French New Wave master Jean-Luc Godard continues his fascination with dime store novels and American crime films with 1964's BAND OF OUTSIDERS, a free-spirited romp in the same vein as the director's breakthrough smash, BREATHLESS. More traditional than BREATHLESS in its technical execution, BAND OF OUTSIDERS sparkles with freshness and originality--it uses comical, poetic narration by Godard himself, and has a bouncy musical score by Michel Legrand. The performances from Claude Brasseur, Sami Frey, and especially Anna Karina combine satirical melodrama, overflowing hipness, and moving sincerity, giving the film plenty of heart. An irreplaceable contribution to 1960s film, this movie is much more than a mere genre reworking.
The story follows two friends, Arthur (Claude Brasseur) and Franz (Sami Frey), who are searching for a way to make a big score. When Franz meets the beautiful Odile (Anna Karina) and she informs him of a large chunk of cash her aunt keeps hidden in her house, the duo are convinced that this is their lucky break. Odile is a sensitive young woman who, out of fear and guilt, opposes their plan, but Arthur and Franz coax her to go along with the idea. When the time comes to pull off the heist, a miscalculation delays the seemingly perfect plan, resulting in a confrontation that has dire consequences.