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

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Explore

Robert Bresson

Writer, Director

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.