Pickpocket (film)  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Pickpocket is a 1959 film by the French director Robert Bresson. It starred, at the time, nonprofessional actor Martin LaSalle in the title role, with Marika Green as the ingenue.

The hero, Michel, has a strange, almost confessional, relationship with the police officer who is hunting him, and is finally redeemed through love. As usual in Bresson's work, psychological analysis is eschewed in favour of deadpan acting and pared-down visuals in order to focus on the hero's spiritual regeneration.


Pickpocket exerted a formative influence over the work of Paul Schrader, who has described it as "an unmitigated masterpiece" and "as close to perfect as there can be", and whose films American Gigolo, Patty Hearst, and Light Sleeper all include endings similar to that of Pickpocket. In addition, his screenplay for Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver bears many similarities, including confessional narration and a voyeuristic look at society. Schrader's admiration for Pickpocket went full circle when he was featured in an extra on The Criterion Collection's DVD release in 2005.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Pickpocket (film)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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