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Les Mistons (1957)

Les mistons (original title)
A group of five boys, the brats of the title, are all in love with an unbearably beautiful woman and so they spend their summer jealously harassing her and her boyfriend.


François Truffaut


Maurice Pons (short story)




Complete credited cast:
Gérard Blain ... Gérard
Bernadette Lafont ... Bernadette Jouve
Michel François Michel François ... Récitant / Narrator (voice)


Five young boys in pre-puberty are collectively attracted by a beautiful, young woman, Bernadette Jouve. She awakes in them the springs of luminous sensuality. As they are too young to love her, they decide to hate and torment her instead. Wherever Bernadette and her sweetheart Gerard turn up, the five boys are there, disturbing them. They also start drawing arrow-pierced hearts with the names of the two lovers everywhere, but Gerard and Bernadette hardly notice it. The boys' failures make them more aggressive. A day in August Gerard says farewell to Bernadette. He'll be away for three months. When he comes back he hopes the wedding bells will toll for them. When the five boys' vacation is near the end, they resort to a very shabby method. They buy a postcard showing two scantily-dressed lovers sprawled on a bed. On the postcard they write wanton words about Gerard and Bernadette, and undersign it The Brats, before sending it to Bernadette. Some days later they read in the newspaper ... Written by Maths Jesperson {maths.jesperson1@comhem.se}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Short | Comedy


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Did You Know?


Cameo: The film playing in the scene inside the cinema is a short film called Le Coup du berger made in 1956 by Truffaut's Cahier du cinema colleague Jacques Rivette. Trauffaut has a cameo in this short film. See more »


[first lines]
Récitant: [voice over narration] Jouve's sister was unbearably beautiful. She always rode wither skirts flying. Bernadette led us to discover many of our darkly hidden dreams. She awoke in us the springs of luminous sensuality.
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References The Little Rebels (1955) See more »

User Reviews

A Light-On-Its-Feet Little Whatever
26 October 2008 | by jzappaSee all my reviews

Francois Truffaut's pre-400 Blows toss-away is an understatedly entertaining little 18- minute film that takes a group of horny little boys and makes them a collective protagonist pursuing an older woman to play pranks on her, frustrated because they know that they could never have her for so many clear reasons. They antagonize her lovers and watch her simply be beautiful.

This tongue-in-cheek little whatever shows Truffaut and short story writer Maurice Pons's characters hustling all the woods, the streets, on bridges, and even inside a rural arena, and the kids have an exceedingly realistic affection to them, as this is in fact what boys their age would do with no technology or attention span. They play-fire guns at each other and devise their practical jokes against the lovers.

The object of affection is unbelievably attractive, and naturally so, and really that is all we truly know about her, as it's all any of these kids know about her. This short has the muted lack of direct involvement that Truffaut tends to have, and despite that there isn't enough time to get to know these kids or or their crush, it's enhanced to have the inscrutable, almost objectified feature in her character.

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Release Date:

6 November 1958 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

The Kids See more »

Filming Locations:

Nîmes, Gard, France See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,206, 25 April 1999

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

Production Co:

Les Films du Carrosse See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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