A Bout de souffle


(France, 1959, 87 minutes)

A small time Parisian crook in love with an American student accidentally kills a policeman. The film that actually set the whole Nouvelle Vague in motion, involving three film critics who would go on to become successful directors in their own right (director Jean-Luc Godard, scripter François Truffaut and "technical consultant" Claude Chabrol); essentially an ultra-romantic conversation piece under the guise of a poverty row thriller, transfigured by its jagged, urban direction and quirky sense of dialogue. Nothing quite like it had ever been made before (nor has quite been made afterwards), but it may seem a shade too conversational to those not enraptured by its period charms. Godard dedicated the film, which has no front or end credit roll at all, to Poverty Row studio Monogram Pictures. A US remake was attempted in 1983 by Jim McBride: Breathless, starring Richard Gere and Valerie Kaprisky, had nothing to do with the original besides a certain boyish, naïf charm.

A Ciné-Classic release. SNC presents a Georges de Beauregard production. Starring Jean Seberg, Jean-Paul Belmondo; with Henri-Jacques Huet, Liliane David, Claude Mansard, Van Doude, Daniel Boulanger. Directed by Jean-Luc Godard; produced by Georges de Beauregard; original screenplay by François Truffaut; music by Martial Solal; director of photography, Raoul Coutard; film editor, Cécile Decugis.


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