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Directed by Robert Bresson
Produced by Jean-Marc Henchoz
Written by Robert Bresson
Starring Christian Patey
Béatrice Tabourin
Didier Baussy
Vincent Visterucci
Distributed by New Yorker Films
Cinecom International (original release)
Release date(s) March 23, 1984 (New York City)
Running time 83 min
Country France
Language French

L'Argent (Money), is the final film by French film director Robert Bresson. It was inspired by Leo Tolstoy's short story The Forged Coupon.

It earned its maker the Director's Prize at the 1983 Cannes Film Festival.[1]



Bresson's modern retelling begins as a bourgeois youth enters his father's study to claim a monthly allowance. His father obliges, but the son presses for more, citing a debt at school he must pay. The father dismisses him and an appeal to his mother fails. This leads him to pawn off his watch to a friend who, instead of paying him, provides him with a forged 500-franc note. After the trade, the youth lingers to peruse an album of nude art, with similar images to appear throughout the film.

The boys take the counterfeit to a photo shop and change it on the pretext of buying a picture frame. When the store co-manager finds out, he scolds his partner for her lack of wariness. She chides him in return for having accepted two forged notes the previous week. He then vows to pass off all the forged notes in their possession at the next opportunity, which arises when a gas man comes in with a bill.

Although the film's basic plot is inspired by the Tolstoy story, it contains many references to Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment. Yvon's cellmate spouts the sort of Nietzchean Superman ideology that Raskolnikov was fond of, and the final scene, with Yvon confessing and then being led out past a gaping crowd is a direct quotation from the conclusion of Crime and Punishment.


  • Christian Patey - Yvon Targe
  • Vincent Risterucci - Lucien
  • Caroline Lang - Elise
  • Sylvie Van den Elsen - Grey Haired Woman
  • Michel Briguet - Grey Haired Woman's Father
  • Béatrice Tabourin - La photographe
  • Didier Baussy - Le photographe
  • Marc Ernest Fourneau - Norbert
  • Bruno Lapeyre - Martial
  • François-Marie Banier
  • Alain Aptekman
  • Jeanne Aptekman - Yvette


External links



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