Band of Outsiders (1964)

Directed by Jean-Luc Godard, this film follows a young woman who meets two  crooks in an English language class. Through narration we learn that she told them about a cache of money she knows of and so they get her to help them swipe it. They both fight for her affection and ultimately the thug Arthur wins out. Despite Odile’s apprehension at taking the money from her aunt’s home, they continue to get the plan ready. Arthur’s uncle now wants in and then the plan changes again because the owner of the money is gone a day earlier. From this point everything begins to go wrong and after a horrible botched attempt the three culprits flee the scene with little to show for their caper. Arthur makes up an excuse to return and Odile and Franz drive off but they return when trouble seems imminent. Back at the house Arthur is confronted by his uncle and there is more bloodshed. Afterwards Odile and Franz again flee heading to South America while the narrator promises a sequel in the near future. This film unabashedly proclaims to be Nouvelle wave even going so far as having it printed on a store banner. Again, Godard combines his love of American pulp fiction and artistic experimentation to create yet another tragic tale. The film gives a nod to Hollywood crime films and also features several famous sequences. Some high points include the moment of silence, the spontaneous dance in the café, and of course the run through the Louvre. In my mind, Pulp Fiction owes at least something to Godard right here.


4/5 Stars

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