(Breathless | Ausser Atem)

by Jean-Luc Godard

France 1960

(click to enlarge)

Jean-Luc Godard
Georges de Beauregard
Production Companies:
Les Films Georges de Beauregard / Imperia / Société Nouvelle de Cinématographie (SNC)
Jean-Luc Godard, from an idea by François Truffaut
Raoul Coutard (b/w, 1.37:1)
Cécile Decugis, Lila Herman
Music Score:
Martial Solal
Technical Advisor:
Claude Chabrol
Claude Beausoleil, Jacques Maumont
Jean-Paul Belmondo (Michel Poiccard), Jean Seberg (Patricia Franchini), Van Doude (Journalist), Liliane David (Liliane), Claude Mansart (Used-Car Dealer), Henri-Jacques Huet (Antonio Berrutti), Roger Hanin (Carl Zombach), Daniel Boulanger (Police Inspector), Jean-Pierre Melville (Parvulesco), Michel Fabre (Plainclothesman), Jean-Luc Godard (Informer), Philippe de Broca
89 min
16 March 1960 (France)
Berlin International Film Festival 1960 Silver Berlin Bear Best Director: Jean-Luc Godard
French Syndicate of Cinema Critics 1961 Critics Award Best Film, tied with Le Trou
Prix Jean Vigo 1960 Prix Jean Vigo Feature Film

"Breathless belongs with those films which have changed the course of the cinema. The innovations that so shocked viewers in 1959 – hand-held shooting, improvised acting, jagged, "jump"-cutting – have become so incorporated into the basic grammar of contemporary filmmaking that, seeing Breathless today, one hardly notices them. "
— Pacific Film Archive

"Breathless wasn’t the first film of the nouvelle vague, but it did crystallise and liberate the energies of the time: rampant cinephilia ..., and the fascination with all things American ... What Godard brings to it is a youthful insolence, an arrogance which commandeers the form and shakes it up (literally: taking cameras on the streets in wheelchairs and baby carriages) and cuts it up (literally: chopping up shots to invent the jump cut)."
— Tom Charity, TimeOut

"All the rules of conventional film making are scorned: Raoul Coutard's camerawork is rough and unrefined and the script and editing are jumbled, rambling, repetitive and inconclusive, full of irrelevances and abruptly changing moods."
– Roy Armes, French Cinema

Film Reviews | DVD Reviews

FoxLorber NTSC Region 1 vs. Gaumont-Columbia Tristar Home Vidéo PAL Region 2

R1 screenshots courtesy by Gary Tooze / dvdbeaver.com

FoxLorber / Winstar Home Video
Region 0 (North America)
Gaumont-Columbia Tristar Home Vidéo / Opening / Les Films de ma Vie
Region 2 (France)
86:24 min
Possibly a PAL-to-NTSC transfer!
86:24 min (+ 4% PAL Speedup = 90 min)
1.31:1/4:3 FullScreen
Average Bitrate: 6.58 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s
FoxLorber presents a fuzzy, greenish image transfer with little detail and poor definition
1.29:1/4:3 FullScreen
Average Bitrate: 5.92 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s
R2 has a much better greyscale, higher resolution, but film stock is grainy and there are many artifacts
Français Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono Français MPEG2 2.0 Mono
English (removable) None
Audio Commentary by film critic David Sterritt
• Cast and Crew Filmographies for Godard, Belmondo and Seberg
• Weblinks
• Documentary about the producer Georges de Beauregard (06:57 min)
• A propos du film
• Filmographie JL Godard
• Revue de presse
• Theatrical Trailer (01:55 min)
DVD Release Date: 20 November 2001
Keep Case
Chapters: 16
DVD Encoding: NTSC Region 1
DVD Release Date: 20 April 1999
Keep Case
Chapters: 22
DVD Encoding: PAL Region 2

Also available from Optimum/StudioCanal in the UK and from Kinowelt/Arthaus/StudioCanal in Germany:

Video: 1.33:1/4:3 • Sound: Français DD 2.0 Mono • Subtitles: English • Features: Photo gallery of 13 stills taken by Godard during the filming • Poster Gallery of 7 original European posters • Jean Luc Godard's short film "Charlotte et son Jules" • Original trailer • Trailer for the Richard Gere 1983 remake

Video: 1.33:1/4:3 • Sound: Français DD 2.0 Mono • Deutsch DD 2.0 Mono • Subtitles: Deutsch, Türkçe, Nederlansk, Português, Español • Features: Stills gallery. Theatrical trailer

Frame 1: Menu
(FoxLorber R0 left, Gaumont R2 right)

Frame 2
(FoxLorber R0 left, Gaumont R2 right)

Frame 3
(FoxLorber R0 left, Gaumont R2 right)

Original NTSC 720x480 vs. PAL 720x576 frame size (detail)

Frame 4
(FoxLorber R0 left, Gaumont R2 right)

Frame 5
(FoxLorber R0 left, Gaumont R2 right)

Original NTSC 720x480 vs. PAL 720x576 frame size (detail)

Frame 6
(FoxLorber R0 left, Gaumont R2 right)

Average Bitrate FoxLorber R0:
6.58 mb/s

Average Bitrate Gaumont R2:
5.92 mb/s

Disclaimer by

This is a strictly non-professional and non-commercial DVD review. Don't expect industry reference work!

All ChiaroScuro captures are taken under MacOS X.2 using VideoLAN and Snapz ProX. For further methodological remarks see DVDBeaver (click on "Methodology"): "We are not a lab and are doing a good a job as our time and energy permits. Thank you for understanding."

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Last update: 30 Sep 2002