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Pierrot le fou (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] (1965)

Jean-Paul Belmondo , Anna Karina , Jean-Luc Godard  |  NR |  Blu-ray
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)

Price: $100.00 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: Jean-Paul Belmondo, Anna Karina, Graziella Galvani, Dirk Sanders, Raymond Devos
  • Directors: Jean-Luc Godard
  • Format: Blu-ray, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Criterion Collection
  • DVD Release Date: September 22, 2009
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #106,408 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Pierrot le fou (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Special Features

  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer, approved by cinematographer Raoul Coutard (with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition)
  • New video interview with actor Anna Karina
  • A “Pierrot” Primer, a new video program with audio commentary by filmmaker Jean-Pierre Gorin
  • Godard, l’amour, la poésie, a fifty-minute French documentary about director Jean-Luc Godard and his work and marriage with Karina
  • Archival interview excerpts with Godard, Karina, and actor Jean-Paul Belmondo
  • Theatrical trailer
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by critic Richard Brody, a 1969 review by Andrew Sarris, and a 1965 interview with Godard

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Dissatisfied in marriage and life, Ferdinand (Jean-Paul Belmondo) takes to the road with the babysitter, his ex-lover Marianne Renoir (Anna Karina), and leaves the bourgeoisie behind. Yet this is no normal road trip: genius auteur Jean-Luc Godard's tenth feature in six years is a stylish mash-up of consumerist satire, politics, and comic-book aesthetics, as well as a violent, zigzag tale of, as Godard called them, "the last romantic couple." With blissful color imagery by cinematographer Raoul Coutard and Belmondo and Karina at their most animated, Pierrot le fou is one of the high points of the French new wave, and one last frolic before Godard moved ever further into radical cinema.

Ferdinand (Jean-Paul Belmondo) is a man who has married for money and is terribly disillusioned with his life. When forced to go to a dinner party he does not want to attend, he throws a temper tantrum and returns home early. When driving Marianne (Anna Karina), the babysitter, back home, they fall in love and decide to run away from Paris. They embark on a series of escapades that begins with running illegal arms for extra cash and runs the gamut: love, death, ennui, boat chases, murder, betrayal, revenge, lost cash, and almost anything else you can think of, and all with a sense of reality that is an interesting contrast to the typical American film. Jean-Luc Godard (Breathless, Alphaville) blends different genres with great success and achieves moments of cinematic poetry in this quasi-epic of modern malaise. Also a cameo by the Hollywood director Samuel Fuller is something to watch for. Be aware that Godard is for people seriously interested in cinematic art. --James McGrath

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This film was the business June 5, 2000
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
When I watched this film I found it to be quite unlike anything else I had seen. To really appreciate the flow of this one, I realised early on that I would have to cast aside my general expectations of a plot and storyline being the focus of the film and just see it as being a whole spectrum of experiences and emotions. I had heard that this film was shot without a script, and was almost entirely improvised by the director and the actors. This had the brilliant effect that on seeing it that there was a feeling that that anything could happen, and it carried a genuine sense of freedom and exhiliration, because the actors themselves were often actually experiencing for the first time whatever their impulse was for their characters to perform. When I first saw this I was very new to arthouse-type films and it really turned me on to the thinking that a film could simply be made up of emotion and experience, and that it doesn't necessarily have to be giving some moral or meaning or following some narrative structure, and that as an artform it could be improvised and therefore lived in at the same time that it was recorded. I watch this with a real feeling of being ALIVE. It's what inspired me to watch just about every new wave film around since I saw it. See it with a totally open mind and you might well get a bang out of it.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
In 1964, Jean-Luc Godard went to work on his tenth film, a color film titled "Pierrot Le Fou" which would feature his ex-wife Anna Karina and Jean-Paul Belmondo (who worked on Godard's "A bout de Souffle" (Breathless) and "Une femme est une femme" (A Woman is a Woman).

The film is his most ambitious film yet, not only reuniting with two stars that he has worked with before but the fact that elements of his previous nine films shows up on "Pierrot Le Fou".

The film was released by Fox Lorber in the US back in 1998 and received The Criterion Collection treatment in February 2008. Over a year later, the film became the first Jean-Luc Godard film released by the Criterion Collection on Blu-ray.


"Pierrot Le Fou" is presented in 1080p High Definition (2:35:1 Aspect Ratio). The film is probably the most gorgeous film I have seen by Jean-Luc Godard to date. The film is full of colors, absolutely vibrant, reds and blues just pop. For fans of Godard's '60s work, "Pierrot Le Fou" is his most colorful film. It's important to note that the restored high-definition digital transfer was approved by cinematographer Raoul Coutard.

Accord to Criterion, the HD digital transfer was created on Spirit Datacine from the 35mm negative and color corrected on a Specter Virtual Datacine. Thousands of dirt, debris, scratches, splices, warps, jitter and flicker were manually removed using MTI's DRS system and Pixl Farm's PFClean system, while Digital Vision's DVNR system was used for small dirt, grain and noise reduction.

"Pierrot Le fou" is featured in its original French language and features a monaural soundtrack remastered at 24-bit from a 35 mm optical track print.
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33 of 38 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape
At my local UC PIERROT is shown in the survey of film history class they offer. I was invited to sit in once. Normally the professor shows the film, then lectures. He screened PIERROT. When it was over, there was total silence. He started to lecture, but almost the entire lecture hall of students walked out. A good friend told me later that she had been profoundly moved, and she simply didn't want to understand why. She didn't feel it was respectful to what she had just seen. PIERROT is on of the few examples of true mystical cinema that we have. Yes, there are the references to Rimbaud, Hollywood musicals, gangster films.... The visual puns, the references to Godard and Karina's life at the time, the improvisations, the barbs about American commercialism, the Gish-rebeling-against-Grifith quality of Karina's amazing performance... But what do they matter?
Sunlight/love/color/the face/poetry/emotion/loss of love/slapstick/image/life: PIERROT LE FOU
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39 of 48 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars About the DVD... November 4, 2000
By Miko
My exposure to Godard films were through VHS tapes. I was too young to watch his 60's films in their original formats. The transfer is not too great but good enough. The colors are right, it is thankfully letterboxed, etc. even if there are a few image distortions, artifacts and the sharpness and overall quality leaves a lot of room for improvement. There is something very wrong, however, with the sound especially towards the fifth chapter (that's the 5th access in the chapter search of which there are only 6 - thanks to Fox/Lorber!) Thankfully, this is a subtitled film (can't be switched off/on, they're pasted on the screen) otherwise, even the French won't understand the French dialogue. The noise distortion is terrible, but could it be Godard's deliberate way to convey sound since it is the part in which the CB radios or walkie-talkies were being used in the scene? My impression is that the technician in charge was probably asleep or didn't care when this noise distortion was taking place and the DVD didn't go through quality control which could have fixed it. I haven't seen the original so I don't know but since this is a Godard film, anything goes. But then the distortion continued even after that scene so any reasoning to defend Fox's negligience on this matter proved futile. I found it terribly distracting and I thought it pulled down the quality all the more of this already mediocre DVD transfer. Is this the best version yet? How does the VHS version rate? Fox/Lorber is hit and miss with DVDs. They did good with Seven Beauties, Last Year at Marienbad, and the already LD Criterion-restored Umbrellas of Cherbourg and 400 Blows but did very poorly with A Woman is a Woman, several Truffaut films and even the relatively recent Padre Padrone. Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Should be in the film library of all who enjoy the cinema
It is a major work of French cinema. Should be in the film library of all who enjoy the cinema.
Published 1 month ago by Roberto Nogueira
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I love the song Ma Ligne de Chance.
Published 2 months ago by Margaret Perry
3.0 out of 5 stars Son had towatch it for a film class at Wright State
Son had to watch it for a film class at Wright State.
Published 3 months ago by S. Ricker
3.0 out of 5 stars Least favorite JLC Film
One of the most obtuse of Jean Luc Goddard's french new wave films. The subtleties of the film make it visually beautifully in respect to costume and cinematography but hard to... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Nneya S. Richards
5.0 out of 5 stars I could watch this movie everyday
Make some popcorn, snuggle up to your partner, cat, dog, teddybear whatever and get ready for a cinematic treat. Goddard is a genius! Read more
Published 7 months ago by jiiah
4.0 out of 5 stars artsy, fun, and entertaing
its all in the details with Godard films. love the use of color and the subtle violence. Its fun to watch, there's no emotion attached to the characters, its the experience of the... Read more
Published 8 months ago by michelle
5.0 out of 5 stars STILL NOT EASY TO CATCH.
Published 8 months ago by HAN XIAO
5.0 out of 5 stars Good stuff!
Product was in great condition when I got it. It would appear Arkadin cares very much for the service he provides. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Seth Bryon Shively
1.0 out of 5 stars Monsieur Ferdinand
Pierrot le fou (Jean-Luc Godard, 1965, 110')

Written by Jean-Luc Godard. Based on Obsession by Lionel White. Produced by Georges de Beauregard. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Dr René Codoni
5.0 out of 5 stars gift to my son
Unable to speak of the virtues or vices of this product/movie as it was never something I viewed for myself.
Published 17 months ago by Robin Y. Blanchard
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Topic From this Discussion
Pete the Madman?
It is the commedia dell'arte character. A more accurate translation is "Pierrot the Fool." Pierrot being the naive, lovestruck, melancholy clown oblivious to reality. Hence the reference to Belmondo's character.
Feb 16, 2008 by Peter |  See all 2 posts
BD is still available at
Thanks for the message! I already ordered some extra copies.
Feb 19, 2010 by Taylor T. Carlson |  See all 5 posts
Criterion BD of Pierrot le Fou is going OOP Be the first to reply
Does this DVD actually exist? Be the first to reply
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