Pierrot le Fou (Pierrot Goes Wild) (Crazy Pete) 1969

Crazy Pete

Critics Consensus

Colorful, subversive, and overall beguiling, Pierrot le Fou is arguably Jean-Luc Godard's quintessential work.

86%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 44

87%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 9,751

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Movie Info

Uninterested in his wife (Raymond Devos), Ferdinand Griffon (Jean-Paul Belmondo) wearies of his stagnant life. But when the couple hires an enigmatic baby-sitter, Marianne Renoir (Anna Karina), Ferdinand falls head over heels in love with her and abandons his family. He soon discovers, however, that his mistress is not who she seems. Pursued by foreign thugs, Ferdinand and Marianne steal a car and embark on a crime spree through the French countryside all the way to the Mediterranean.

Cast & Crew

Jean-Paul Belmondo
Ferdinand Griffon, "Pierrot"
Anna Karina
Marianne Renoir
Dirk Sanders
Fred, le frère de Marianne
Raymond Devos
L'homme du port
Graziella Galvani
La femme de Ferdinand
Jean-Luc Godard
Screenwriter
Raoul Coutard
Cinematographer
Françoise Collin
Film Editor
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Critic Reviews for Pierrot le Fou (Pierrot Goes Wild) (Crazy Pete)

All Critics (44) | Top Critics (12) | Fresh (38) | Rotten (6)

  • The film is poetic, quiet, introverted, personal.

    January 9, 2018 | Full Review…
  • The melodramatic sluice-of-life interludes are what ultimately swamp the film's modest blend of whimsy and melancholy.

    July 16, 2014 | Full Review…
    TIME Magazine
    Top Critic
  • At its worst, in some of its improvised rambles, it demonstrates the value of a well-thought-out screenplay. At its exhilarating and poignant best, it proves that a film can play all sorts of postmodern games yet still touch its viewers' emotions.

    May 28, 2009 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • A wild-eyed, everything-in-the-pot cross-processing of artistic, cinematic, political and personal concerns, where the story stutters, splinters and infuriates its way to an explosive finale.

    May 22, 2009 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

    David Jenkins

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Godard opens up his box of tricks and tips it all over the screen in a flurry of improvised, postmodernism that takes scattergun shots at consumerism, cultural imperialism and the Vietnam and Algerian wars.

    May 22, 2009 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

    Ed Potton

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • Engaging and beguiling - perhaps in spite of itself - and a vital part of film history.

    May 22, 2009 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Pierrot le Fou (Pierrot Goes Wild) (Crazy Pete)

  • Oct 06, 2015
    Pierrot Le Fou is a stylish film with a great romantic, hip, blase vibe and sardonic sense of humor. It is good looking as well, the shooting and the leads. The plot is desultory without feeling random. Great if you are feeling relaxed and in the mood for an interesting and cool French film.
    Robert B Super Reviewer
  • Jun 01, 2013
    A brightly-colored crime thriller and comedy from French New Wave director Jean-Luc Godard, Pierrot le Fou is unusual but charming in its oddness and visual extravagance. It follows Ferdinand and Marianne (Jean-Paul Belmondo and Anna Karina respectively), two lovers on the run after committing a number of crimes, including murder. The story is one of the less important aspects of the movie though because more often than not it seems almost plotless. There are frequently scenes that are irrelevant to the story, including a couple of scenes that just involve a character reading a passage from a book while looking at the camera. Like many Godard movies, Pierrot le Fou is very self-aware and breaks the fourth wall often. Aside from Belmondo reading a book to the camera, there is also a memorable moment when he is talking to Karina and says something that seems like a non sequitur. When Karina asks what he means, he tells her he was talking to the audience and then he turns back and glances at the camera for a moment. It's moments like this that make Pierrot le Fou so fun to watch, along with the gorgeous color scheme. Not all of Godard's movies were in color, but the ones that were look absolutely beautiful. Pierrot le Fou's use of red and blue especially make it look astounding. It's clear that Godard's use of color had an influence on many contemporary filmmakers, especially Wes Anderson whose use of color was without a doubt inspired by Godard. Unfortunately the movie's pacing slows down more than once because of the frequent detours from the story, but it's generally still engaging enough thanks to the two fantastic lead actors (Anna Karina is breathtakingly beautiful) and the unique visuals. It's a little messy and more than a little flawed, but Pierrot le Fou is nonetheless compelling thanks to its colorful visuals, great actors, and self-aware sense of humor. It's sure to turn off many people with its sometimes chaotic storytelling methods, but for those with the patience to watch it all the way through, Pierrot le Fou is a one-of-a-kind movie with a lot to offer.
    Joey S Super Reviewer
  • Jan 09, 2013
    With the last Jean-Luc Godard film that I have watched (which is "Weekend") tracing back about 3 years ago, that of which I also vividly remember of not liking that much, it's genuinely reinvigorating to watch some of his earlier, more beloved works that are, undoubtedly, the patented heart and soul of the French New Wave. In this instance, it is "Pierrot le Fou", a masterful adventure film about love, self-discovery and, ultimately, self-destruction. But with Godard on the helm, nothing is particularly absolute. Starring the charismatic yet mischievous-looking Jean-Paul Belmondo and the enticingly energetic Anna Karina, the film, about two star-crossed, perennially on-the-run lovers, is packed with immense intellectual energy and colorful playfulness characteristic of the aforementioned film movement. Although the film sure has a conventional story that's quite easy to follow, it's never the main priority. Instead, "Pierrot le Fou" is a film that follows the impulse not of its surface narrative but of the transgressive potentials the film medium has. In short, "Pierrot le Fou" is a half-comic, half-poetic intimation of cinema itself, and there's never a more perfect filmmaker to handle it than Godard himself. Personally, the key to enjoy "Pierrot le Fou" more is not to be too conscious and reliant of the plot because if you'll be, the film has numerous elements that can surely and gravely deviate from its focus. One of them, of course, is the seemingly disjointed, pseudo-romantic yet nonetheless poetic utterances by Belmondo's titular character. Another is the film's inclusion of random, millisecond appearances of numerous neon signs, some of which read the words 'cinema' and 'life'. These minute details, obviously, are nothing but sheer experimental frolic on Godard's part, which, admittedly, has nonetheless added an additional spark of uniqueness to the film's entirety. "Film is like a battleground. There's love, hate, action, violence, death... in one word: emotions," said Samuel Fuller, who appeared in "Pierrot le Fou" as himself. In a way, this cameo by the said filmmaker is a deliberate embrace of irony on Godard's part, who, from what I think, believes that cinema is so much more than emotions. Sure, they (the emotions) may slightly further a storyline, motivate some characters and justify some scenes, but ultimately, what Godard is more concerned about is his audience's intellectual and subtly didactic journey through the heart and pulse of cinema itself. Or, to be more exact, 'his' own vision of cinema: a vision where anything goes, where obscure music and high-brow literature fit nicely in mundanely immature conversations and situations, and where blood and violence seem highly inconsequential. Hell, even highway accidents have never looked more picturesque and unearthly than in "Pierrot le Fou" (but then again, there's that epic tracking shot in "Weekend"). "It's not really a film, it's an attempt at cinema," Godard once said about "Pierrot le Fou". Well, if "Pierrot le Fou" is not, in its basic essence, a film, then perhaps Belmondo's Pierrot (oh sorry, his name is Ferdinand) and Karina's Marianne are not much characters themselves than they are mere devices for Godard to kick-start a necessary road trip and to make his ultimate goal, which is to explore the then-unchartered frontiers of postmodern cinema, as humanly and tangibly flawed as possible. And alas, he has pulled it off. Indeed, "Pierrot le Fou" is a film that's worthy of many future revisits. For me, the film has definitely achieved what many art films haven't, and that is to be thematically dense and genuinely enjoyable at the same breath. Plus, amidst its pop-intellectual discourse about nothing and everything, it has also raised quite a compelling outlook on existence; that after all is said and done', 'we are just dead men on parole.'
    Ivan D Super Reviewer
  • Oct 17, 2011
    For me this is the ultimate Godard movie. The visuals and colours are more alive than in his first cinemascope/colour adventure, 'A Woman Is a Woman', and Godard's directing more sporadic. It covers, pays homage, mocks, and has a good time with every genre Godard loves or has made a movie in - it's really a movie for Godard fans. The Vietnam commentary is hilarious and the Chaplin hi-jinks are amusing. 'Pierrot le Fou' is pure Godard and the ultimate tale of lost love. Raoul Coutard (favourite French DP) offers the most striking and finest images I have seen in Godard's catalogue. And sweet, sweet Anna Karina . . .
    Jonny B Super Reviewer

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