Blu-ray, DVD Release: Breathless (1960)

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: Feb. 25, 2014
Price: Blu-ray/DVD Combo $39.95
Studio: Criterion


Breathless movie scene

Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg are Breathless

As the Criterion press release puts it, “There was before Breathless, and there was after Breathless.”

Jean-Luc Godard (Weekend) burst onto the film scene in 1960 with this jazzy, free-form, and sexy crime drama, an homage to the American film genres that inspired him as a writer for the seminal French film magazine Cahiers du cinéma.

With its lack of polish, surplus of attitude, anything-goes crime narrative, and effervescent young stars Jean-Paul Belmondo (Leon Morin, Priest) as a gangster and Jean Seberg (Bonjour tristesse) as his American lady friend, Breathless helped launch the French New Wave and ensured that cinema would never be the same.

Criterion’s Blu-ray/DVD Combo release of the classic movie includes the following features:

• Restored high-definition digital transfer, approved by director of photography Raoul Coutard, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
• Archival interviews with director Jean-Luc Godard and actors Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jean Seberg, and Jean-Pierre Melville
• Contemporary interviews with Coutard, assistant director Pierre Rissient, and filmmaker D. A. Pennebaker
• Two video essays, one on Seberg and one on Breathless as film criticism
Chambre 12, Hôtel de suède, an eighty-minute 1993 documentary about the making of Breathless
Charlotte et son Jules, a 1959 short by Godard starring Belmondo
• Trailer
• One Blu-ray and two DVDs, with all content available in both formats
• A booklet featuring an essay by scholar Dudley Andrew, writings by Godard, François Truffaut’s original treatment, and Godard’s scenario

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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.