Robert Bresson

A Man Escaped

A Man Escaped

With the simplest of concepts and sparest of techniques, Robert Bresson made one of the most suspenseful jailbreak films of all time in A Man Escaped. Based on the account of an imprisoned French Resistance leader, this unbelievably taut and methodical marvel follows the fictional Fontaine’s single-minded pursuit of freedom, detailing the planning and execution of his escape with gripping precision. But Bresson’s film is not merely about process—it’s also a work of intense spirituality and humanity.

Film Info

  • Robert Bresson
  • France
  • 1956
  • 101 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 1.33:1
  • French
  • Spine #650

Special Features

  • New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • “Bresson: Without a Trace,” a 1965 episode of the television program Cinéastes de notre temps in which the director gives his first on-camera interview
  • The Road to Bresson, a 1984 documentary featuring interviews with filmmakers Louis Malle, Paul Schrader, and Andrei Tarkovsky
  • The Essence of Forms, a documentary from 2010 in which collaborators and admirers of Bresson’s, including actor François Leterrier and director Bruno Dumont, share their thoughts about the director and his work
  • Functions of Film Sound, a new visual essay on the use of sound in A Man Escaped, with text by film scholars David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson
  • Trailer
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by film scholar Tony Pipolo

New cover by Sarah Habibi

Purchase Options

Special Features

  • New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • “Bresson: Without a Trace,” a 1965 episode of the television program Cinéastes de notre temps in which the director gives his first on-camera interview
  • The Road to Bresson, a 1984 documentary featuring interviews with filmmakers Louis Malle, Paul Schrader, and Andrei Tarkovsky
  • The Essence of Forms, a documentary from 2010 in which collaborators and admirers of Bresson’s, including actor François Leterrier and director Bruno Dumont, share their thoughts about the director and his work
  • Functions of Film Sound, a new visual essay on the use of sound in A Man Escaped, with text by film scholars David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson
  • Trailer
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by film scholar Tony Pipolo

New cover by Sarah Habibi

A Man Escaped
Cast
François Leterrier
Fontaine
Charles Le Clainche
Jost
Maurice Beerblock
Blanchet
Roland Monod
Pastor
Jacques Ertaud
Orsini
Jean-Paul Delhumeau
Hebrard
Roger Treherne
Terry
Credits
Director
Robert Bresson
Written by
Robert Bresson
Executive producers
Jean Thuillier
Executive producers
Alain Poiré
Director of photography
L. H. Burel
Camera assistant
Henri Raichi
Set designer
Pierre Charbonnier
Sound recordist
Pierre André Bertrand
Editor
Raymond Lamy
Production manager
Robert Sussfeld
Assistant directors
Michel Clément
Assistant directors
Jacques Ballanche

From The Current

Three Reasons: A Man Escaped
David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson Listen to A Man Escaped
David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson Listen to A Man Escaped

You can’t talk about Robert Bresson for long before his use of sound comes up. His stripped-down masterpieces are memorable for the way they engage the ear as well as the eye. A Man Escaped, out this week on Blu-ray and DVD, is an especially rich a…

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A Man Escaped: Quintessential Bresson
A Man Escaped: Quintessential Bresson

Robert Bresson’s prison-break story is a tale of religious faith and a work of striking purity.

By Tony Pipolo

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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.

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Hands of Bresson
10 Things I Learned: A Man Escaped
10 Things I Learned: A Man Escaped

1. Director Robert Bresson originally titled his screenplay Aide-toi . . ., a reference to the French expression “Aide-toi et le ciel t’aidera” (“Heaven helps those who help themselves”). He ultimately decided instead to u…

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The Devil in the Details

To make the performance of a tedious, exacting, time-consuming task riveting to watch, it is only necessary for the activity to be illegal.

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Bresson’s Big Break

One doesn’t necessarily think of ascetic cinema master Robert Bresson as an action director, but he undoubtedly made one of the most elegant and suspenseful prison break movies of all time. His 1956 masterpiece A Man Escaped, based on the story …

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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.