Bruel, Caussat and Colin are three students at a boarding school. There is a continual battle between the school's authority figures and students. The teachers and monitors are always giving the three in particular "zero for conduct" and Sunday detention for their behavior. Conversely, most of the students believe the headmaster, teachers and monitors are a combination of authoritarian, inept, and/or corrupt. The one exception among the teachers is Huguet, newly arrived to the school, he who has a penchant for imitating Charles Chaplin as the Little Tramp, and to do handstands whenever the mood suits him, which includes in class. The boys are always doing whatever it takes to amuse themselves, which if it causes the teachers grief, so much the better. The three are the masterminds of a plot to overtake the school's Commemoration Day celebrations. The one student not involved is Tabard, who is seen as a sissy among the student body. Bruel believes Tabard should be involved. An act by ...Written by
Banned by the French censor until well after World War II. See more »
When the students tie the teacher to the bed, the position of his hands and the bed covers changes between shots as the bed is raised. See more »
War is declared! Down with monitors and punishment! Long live rebellion! Liberty or death! Hoist our flag on the school roof! Stand firm with us tomorrow! We'll bombard them with rotten old books, dirty tin cans, smelly boots and all the ammo piled up in the attic! We'll fight those old goats on commemoration day! Onward!
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Zero for Conduct is a pretty good film about children. So often in movies children act exactly as the director commands them to, so they always seem like they are just speaking lines without knowing why they are doing so. In a film like Zero for Conduct or, even better, Truffaut's The 400 Blows, the child actors are allowed to be children. The children in this film are very true to life, and thus there is great value in this film. Another merit this film has is a teacher who does Charlie Chaplin impressions, and is for this reason more popular with the students. The film does have a lot of problems, though, most of which are not the fault of Vigo, the director. I understand that the production was rushed and incomplete when the shooting was wrapped up. As a result of this, the editing is sloppy. The film is sort of difficult to follow. Plus, possibly its biggest flaw, it ends very abruptly. There is no resolution.
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