30 user 54 critic

Zero for Conduct (1933)

Zéro de conduite: Jeunes diables au collège (original title)
Not Rated | | Short, Comedy, Drama | 21 June 1947 (USA)
In a repressive boarding school with rigid rules of behavior, four boys decide to rebel against the direction on a celebration day.


Jean Vigo


Jean Vigo (scenario)
1 win. See more awards »




Complete credited cast:
Jean Dasté ... Surveillant Huguet
Robert le Flon Robert le Flon ... Surveillant Pète-Sec
Du Verron Du Verron ... Surveillant-Général Bec-de-Gaz (as du Verron)
Delphin Delphin ... Principal du Collège
Léon Larive Léon Larive ... Professeur (as Larive)
Madame Émile Madame Émile ... Mère Haricot (as Mme. Emile)
Louis de Gonzague Louis de Gonzague ... Préfet (as Louis de Gonzague-Frick)
Raphaël Diligent Raphaël Diligent ... Pompier (as Rafa Diligent)
Louis Lefebvre Louis Lefebvre ... Caussat
Gilbert Pruchon Gilbert Pruchon ... Colin
Constantin Goldstein-Kehler Constantin Goldstein-Kehler ... Bruel (as Coco Golstein)
Gérard de Bédarieux Gérard de Bédarieux ... Tabard


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 Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Short | Comedy | Drama


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »


The bouncing ball landing in his mother's pot of beans isn't thrown by Colin, but by a crew member whose hand appears in the left corner of the screen. See more »


Tabard: 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!
See more »


Featured in Un compositeur pour le cinéma: Maurice Jaubert (1985) See more »

User Reviews

New Wave beginnings
22 February 2016 | by chaos-rampantSee all my reviews

Let's say what this doesn't have; riveting drama, well rounded characters, plush visuals, none of that is at stake here even as consideration. Which is for the better, if you're like me, and you want to see what life can be when freed from confines of story.

It's not even a film that directly fulfills me so much as how it paves a path for things to be done a certain way. See, many films from the era anticipate later movements, it was a fertile time. But none other so fully prophesies French New Wave in particular as this one here.

Look at the tropes and tell me.

The whole film is a series of improvised playing around against the rigid limits imposed by a story - given to us as kids fretting with the (storytelling) routine of a boarding school and its teachers. What little story there is, is for the kids to run around and play- act.

Teachers are shown as suitably buffoonish. The only one who is on their side, who shares in their playing, at one point does a Chaplin impersonation to amuse them. It's the same self-referential appraisal of movies as ideals that we find twenty years later in Godard.

And eventually it's about rebellion. The kids conspire to stage a revolt that takes over the whole school, this on the same day as an important public ceremony is supposed to take place on the grounds. The ceremony is turned into a circus, smashed up. The kids walk triumphant on the roof of the school, heroes of the revolution. French students would rejoice to see this in '68. The film was banned at the time as morally dangerous.

You can see how Vigo was born to anarchist parents, how he was a poet by inclination who wanted the spontaneous burst that turns life upside down and climbs up to where a view is possible. He was cut tragically short while on his way to becoming a Fellini, the story goes.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 30 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






Release Date:

21 June 1947 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Zero de Conduite See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Franfilmdis, Argui-Film See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (original cut) | (restored)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.

Visit our What to Watch page

Recently Viewed