.

Chris Weber

Super Reviewer


Band Of Outsiders is an influential French New Wave classic by Jean-Luc Godard that features a relaxed and youthful band of three scheming an inside robbery. Endearing. Appealing.

Jan Marc Macababayao
Jan Marc Macababayao

Super Reviewer

"A few clues for latecomers: Several weeks ago... A pile of money... An English class... A house by the river... A romantic young girl..."

Two crooks with a fondness for old Hollywood B-movies convince a languages student to help them commit a robbery.

Very much in the same vein as his break-out hit Breathless, Band of Outsiders works just the way it is supposed to, an homage to the pulp crime novels and B- movies of America. Here, however, it is all set to the gorgeous and timeless scenery of Paris along with three very bright and engaging people. Sami Frey and Claude Brasseur play Franz and Arthur, two young men who seem to be going nowhere in life except the occasional English class and cruising around in their speedy black, American car. They meet up with a girl they both admire, Odile, played wonderfully by the beautiful Anna Karina, and soon are setting up a plot to steal money from her aunt's boarding house.

This is about all the plot there is and about all the plot there needs to be. Since this is based on a dime-store novel by Dolores Hitchens, Godard knew that the climax would be the actual crime. However, what to fill the rest of the time with? Perhaps a fantastic dance number right in the middle of a Parisian restaurant, or the famous scene of the three characters running through the great halls of the Louvre. There are also some very interesting dialog scenes, such as when Arthur and Odile discuss why they like each other, or Arthur and Franz exchanging morbid stories from the newspaper.

Like most of Godard's other work, many people will be turned off by his eccentric, offbeat cinematic version of the human condition. Indeed, although he was heavily inspired by American crime tales such as Orson Welles' Touch of Evil, there is a definite French twist here which is all the more entertaining for us. Still, this is certainly one of Godard's best work; completely original and thought-provoking as well as shot in beautiful, stark black-and-white cinematography that captures the rough and rugged era of Paris. Keep your mind open to the possibilities and you may just learn something... or nothing.

Lorenzo von Matterhorn

Super Reviewer

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