Director Robert Bresson chose Uruguayan nonactor Martin LaSalle for his leading man in Pickpocket. LaSalle's inexperience works against the film for some viewers, though Bresson himself was satisfied because his star proved himself a quick study in the art of lifting wallets (a genuine pickpocket was engaged as "technical adviser"). Essentially, the story is a character study of a cocky young criminal who becomes so entranced by the act of picking pockets that he literally can't stop himself. The Bressonian technique of concentrating more on the mechanics of the plot than the emotions of the characters is, as always, a matter of taste. Filmed in 1959, Pickpocket was released in the US in 1963. Loosely inspired by Feodor Dostoyevsky's novel Crime and Punishment.
by Hal Erickson synopsis