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The 400 Blows (1959)

Les quatre cents coups (original title)
Not Rated | | Crime, Drama | 16 November 1959 (USA)
Moving story of a young boy who, left without attention, delves into a life of petty crime.

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(scenario), (adaptation) (as M. Moussy) | 2 more credits »
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4,390 ( 161)

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Top Rated Movies #181 | Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 7 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Claire Maurier ...
Albert Rémy ...
Julien Doinel
Guy Decomble ...
'Petite Feuille', the French teacher
...
Mr. Bigey
Patrick Auffay ...
Daniel Couturier ...
Betrand Mauricet
François Nocher ...
Un enfant / Child
Richard Kanayan ...
Un enfant / Child
Renaud Fontanarosa ...
Un enfant / Child
Michel Girard ...
Un enfant / Child
Serge Moati ...
Un enfant / Child (as Henry Moati)
Bernard Abbou ...
Un enfant / Child
Jean-François Bergouignan ...
Un enfant / Child
Michel Lesignor ...
Un enfant / Child
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Storyline

Seemingly in constant trouble at school, 14 year-old Antoine Doinel returns at the end of every day to a drab and unhappy home life. His parents have little money and he sleeps on a couch that's been pushed into the kitchen. He knows his mother is having an affair and his parents bicker constantly. He decides to skip school and begins a downward spiral of lies and later stealing. His parents are at their wits end and after he's stopped by the police, they decide the best thing to do would be to let Antoine face the consequences. He's sent to a juvenile detention facility where he doesn't do much better. He does manage to escape however......... Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Angel faces hell-bent for violence. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

16 November 1959 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The 400 Blows  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The English title of the movie "400 Blows" is a gross misinterpretation of the original title. The Finnish and Swedish translations of the title, roughly translatable to "400 practical jokes" are closer to the original meaning, albeit not perfect. The Swedish title: "De 400 slagen" means "The 400 blows" and make no sense. The original title stems from the French expression "Faire les quatre cents coups", meaning "to live a wild life", as the main character does. Literal translation of the expression would be "to do the 400 dirty tricks". See more »

Goofs

About after one hour of the movie, when the two boys run in the Sacre Coeur's stairs where they mock a priest, René's jacket changed. It's now longer and black. And just after when they come back to his house, he is wearing again the first jacket. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Petite Feuille: Doinel, bring me that. Indeed! Go to the corner!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Joe the King (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

La machine à ecrire
Composed by Jean Constantin
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User Reviews

François Truffaut's debut was a masterpiece
22 August 2011 | by (Spain) – See all my reviews

François Truffaut was one of the best French critics past director and his letter is "Les 400 coups", a good example of this. The start of the "Antoine Doinel" (Jean-Pierre Léaud), series is dedicated to a movie fresh, dynamic, without a second to rest or boredom. A perfect example That cinema should be culture and at the same time, entertain, serve as escape. And that Truffaut has succeeded in most of his films, something that few directors have achieved.

François Truffaut is responsible for this dark urban tale, the film summit "novelle vague" French, one of the best debuts in film history. This debut feature tells the vicissitudes of "Antoine Doinel" a child whose life does not smile, your teacher will not tolerate it, hates his mother and his father ends up feeling the same after "Antoine" and best friend begin to make mischief.

It is a beautiful but very sad story, drawn with great skill and with a screenplay by Marcel Moussy with Truffaut. It is a deeply self-biographical film, and dedicated to his mentor André Bazin.

The film is well made, has a good photography, with a melancholy and nostalgic soundtrack, excellent performances for both children and adults, and an argument that many will shed tears for its crudeness. This works and this film take place among the great films of the good cinema.


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Not sure why people like it so much... Voice-in-the-Machine
400 blows or Jules and Jim? take_exit3
The circular spinning thing (age rollercoaster?) PiranianRose
Why 400 Blows? blindeyecon
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Funny moments! LongnStrong
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