Robert Bresson

Pickpocket

Pickpocket

This incomparable story of crime and redemption from the French master Robert Bresson follows Michel, a young pickpocket who spends his days working the streets, subway cars, and train stations of Paris. As his compulsive pursuit of the thrill of stealing grows, however, so does his fear that his luck is about to run out. A cornerstone of the career of this most economical and profoundly spiritual of filmmakers, Pickpocket is an elegantly crafted, tautly choreographed study of humanity in all its mischief and grace, the work of a director at the height of his powers.

Film Info

  • Robert Bresson
  • France
  • 1959
  • 76 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 1.37:1
  • French
  • Spine #314

Special Features

  • New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Audio commentary featuring film scholar James Quandt
  • Introduction by writer-director Paul Schrader
  • The Models of “Pickpocket,” a 2003 documentary by Babette Mangolte that features interviews with actors from the film
  • Interview with director Robert Bresson from a 1960 episode of the French television program Cinépanorama
  • Q&A on Pickpocket from 2000, featuring actor Marika Green and filmmakers Paul Vecchiali and Jean-Pierre Améris
  • Footage of the sleight-of-hand artist and Pickpocket consultant Kassagi from a 1962 episode of the French television show La piste aux étoiles
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: An essay by novelist and critic Gary Indiana

    Cover based on theatrical poster

Purchase Options

Special Features

  • New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Audio commentary featuring film scholar James Quandt
  • Introduction by writer-director Paul Schrader
  • The Models of “Pickpocket,” a 2003 documentary by Babette Mangolte that features interviews with actors from the film
  • Interview with director Robert Bresson from a 1960 episode of the French television program Cinépanorama
  • Q&A on Pickpocket from 2000, featuring actor Marika Green and filmmakers Paul Vecchiali and Jean-Pierre Améris
  • Footage of the sleight-of-hand artist and Pickpocket consultant Kassagi from a 1962 episode of the French television show La piste aux étoiles
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: An essay by novelist and critic Gary Indiana

    Cover based on theatrical poster
Pickpocket
Cast
Martin LaSalle
Michel
Marika Green
Jeanne
Pierre Leymarie
Jacques
Dolly Scal
Mother
Jean Pélégri
Police inspector
Kassagi
Accomplice no. 1
Pierre Etaix
Accomplice no. 2
César Gattegno
Detective
Credits
Director
Robert Bresson
Written by
Robert Bresson
Produced by
Agnès Delahaie
Cinematography
Léonce-Henri Burel
Film editing by
Raymond Lamy
Assistant editor
Geneviève Falaschi
Production design
Pierre Charbonnier
Sound
Antoine Archimbaud
Music from the opera Atys by
Jean-Baptiste Lully
Conducted by
Marc Lanjean
Arrangement by
Fernand Oubradous
Production manager
Michel Choquet
Pickpocket consultant
Kassagi

From The Current

Paul Schrader on Pickpocket
Paul Schrader on Pickpocket
Critic and filmmaker Paul Schrader has long cited the work of the great French director Robert Bresson as being hugely important to him. In this excerpt from his introduction to the Criterion release of Bresson’s Pickpocket, Schrader calls the movi…
Pierre the Pickpocket
Pierre the Pickpocket
Among filmmaker Pierre Etaix’s many eclectic accomplishments is his appearance as one of the thieves in Robert Bresson’s Pickpocket. However, you probably won’t be able to spot him: all that’s left of his performance is one o…
Pickpocket:Robert Bresson: Hidden in Plain Sight
Pickpocket:Robert Bresson: Hidden in Plain Sight
Ihave an unusually easy way of remembering when I first became fascinated by Robert Bresson’s films. Pickpocket (1959) was the first one I saw, at the old Orson Welles theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in my late teens; it was also the first mov…

By Gary Indiana

Once There Was Everything
Once There Was Everything

The director of the newly released Columbus takes a close look at how doors open onto philosophical mysteries in the films of French master Robert Bresson.

By Kogonada

Hands of Bresson
Hands of Bresson
Filmmaker :: kogonada tweets at @kogonada and tumbles at missingozu.tumblr.com. You can view some of his work at kogonada.com.

By Kogonada

Film Picks from Agnès Varda, Arnaud Desplechin, Olivier Assayas, and More
Film Picks from Agnès Varda, Arnaud Desplechin, Olivier Assayas, and More
As part of the launch of the new French streaming video service La Cinetek—which was founded by the filmmakers Pascale Ferran (Bird People), Cédric Klapisch (Chinese Puzzle), and Laurent Cantet (Return to Ithaca), as well as Alain Rocca, president…

Explore

Robert Bresson

Writer, Director

Robert Bresson
Robert Bresson

A singular, iconoclastic artist and philosopher, Robert Bresson illuminates the history of cinema with a spiritual yet socially incisive body of work. Famously dubbed a “transcendental” filmmaker (along with Yasujiro Ozu and Carl Dreyer) by Paul Schrader, Bresson is notable for continually refining the strict precision of his style—abolishing psychology, professional actors, and ornate camera work, and instead concentrating on the rigid movements of his “models” (as he called his actors) and the anguished solitude of his martyred characters. While the alternately tender and brutal allegory Au hasard Balthazar is widely considered Bresson’s masterpiece, he had a long, visionary career that began in the forties and ended in the eighties, and was full of consistently fine films—the period drama Les dames du bois de Boulogne, the ascetic character study Diary of a Country Priest, and the minimalist tragedies Pickpocket and Mouchette among them.