The Man Without a Past


The Man Without a Past

Critics Consensus

Kaurismäki delivers another droll comedy full of his trademark humor.



Total Count: 98


Audience Score

User Ratings: 7,613
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The Man Without a Past Photos

Movie Info

Aki Kaurismaki's The Man Without a Past opens with the title character (Markku Peltola) being savagely beaten. At the hospital he is declared dead, but he sits up and walks out on his own power. He is taken in by a mother and her two sons, discovers an old jukebox that inspires local musicians, and discovers he has skills as a welder. When he becomes unwittingly involved in a bank robbery, and the man is unable to give the police his name, the cops send out feelers trying to figure out the man's identity. Soon his wife appears. The Man Without a Past was screened at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival where it was awarded the Grand Prix, the most storied prize after the Palme D'Or.

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Kaija Pakarinen
as Kaisa Nieminen
Annikki Tähti
as Flea Market Manageress
Anneli Sauli
as Bar Owner
Elina Salo
as Shipyard Clerk
Outi Mäenpää
as Bank Clerk
Esko Nikkari
as Bank Robber
Perlti Swehoim
as Investigating Officer
Pertti Sveholm
as Police Inspector
Aino Seppo
as Ex-wife
Antti Reini
as Electrician
Marko Haavisto Ja Poutahaukat
as The Salvation Army Band
Jouni Saario
as The Salvation Army Band
Jukka Teerisaari
as The Salvation Army Band
Jyrki Telila
as The Salvation Army Band
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Critic Reviews for The Man Without a Past

All Critics (98) | Top Critics (32)

Audience Reviews for The Man Without a Past

  • Sep 26, 2013
    Slow and dry, this Finland-set dramedy and its amnesiac protagonist seem to be searching for meaning along with the audience. It's a challenging watch, especially for those who know little about the local culture, but there remain moments of universal humor, warmth, and melancholy that overpower Kaurismaki's alienating idiosyncrasies.
    Sam B Super Reviewer
  • Sep 09, 2011
    The Man Without A Past raises a question, "what would make a changed better man?" A rather odd but interesting lovely story that delineates past, present, and future. Vivid, subtle characters blessed with sincere humanity and profound personalities. Hilarious. Brilliant. Compelling.
    Jan Marc M Super Reviewer
  • May 29, 2011
    Great dialogue, interesting story and all that...but it just felt meh. It's a bit too dry for my tastes
    Idrees K Super Reviewer
  • Dec 14, 2010
    Jim Jarmusch aptly summarized this film: "it's sad enough to make you laugh, and funny enough to make you cry."
    Stefanie C Super Reviewer

The Man Without a Past Quotes

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