I actually kept up with all the plot confusion, so better write this down while I still remember it. Thief Maurice (Serge Reggiani, would-be star of Clouzot’s Inferno) kills and robs his fence/friend Gilbert (Rene Lefevre, Monsieur Lange in The Crime of Monsieur Lange), goes home to girlfriend Therese, hangs out with friends Silien and Jean, then gets caught robbing a house the next night, kills a cop who knew Silien and Gilbert, and gets arrested for both killings, neither of which can be proven.

From another POV (with a few holes), as soon as Maurice leaves Therese’s house robbery, buddy Silien (Jean-Paul Belmondo, one of three Melville movies he did between Breathless and Pierrot Le Fou) runs in, ties up Therese (smacking her around first) and asks her where the robbery is taking place. Cops cars arrive just as Maurice’s partner has started drilling the safe – the partner and the cop are killed, and Maurice faints with a bullet wound, picked up by persons unknown in a car. Belmondo visits the police station, a known informer, and offers to call around the bars looking for Maurice – they catch him in one, and he’s arrested. Meanwhile, Therese turns up dead in her car at the bottom of a ravine. Looks like Belmondo has locked up Maurice for offing his cop friend, and killed his girlfriend too. On top of that, Belmondo finds the buried jewels, cash and gun from the Gilbert killing (Maurice had left Therese a map, in case anything happened to him). In jail, Maurice (who’s as much the star of the movie as the over-the-title-credited Belmondo) hires a dude to kill Belmondo once they get out.

But Belmondo turns out to be a true friend who’s extremely good at covering for Maurice’s crimes. Belmondo killed the girl for ratting, saved Maurice at the scene of the heist, met up with his own ex-girl (Fabienne Dali of Kill Baby, Kill) and used the jewels to frame Michel Piccoli for the murder(s). So all is well… or it would be, but Maurice remembers that he’s got a hit man after his friend, so he races to Belmondo’s house and everybody gets killed.

So much twisty plot going on, I barely noticed anything else. Seemed like one of Melville’s more busy, exciting films.

This is now the most recent Godard film I’ve seen up until Notre Musique 40 years later. Wow. Came out the same year as Masculin Feminin AND Alphaville. Same year as Simon Of The Desert. Right after Umbrellas of Cherbourg, The Soft Skin and The Naked Kiss… and before Blow-Up, Balthazar, The War Is Over, The Nun and Tokyo Drifter.

Unfortunately, I didn’t write about this right after seeing it. Now it’s almost a month later, and I remember nothing but a mash of genres, a funny musical scene, some low-key crime and body disposal, a parrot, a funny Samuel Fuller cameo, and a bunch of too-cool people on an adventure. I think in the end, Pierrot shoots the girl and blows himself up. I liked the movie better than Jimmy and Katy did.

I missed Jean-Pierre Léaud in the cinema scene. Anna Karina (of The Nun and a buncha other 60’s Godard films) and Jean-Paul Belmondo (of Breathless, A Woman is a Woman, Magnet of Doom, Le Voleur and Stavisky) star.

Janus Films’ description: “After abandoning his wife at a Parisian party, bored Ferdinand (Jean-Paul Belmondo) flees his bourgeois existence with his babysitter and ex-lover, Marianne (Anna Karina). Taking it on the lam to the south of France, the couple becomes an existential Bonnie and Clyde, battling gunrunners, gas station attendants, and American tourists as they come face to face with their own roles as characters in a pop-cultural landscape. A profound turning point in Godard’s cinema, Pierrot le fou recalls the gangster cool of Breathless and Band of Outsiders while also pointing towards the increasingly essayistic, apocalyptic visions of Two or Three Things I Know About Her and Weekend.”

“I saw Pierrot le fou by chance … I decided to make movies the same night.” – Chantal Akerman