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.


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Up 4% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
François Truffaut (scenario)
Marcel Moussy (adaptation) ...
View company contact information for The 400 Blows on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
16 November 1959 (USA) See more »
Angel faces hell-bent for violence. See more »
Moving story of a young boy who, left without attention, delves into a life of petty crime. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for Oscar. Another 7 wins & 3 nominations See more »
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User Reviews:
French cinema at its best See more (172 total) »


  (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
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
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 »
99 min | Spain:92 min
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
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?

All spoken lines in the film are dubbed over again by the actors themselves, save for a few minor and trivial parts. For instance, during the last scene, the sound of Antoine's footsteps was added during editing - the truck that the camera rested upon produced too much noise. Shooting on the streets of Paris, as many films of the French New Wave did, was often hectic and re-dubbing everything allowed François Truffaut to not have to worry about lugging bulky and expensive sound equipment around, and more importantly he would not have to worry about a street scene having too much background noise. This made shooting faster and easier.See more »
Continuity: When carrying the typewriter, Antoine's hair is mussed, but it is in place when he puts on his hat.See more »
[first lines]
Petite Feuille:Doinel, bring me that. Indeed! Go to the corner!
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Be Kind Rewind (2008)See more »
La machine à ecrireSee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
57 out of 72 people found the following review useful.
French cinema at its best, 12 February 2006
Author: maax48 from United Kingdom

Truffaut has worked wonders here, creating a masterful tale of a boy confused, troubled, and unloved. Antoine Doinel (played superbly by Jean-Pierre Léaud in the lead role) has strict, unfaithful parents, and a harsh, oppressive teacher, and falls into delinquency because of his unhappiness. He lies, steals, skips school and runs away from home, and soon ends up in a juvenile delinquency centre.

Truffaut's inspiration for this film came from his own depressed childhood, so he bases Antoine on himself, including in terms of appearance. Being a 'New Wave' (a cinematographic movement of the sixties, involving directors who believed Hollywood films were too lavish and unreal) director, Truffaut always used a real location for the film, including breathtaking shots of Truffaut's native Paris. He also made a cameo in the film in the style of Hitchcock.

Delinquance is the key theme here. Antoine, who is a character who believes in liberty and freedom, and the way he is always locked up is repressive for him, and this provokes a constant need for him to be out.

Trying to make a realistic and moving film was Truffaut's aim, which, by watching this film, I realised that he had done amazingly well. Also, by combining humour and drama too, we have the defining French film of the 20th century. A black and white film that is full of colour. Bien sur, François Truffaut.

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Beach Location? GeorgeRoots
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
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