Philip Carey stars as a calvary scout who attempts to make peace with the Sioux Indians
Paris never looked more romantic than in this fractured, amoral tale of a Bogart-obsessed fantasist who shoots a cop and takes up with an old flame
Godard's explosive directorial feature debut sees Michel (Belmondo) as a movie-loving hood on the way to pick up some money. After he kills a troublesome cop, Michel tracks down an old girlfriend, Patricia (Seberg), in Paris and the two briefly rekindle their doomed affair.
The film launched the New Wave of young French directors - Godard's fellow critics from the influential film magazine 'Cahiers du Cinéma' were involved in the production, Truffaut devising the story, Chabrol serving as artistic and technical adviser. And it's a film in love with movies themselves. Michel is an amoral chancer who consciously styles himself after Bogart, while the film itself is in part a homage to Hollywood film noir, making a particular nod to Joseph H Lewis's seminal love-on-the-run movie Gun Crazy.
Godard the novice is already toying with narrative convention, making telling use of, among other techniques, the jump-cut. He also allows himself a cameo appearance in the film, turning up towards the end of the action as an informant whose appearance hastens Michel's fate.
Browse our reviews of other arresting directorial debuts
As his career progressed, Godard's films became more mature and accomplished, but rarely, if ever, did they pack such an immediate, visceral punch.
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