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The 400 Blows (1959)
"Les quatre cents coups" (original title)

 -  Crime | Drama  -  16 November 1959 (USA)
8.2
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 54,817 users  
Reviews: 166 user | 152 critic

Intensely touching story of a misunderstood young adolescent who left without attention, delves into a life of petty crime.

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(scenario), (adaptation), 2 more credits »
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Top 250 #190 | Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 7 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Claire Maurier ...
Gilberte Doinel - la mère d'Antoine
Albert Rémy ...
Julien Doinel
Guy Decomble ...
'Petite Feuille', the French teacher
...
Mr. Bigey
Patrick Auffay ...
René
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

Plot Keywords:

boy | run | school | pigalle | long take | See All (63) »

Taglines:

Det franske mesterværk om de unge i lømmelalderen[Denmark] 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

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The title of the film comes from the French idiom "faire les quatre cents coups", meaning "to raise hell". See more »

Goofs

At the end of the gravity wheel sequence, the camera pans up to look at the crowd showing the boom mic in the centre of the screen. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Referenced in Sweet Sixteen (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

La machine à ecrire
Composed by Jean Constantin
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User Reviews

Memorable Story With Thoughtful Direction By Truffaut
17 May 2005 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

The memorable story of young, troubled Antoine is worth seeing for a good number of reasons, probably most of all for the thoughtful direction by François Truffaut. It stands out from most other movies about troubled youths, both in the way that it portrays the main character and in making such good use of seemingly minor events in showing how they shape Antoine's life.

As Antoine, Jean-Pierre Léaud (in the role with which he would always be identified) strikes a nice balance in making his character come to life without making any of his actions seem forced or over-dramatic. Truffaut sets things up for him perfectly, by presenting a great variety of situations in his life that allow Antoine's character to come out naturally. Many of the settings are in themselves interesting and creative, despite being located in familiar types of places.

The story is written carefully so as to allow the viewer to identify with and sympathize with Antoine, while still seeing his faults clearly. What is often the most affecting thing about it is the way that Truffaut shows how even the most commonplace kinds of events can have such an effect on a maturing person, if they are a source of disappointed expectations or misunderstood intentions. To make this kind of movie so effectively without relying on violent or shocking material is an admirable achievement, and it repays careful thought and attention while watching it.


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