Michel passes the time by picking pockets, careful to never be caught despite being watched by the police. His friend Jacques may suspect, while both men may have their eyes on Jeanne, the pretty neighbor of Michel’s ailing mother.


Jeanne: You’re not in the real world. You share no interests with others.


Pickpocket is Robert Bresson’s first film. The ones he made before were only sketches. Which is as much as saying, if one is familiar with the director’s worth, that the release of Pickpocket is one of the four or five great dates in the history of cinema.

It is remarkable that, in contrast to Bresson’s preceding films, this new one was conceived, written, shot, edited and released all within ten months, as if the periode of trial and error were past. Pickpocket is a profoundly inspired film, a free film, instinctive, burning, imperfect, and overwhelming. It resolves every misunderstanding; if you deny this film, it is cinema itself as an autonomous art that you call into question.”

Louis Malle1

  • 1Louis Malle, “With Pickpocket Bresson Has Found,” in Robert Bresson (Revised), James Quandt (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2012)
UPDATED ON 05.06.2024
IMDB: tt0053168