I can't make out a quote in Pierrot Le Fou which is translated from French to "To want something you have to be alive." It's in the first part of the movie, as they first take off in the car, where Ferdinand quotes something Marianne said to him when they were together in the past.

I've tried to search for a script, subtitles, translation but no luck. Does anyone know the exact wording?

1 Answer 1


According to the book Jean-Luc Godard's Pierrot le Fou (Cambridge Film Handbooks) by David Wills (Editor), as found through a Google Books result,

Belmondo makes a pun on these words: J'avais envie, J'étais en vie ("I felt desire, I was alive") translated in the subtitles as "To Want something, you have to be alive.".

What remains of my high school French agrees.

  • The first avais seems to presuppose a tacit "Si"
    – Deipatrous
    Aug 11, 2022 at 8:55

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .