Sound And Editing Design In Pickpocket (1959)

Sound And Editing Design In Pickpocket (1959)


Institution Affiliation



The captivating scenes in the movie Pickpocket got intentionally designed to invoke particular emotions. A mixed bag of emotions could source derivation from the articulate manner in which the ideas got deliverance. Films thrive when the protagonist gets developed to blend in (Milne Library, 2017). The objective of the paper is to ensure that we dissect the scenes that may have had a significant impact. Memorability of a scene is not only contributed by an actor but also by the setting. The manner they interact with the environment is vital too.

As the title of the movie indicates, the film revolves around a man whose significant inclination is pickpocketing. The protagonist of this story goes by the name Michel. Michel is a well-crafted character who has learned an art that he uses to sustain himself. He doesn’t need to steal to survive; he does it because he believes it as a more natural path to his goals. No one man or woman should come in the way to his more important goals, he reasons. If stealing and doing harm to another’s pocket will enable him to attain his final goal, then so be it.

Transportation Station Scene

In this scene, we see the full force of the refined skill of Michel. First, we see a lady inconspicuously carry her luggage and stands in line. The scene is no different from any general view in such a place, but something unlikely happens. As if he were a ghost, Michel appears behind the lady almost immediately but brings almost no suspicion to himself. The camera movement allows Michel to get into place and look as if he were not there a short while ago.

The sounds of the immediate vicinity do not change in any manner. They are as casual as they can get to give us an air of familiarity. Very little attention goes to how Michel menacingly stands there behind the woman. His lifeless gaze that lingers fixated upon the woman’s belongings is by far the most noticeable feature that depicts determination. The lady then places her purse on the counter. The contents of the bag are suddenly in the middle of the screen. The positioning is for us to see what is inside the purse to visualize how all contents will be all gone without a hint.

In a split second, the lady initially in view loses her purse to the group of men behind her.

The Man In A Hat

The merry band of pickpockets also goes out to prey on their next victim. From afar, the man gets placed in a precise position where the prized wallet is in view. The camera starts to move with the object to show us how it will land in someone else’s hands. Around the man is an emphasis on the sound of his footsteps. At that point, the loud echoes brought out a sign of loneliness within his immediate area. The man leaves the comfort of isolation and joins a crowd where he gets situated among the pickpockets.

In the background, we can see Michel staring blankly at nothing while in the foreground is the victim. On one side of the victim is the man who will steal from him and on the other side is the man who will distract him. Once a gentle but abrupt grab happens on the victim’s shoulder, his face when centered shows discomfort while the man beside him gently slips the wallet out and into Michel’s hand. Michel then gives a lifeless glare at the man to reduce any chance of suspicion.


Milne Library. (2017, July 11). 4. How Are the Characters Portrayed? – Exploring Movie Construction and Production. Milne Publishing – Publishing at Milne Library SUNY Geneseo.

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