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The 400 Blows (1959)

Robert Beauvais, more...
Director: François Truffaut, François Truffaut
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: Criterion
Genre: Classics, Drama, Foreign, France, Classic Drama, Coming of Age , Classic Drama, Criterion Collection, French New Wave
Running Time: 99 min.
Languages: French
Subtitles: English
    see additional details...

Synopsis
For his feature-film debut, critic-turned-director François Truffaut drew inspiration from his own troubled childhood. The 400 Blows stars Jean-Pierre Léaud as Antoine Doinel, Truffaut's preteen alter ego. Misunderstood at home by his parents and tormented in school by his insensitive teacher (Guy Decomble), Antoine frequently runs away from both places. The boy finally quits school after being accused of plagiarism by his teacher. He steals a typewriter from his father (Albert Remy) to finance his plans to leave home. The father angrily turns Antoine over to the police, who lock the boy up with hardened criminals. A psychiatrist at a delinquency center probes Antoine's unhappiness, which he reveals in a fragmented series of monologues. Originally intended as a 20-minute short, The 400 Blows was expanded into a feature when Truffaut decided to elaborate on his self-analysis. For the benefit of Truffaut's fellow film buffs, The 400 Blows is full of brief references to favorite directors, notably Truffaut's then-idol Jean Vigo. The film won the 1959 Best Director prize at the Cannes Film Festival, even though Truffaut had been declared persona non grata the year before for his inflammatory comments about the festival's commercialism. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

Special Features:

  • Filmographies & Awards
  • Vintage Truffaut Trailer Collection
  • Commentary by Glenn Kenny, Premiere Magazine Film Critic


You might also enjoy:

Stolen Kisses
Doinel/Léaud, older now and having trouble with love and work

Love on the Run
Doinel in his 30's and already reflecting back on his life

Small Change
Truffaut's delightful, comic sketches on childhood



GreenCine Member Reviews

Terrible Commenary by BTemchine November 25, 2005 - 11:28 AM PST
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4 out of 11 members found this review helpful
Revolutionary movies, movies that change everything, can be hard to watch. It is difficult, now that movies have changed, to see what was so revolutionary about the movie. In those cases, a good commentary track is very helpful. This one sucked. It was repetitive, unillumnitaing, rambling and only loosley connected to the movie on the screen. Feh.

The movie itself was good. i think. But I'm no film expert, and it looked like an early indie movie, nothing special without resolution and an unsatisfying ending.




GreenCine Member Rating
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(Average 8.27)
399 Votes
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Moveline's 100 Best Foreign Films
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This list was published in Moveline's July 1996 issue.
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Village Voice's 100 Best Films of the 20th Century
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When the Village Voice held its "First Annual Film Critics' Poll" they asked 50 or so film critics (like Molly Haskell, Jonathan Rosenbaum, and Andrew Sarris) to rank their top ten best films of the century. This is the result.
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