Breathless 1961

Breathless

Critics Consensus

Breathless rewrote the rules of cinema -- and more than 50 years after its arrival, Jean-Luc Godard's paradigm-shifting classic remains every bit as vital.

97%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 68

90%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 38,956

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Movie Info

Petty thug Michel (Jean-Paul Belmondo) considers himself a suave bad guy in the manner of Humphrey Bogart, but panics and impulsively kills a policeman while driving a stolen car. On the lam, he turns to his aspiring journalist girlfriend, Patricia (Jean Seberg), hiding out in her Paris apartment while he tries to pull together enough money to get the pair to Italy. But when Patricia learns that her boyfriend is being investigated for murder, she begins to question her loyalties.

Cast & Crew

Jean-Paul Belmondo
Michel Poiccard alias Laszlo Kovacs
Jean Seberg
Patricia Franchini
Daniel Boulanger
Police Inspector
Henri-Jacques Huet
Antonio Berrutti
Van Doude
The Journalist
Claude Mansard
Claudius Mansard
Roger Hanin
Cal Zombach
François Truffaut
Writer (Story)
Martial Solal
Original Music
Raoul Coutard
Cinematographer
Cécile Decugis
Film Editor
Lila Herman
Film Editor
Claude Chabrol
Production Designer
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News & Interviews for Breathless

Critic Reviews for Breathless

All Critics (68) | Top Critics (22) | Fresh (66) | Rotten (2)

  • A hip, jokey thriller in which the sketchy plot serves as an excuse for stylistic flourishes and philosophical asides.

    October 5, 2018 | Full Review…
  • With the appearance of Breathless, we have a film that is new, aesthetically and morally.

    December 3, 2015 | Full Review…
  • Breathless jumps to its own rhythm and pokes holes in its idols even as it worships them.

    August 20, 2010 | Rating: 5/5
  • On its fiftieth birthday Breathless remains fresh and exciting, although its revolutionary approach has long since been absorbed into the mainstream, and the years do show on it a bit.

    August 4, 2010 | Full Review…
  • Even 50 years later, it's easy feel how vivid a game-changer Breathless must have been when it arrived.

    July 16, 2010
  • This movie liberated the cinema -- the stories you could tell and the ways you could tell them -- as clearly and cleanly as Picasso freed painting and the Sex Pistols rebooted rock.

    July 15, 2010 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

    Ty Burr

    Boston Globe
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Breathless

  • Jun 02, 2018
    3/06/2018 - Overrated. The films opening scene is great, but afterwards basically nothing happens until Michel's death, which couldn't have come soon enough.
    Peter B Super Reviewer
  • Mar 07, 2013
    An iconic film of the French New Wave that revolutionized film-making in general, Breathless is unconventional in many ways but undeniably impressive and unique. From its frequent jump cuts to its leisurely pacing and improvisational dialogue, Breathless is far from a typical drama, and it demonstrates New Wave director Jean-Luc Godard's endless love of film and film-making that separates the movie from its counterparts and makes it a must-see movie for any self-respecting film buff.
    Joey S Super Reviewer
  • Feb 08, 2013
    A landmark in cinema history, due mostly to revolutionary editing techniques, pop culture references, and a biting undercurrent of intellectualism.
    Kase V Super Reviewer
  • Oct 12, 2012
    This is the first Godard movie I can say I was vividly entertained throughout the whole movie. A unique love story between a murderer and an American girl in France. Stuffed with memorable dialogue and every moment something was happening. Practically every single second was filled. I still hate Godard's cinematography style, it's annoying and confusing. Unlike the other Godard works I've seen though this one kept you into it, and started the French new wave.
    Daniel D Super Reviewer

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