'''''Breathless''''' is a 1960 film directed by Creator/JeanLucGodard, in his feature filmmaking debut. Its original French title is "À bout de souffle" which translates literally to "at breath's end" with the general meaning being "out of breath." Along with Creator/FrancoisTruffaut's ''The 400 Blows'' and Alain Resnais' ''Hiroshima, Mon Amour'', it gained attention for the FrenchNewWave.

The basic plot is fairly simple, seasoned by Godard with pop-cultural meta-commentary and Paris travelogue. Petty criminal Michel steals a car and, seeing that a policeman is following him on motorcycle, shoots said cop. He then flees to Paris and hides out with his American girlfriend. Eventually after she learns that he is a fugitive, she turns him in to the police. After a chase through the city on foot, he is shot and killed.

''Breathless'' made an international star of former boxer Creator/JeanPaulBelmondo and raised the profile of Jean Seberg, whose Hollywood career had stalled when she starred in the big budget flop ''Saint Joan''.

A remake was done in TheEighties starring RichardGere.

!!Tropes associated with ''Breathless'' include:

* {{Badass}}: Deconstructed with Michel, who tries hard to be one but isn't much more than a low-rank criminal, which [[spoiler:leads towards his quick and grotesque downfall]].
* BilingualDialogue: One sequence has Patricia and an unnamed man conversing in a cafe. The conversation switches from English to French and back to English again on a dime.
* BreakingTheFourthWall: Godard doesn't go as crazy with it here as much as in later films like ''Le Weekend'', but Michel frequently talks to the camera/audience.
* CharacterTics: Michel moves his thumb across his lips multiple times to appear {{Badass}}, as well as a ShoutOut to Humphrey Bogart's role in ''Film/TheMalteseFalcon''.
** {{Lampshaded}} at one point when he sees a poster of Bogart, studies it reverently, and proceeds to emulate the aforementioned gesture.
** PlayedForDrama in the end [[spoiler:when he is shot and his girlfriend moves her thumb across her lips]]. Or PlayedForLaughs, depending on your [[BlackComedy humor]].
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: Michel can certainly come off as one at times. His drive through the countryside at the beginning of the film is charmingly bizarre, to say the least.
* CreatorCameo: Godard shows up briefly as an informant.
* ForeignRemake : Was remade in 1983 into an American film starring Richard Gere. Not well known but not bad.
* TheIngenue: The last image of the film is of the girl looking into the camera and saying, innocently, "What does it mean, 'disgusting'?" (She's speaking in French, which is not her first language.)
* JumpCut: The movie [[TropeCodifier helped popularize them]]. However, they weren't done because of stylistic choice as much as the fact that Goddard neded to shorten the picture, so he got rid of frames randomly. [[UnreliableNarrator Or so he claimed]].
* SeinfeldianConversation: This being a Godard work, this movie's ''filled'' with them. Michel and his girl talk about the most random things, even when in bed....
* SmokingIsCool: Michel clearly thinks so, although some viewers may be put off by the detail with which burning cigarettes are shown, ashes and all. Godard himself believed in this as did most people in France then.
* StealthParody: Certain elements of the film noir genre, and by extension, classic Hollywood films (the effortlessly cool protagonist, long takes with minimal editing, suspenseful plotting, bleak and cynical tone) are oh-so-subtly skewered by Godard. Makes sense, given that he was a part of the French New Wave, a movement which openly rejected literary and cinematic conventions of the era.
* SuicideByCop: Arguable case. Michel kills a policeman and resists arrest, so his death isn't unpredictable.
* TropeCodifier: The greatest legacy of ''Breathless'' may very well be its idiosyncratic usage of jump cuts. While the editing technique was not unheard of at the time, they became much more popular upon release.
* TropeMaker: One of the earliest examples of French New Wave cinema, and one of the most acclaimed works to come out of the movement.
* VillainProtagonist: Michel.