We gave it an A
French director Robert Bresson used his nonactors only once and orchestrated every gesture and glance; the performances that resulted are both mesmerizing and suffused with mystery. Pickpocket echoes Crime and Punishment, as Martin La Salle’s thief, who considers himself superior among men, practices his trade until he’s caught, tutored by the light-fingered Kassagi (a pro on screen and off). Meanwhile, Bresson’s central theft montage is breathtaking. EXTRAS All caviar: A 52-minute 2003 doc revisits the principals, with La Salle in Mexico City resembling a hippie St. Nick. A 1962 French TV segment shows Kassagi freely filching watches, wallets, and even suspenders from a cabaret audience. Most surprising, Paul Schrader’s introduction not only gives a shrewd analysis of Bresson’s techniques but also divulges that Pickpocket inspired his script for Taxi Driver (though he neglects to mention that he also stole the ending for American Gigolo).