IMDb > The 400 Blows (1959)
Les quatre cents coups
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The 400 Blows (1959) More at IMDbPro »Les quatre cents coups (original title)

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The 400 Blows -- François Truffaut's first feature, The 400 Blows, is also his most personal. Told through the eyes of Truffaut's life-long cinematic counterpart, Antoine Doinel (Jean-Pierre Léaud), The 400 Blows sensitively re-creates the trials of Truffaut's own difficult childhood, unsentimentally portraying aloof parents, oppressive teachers, petty crime, and a friendship that would last a lifetime.

Overview

User Rating:
8.2/10   61,071 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
François Truffaut (scenario)
Marcel Moussy (adaptation) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The 400 Blows on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
16 November 1959 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Angel faces hell-bent for violence. See more »
Plot:
Moving story of a young boy who, left without attention, delves into a life of petty crime. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for Oscar. Another 7 wins & 3 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Truffaut's powerful and moving look at adolescence See more (170 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Jean-Pierre Léaud ... Antoine Doinel
Claire Maurier ... Gilberte Doinel - la mère d'Antoine
Albert Rémy ... Julien Doinel
Guy Decomble ... 'Petite Feuille', the French teacher

Georges Flamant ... 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
Luc Andrieux ... Le professeur de gym
Robert Beauvais ... Director of the school
Bouchon
Christian Brocard
Yvonne Claudie ... Mme Bigey
Marius Laurey ... L'inspecteur Cabanel
Claude Mansard ... Examining Magistrate
Jacques Monod ... Commissioner
Pierre Repp ... The English Teacher
Henri Virlojeux ... Night watchman (as Henri Virlogeux)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Jean-Claude Brialy ... Man in Street

Jeanne Moreau ... Woman with dog (as Mademoiselle Jeanne Moreau)
Philippe de Broca ... Man in Funfair (uncredited)

Jacques Demy ... Policeman (uncredited)
Jean Douchet ... The Lover (uncredited)
Marianne Girard ... (uncredited)
Simone Jolivet ... (uncredited)
Laure Paillette ... (uncredited)

François Truffaut ... Man in Funfair (uncredited)

Directed by
François Truffaut 
 
Writing credits
François Truffaut (scenario)

Marcel Moussy (adaptation) (as M. Moussy) &
François Truffaut (adaptation) (as F. Truffaut)

Marcel Moussy (dialogue)

Produced by
François Truffaut .... producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Jean Constantin 
 
Cinematography by
Henri Decaë 
 
Film Editing by
Marie-Josèphe Yoyotte 
 
Set Decoration by
Bernard Evein 
 
Production Management
Georges Charlot .... production manager
Robert Lachenay .... assistant unit manager
Jean Lavie .... unit manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Robert Bober .... second assistant director
Philippe de Broca .... assistant director
Francis Cognany .... second assistant director
Alain Jeannel .... second assistant director
 
Art Department
Raymond Lemoigne .... property master (as Raymond Le Moigne)
 
Sound Department
Jean Labussière .... sound assistant
Jean-Claude Marchetti .... sound
 
Camera and Electrical Department
André Dino .... still photographer
Alain Levent .... assistant camera
Jean Rabier .... camera operator
 
Editorial Department
Michèle de Possel .... assistant editor
Cécile Decugis .... assistant editor
 
Other crew
Luce Deuss .... production secretary
Roland Nonin .... production administrator
Jacqueline Parey .... script girl
 
Thanks
André Bazin .... dedicatee
Jean-Claude Brialy .... thanks
Fernand Deligny .... thanks
Alex Joffé .... thanks
Jacques Josse .... thanks
Suzanne Lipinska .... thanks
Claire Mafféi .... thanks
Jeanne Moreau .... thanks (as Mademoiselle Jeanne Moreau)
Claude Vermorel .... thanks
Claude Véga .... thanks
Annette Wademant .... thanks
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Les quatre cents coups" - France (original title)
"The Four Hundred Blows" - Canada (English title), UK, USA
See more »
Runtime:
99 min | Spain:92 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Argentina:13 | Australia:PG | Finland:K-12 | Finland:K-7 (DVD rating) | Finland:K-8 (1966) | France:U | Germany:12 | Hungary:18 (original rating) | Singapore:PG | South Korea:All (2003) | Sweden:15 (original rating) | Sweden:11 (re-rating) (1966) | UK:A (original rating) | UK:PG (re-rating) (2001) | UK:PG (video rating) (1993) | USA:Not Rated | West Germany:16

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The poem written on the board is 'Épitaphe Pour Un Lièvre' by Jean Richepin. It is an Alexandrine poem i.e. comprised of lines of twelve syllables, typical of modern French poetry.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: While talking with his mother after his bath, the position of Antoine's hand that holds his head changes.See more »
Quotes:
[first lines]
Petite Feuille:Doinel, bring me that. Indeed! Go to the corner!
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in I Killed My Mother (2009)See more »
Soundtrack:
Les quatre cents coupSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
31 out of 36 people found the following review useful.
Truffaut's powerful and moving look at adolescence, 18 November 2006
Author: Camera Obscura from The Dutch Mountains

THE FOUR HUNDRED BLOWS (François Truffaut - France 1959).

Twelve-year-old Antoine Doinel (Jean-Pierre Léaud) has troubles at home and at school. Ignored and neglected by his parents, his relationship with his mother is further strained when he discovers that she has taken a secret lover. Added to this, his school teachers have written him off as a trouble maker and, with luck seemingly never on his side, it is Antoine who ends up getting the blame for bad behaviour. Finding refuge only in his love of cinema, Antoine soon finds it necessary to break free and discover what the world can offer outside the confines of everyday life.

I have always struggled with the labeling of this film as one of the pivotal entrances in the "Nouvelle Vague". Since Jean-Luc Godard's "Au Bout de Soufflé", who uses a completely different approach to film-making, with his restless jump-cutting and endless references to pop culture, Truffaut presents his case clear cut, as realistic as possible. But this was something completely different from the way American films portrayed juvenile delinquency so far. No iconic trouble makers like James Dean or Marlon Brando, just a realistic portrait of a twelve-year old boy sliding into isolation. The very idea alone was something novel, seldom depicted in a way like this.

Much of the praise must go to Jean-Pierre Léaud, who never even seems to be acting. His every movement, thought, expression come across as completely natural. Truly, one of the most remarkable performances of such a young actor I've ever seen. Watching this over 40 years after it was made, it all looks deceptively simple, with Truffaut's perfect integration of music and image, location shooting on the streets of Paris and the naturalistic performances. Truffaut used many innovations but they are not easily noticeable as in Godard's work. This was for instance the first French film to be shot in widescreen (aspect ratio 2.35:1), which required much planning on Truffaut's part, with some surprising results. In many scenes we don't see the other person Antoine is talking to, which gives the viewer the illusion as if Antoine is almost talking directly to the camera. Jean-Pierre Léaud would continue his role as Antoine in four more films by Truffaut, "Love at Twenty" (1962), "Stolen Kisses" (1968), "Bed and Board" (1970) and "Love on the Run" (1979).

Camera Obscura --- 9/10

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The 400 Blows (1959)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Not sure why people like it so much... Voice-in-the-Machine
400 blows or Jules and Jim? take_exit3
Funny moments! LongnStrong
Out of print? Dragula_75
Why 400 Blows? blindeyecon
Who is the flutist? yabbadabbadu2
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