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Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jean Seberg, Daniel Boulanger, Jean-Pierre Melville, Liliane David ... see more see more... , Henri-Jacques Huet , Van Doude , Roger Hanin , Liliane Robin , Francois Moreuil , Jean-Louis Richard , Richard Balducci , Philippe de Broca , Claude Mansard , Jean Domarchi , Michel Fabre

Enjoy brunch in the Torpedo Room before screening BREATHLESS hosted by John DeSando and Johnny DiLoretto. There was before BREATHLESS, and there was after BREATHLESS. Jean-Luc Godard burst onto the fi... read more read more...lm scene in 1960 with this jazzy, free-form, and sexy homage to the American film genres that inspired him as a writer for Cahiers du cinÚma. With its lack of polish, surplus of attitude, anything-goes crime narrative, and effervescent young stars Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg, BREATHLESS helped launch the French New Wave and ensured that cinema would never be the same.

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90% liked it

37,584 ratings


97% liked it

58 critics

Unrated, 1 hr. 30 min.

Directed by: Jean-Luc Godard

Release Date: February 7, 1961

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DVD Release Date: November 20, 2001

Stats: 2,537 reviews

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Flixster Reviews (2,537)

  • April 28, 2014
    What became the French New Wave movement started with this debut from fledgling director Jean-Luc Godard, a man who has changed perspective, and the minds of his audience, since this first film appeared on the scene. Cobbled together with a small budget, with little time, and no ... read moreexperience, it doesn't meet the traditions of classic Hollywood films, but still retains an authenticity unrivaled throughout time. What this film really embodies in sentiment, is that it's cool. Even the characters are alternative, since one is a sex obsessed gangster with a penchant for showy gestures and little conviction, and the other is a pixie haired student, intent on being free and unburdened. They don't seem to have the same ire for traditional constructs as Hollywood heroes and heroines of the past. Throw in chase scenes, sex, jazz, and rough editing and shooting and this film is the epitome of new and smooth. Even though I didn't fully understand the New Wave movement before I saw this film, I immensely enjoyed how vibrant this film was. It really is the first instance of a director not caring about the constraints of filmmaking, and just makes a film that embodies new ideals and tries to tell a story without the problems of plot or structure. For anyone who wants to watch a film that feels timeless in many ways and yet very classic, this is the film for you.
  • fb733768972
    February 6, 2014
    "Breathless" is the perfect definition of Romance and Thriller, because the entire time, you are wondering if the accusations are real, even though you kind of know that they are. I loved every second of this film, because it was the beginning of the era that sparked the romance/... read morethriller genre. I do believe that reoccurring moments throughout this film really hold up, and the physical signature that the main character gives after he smokes his cigarettes or is around his lady, is very memorable. This is one of the best classics I have seen, and the plot thickens as the film progresses. Although it shows it's age at times, making many jump cuts, it is forgivable when you are immersed in this incredibly told story. What a film!
  • February 12, 2013
    Jean-Luc Godard's 'Breathless' is a landmark in french cinema, a film that influenced many American films and directors that followed. Referencing pop culture and employing the use of jump cuts, 'Breathless' was a revolution for its time and changed some of cinema's landscape. Th... read moreough slowly paced, the film still survives as one of the greatest from the new wave era and its impact on the industry is still potent.
  • August 28, 2011
    After hearing so damn much about this movie and its reputation, I was sure that I would either love it, or be disappointed by it, mostly because it couldn't possibly have lived up to the hype.

    Well, now that I've watched it, I'm gonna give it a review, but I'm gonna be bold and... read more saw that, despite all that I'm about to write, I think I might need to see it again before I can really assess how I feel about it. I should probably just watch it again before I do this review, but I don't have the time right now, so just there.

    Jean-Luc Godard's feature debut (a seminal part of the French New Wave) is a breezy, hip, and wonderful 90 minute joy ride that pretty much defined several areas of life and cinema, creating an influence that still lives on to this day. As per the hallmarks of the FNW, this film features improvised dialogue, location shooting (with natural lighting), and a loose narrative structure. In the case of this film though, the narrative is not only loose, it's almost non existant.

    I mean, really, the plot is that of a petty criminal (modeling himself after Bogart) who kills a man, goes on the run, and seeks refuge in the company of his American girlfriend. That it's The bulk of the movie is just crusining around or chilling at home, with talking being the most dominant activity that occurs (with smoking and being cool right behind).

    By definition this is a crime film, yet it's really just a fun hang out movie. People just hang out and be cool and stylish, and that's it. But this film is done in such a great way that I undersatand why it is so beloved and influential. Godard's trademark use of jump cuts can be a bit off putting at first but they add to the spontaneity of things.

    Stylistically, this film is top notch, but in terms of cinematic style and all aorund design. The clothes, music, sets, and all of that are just awesome. I kind of hate this movie for being so cool and hip. I'm probably just jealous. This film is pretentious, I won't lie, but I feel like a traitor for calling it out. Maybe Godard didn't plan on it being that way, or maybe he did and I'm just a fool for buying into it like so many others have.

    Regardless, this is one of those films whose legacy you can't deny, even if it isn't your thing. You really do need to see this, as it is required viewing for even the most casual of film lovers.
  • July 20, 2011
    The extremely quirky personality the movie opens with is as charming as can be, but the film grows boring, the dialogue is hit-and-miss, there are plot-holes aplenty, and the lead actor isn't very likeable.
  • fb619846742
    April 15, 2011
    A well-paced, fantastically detailed character study of a small-time crook (Jean-Paul Belmondo) who gets in to deep once he kills a policeman on a country road, which forces him to take refuge with his girlfriend who is an aspiring journalist. This is without question a perfect f... read moreilm, once that remains entirely interesting despite possessing a somewhat slow pace. It is a slightly better film that "The 400 Blows", another film credited with starting the French New Wave era in film, due to is ability to become energetic at certain parts of the story, especially at the coda. Definitely one of the better foreign films that I have seen, and one that should be seen by anyone who loves movies of any kind.
  • March 7, 2011
    I wanted so much to not like Jean-Luc Godard's "Breathless," but alas, I simply loved it. This is a film that does not really amount to much but it's done with such style and energy that I couldn't help being swept up. The film is extremely visceral and immediate, jumping around ... read morefrom place to place, emotion to emotion, contact to contact; with as much reckless abandon as the relationship of Michel and Patricia. The performances by Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg are calculated and playful, messy and articulate. Much can be debated over the films endless influences and what the story ultimately adds up to, but for me, "Breathless" was an entrancing and dizzying experience.
  • December 11, 2010
    Full review coming later, after I've seen this again. I will say that Jean Seberg is perhaps one of the most beautiful women I've ever seen on film.
  • November 21, 2010
    Another classic I couldn't stand, the French new wave style is interesting, but pretty annoying, and that is the main attraction of this movie. If you're interested in style, see this movie, if not, I wouldn't recommend it.
  • March 10, 2010
    godards most famous film is even better after a second viewing. the jump cutting caught me off guard a bit the first time, but the more godard ive seen the more ive grown to love his use of this technique that he discovered in this film almost by accident. belmondo is brilliant... read more as always, and the scene where he pays homage to bogart, another one of my favorite actors, has become a favorite cinematic moment of mine. the film is a bit brutal but incredibly cool at the same time, kicking in the french new wave with style.

Critic Reviews

Chris Vognar
August 20, 2010
Chris Vognar, Dallas Morning News

Breathless jumps to its own rhythm and pokes holes in its idols even as it worships them. Full Review

Jonathan F. Richards
August 4, 2010
Jonathan F. Richards,

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. Full Review

Lisa Kennedy
July 16, 2010
Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post

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

Ty Burr
July 15, 2010
Ty Burr, Boston Globe

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. Full Review

Sarah Kaufman
July 9, 2010
Sarah Kaufman, Washington Post

Breathless has the proportions wrong. Too much rambling, too little point. Full Review

Dave Calhoun
June 24, 2010
Dave Calhoun, Time Out

If you've never seen Breathless, see it now -- but don't expect an easy ride. If you haven't seen it for ages, see it again and be surprised at the fresh reactions it provokes. Full Review

Michael Phillips
June 21, 2010
Michael Phillips, At the Movies

Breathless feels like it was [made] tomorrow. Full Review

A.O. Scott
June 21, 2010
A.O. Scott, At the Movies

It's like a bullet from the future of movies. Full Review

Peter Rainer
June 11, 2010
Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor

One of the most famous and influential movies ever made. Full Review

Ella Taylor
May 26, 2010
Ella Taylor, Village Voice

Breathless makes alienation look like it was a lot more fun in 1960 than in the ponderous gravitas or ante-upping brutality of indie film today. Full Review

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