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The 400 Blows (1959)

Les quatre cents coups (original title)
Not Rated | | Crime , Drama | 16 November 1959 (USA)
A young boy, left without attention, delves into a life of petty crime.

Director:

François Truffaut

Writers:

François Truffaut (scenario), Marcel Moussy (adaptation) (as M. Moussy) | 2 more credits »
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Top Rated Movies #206 | Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 7 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jean-Pierre Léaud ... Antoine Doinel
Claire Maurier Claire Maurier ... Gilberte Doinel - la mère d'Antoine
Albert Rémy ... Julien Doinel
Guy Decomble Guy Decomble ... 'Petite Feuille', the French teacher
Georges Flamant ... Mr. Bigey
Patrick Auffay Patrick Auffay ... René
Daniel Couturier Daniel Couturier ... Betrand Mauricet
François Nocher François Nocher ... Un enfant / Child
Richard Kanayan Richard Kanayan ... Un enfant / Child
Renaud Fontanarosa Renaud Fontanarosa ... Un enfant / Child
Michel Girard Michel Girard ... Un enfant / Child
Serge Moati Serge Moati ... Un enfant / Child (as Henry Moati)
Bernard Abbou Bernard Abbou ... Un enfant / Child
Jean-François Bergouignan Jean-François Bergouignan ... Un enfant / Child
Michel Lesignor Michel Lesignor ... Un enfant / Child
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Storyline

Seemingly in constant trouble at school, 14-year-old Antoine Doinel returns at the end of every day to a drab, unhappy home life. His parents have little money and he sleeps on a couch that's been pushed into the kitchen. His parents bicker constantly and he knows his mother is having an affair. He decides to skip school and begins a downward spiral of lies and theft. His parents are at their wits' end, and after he's stopped by the police, they decide the best thing would be to let Antoine face the consequences. He's sent to a juvenile detention facility where he doesn't do much better. He does manage to escape however. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

From the Vanguard of New Film-Makers Comes an Extraordinary Motion Picture See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French | English

Release Date:

16 November 1959 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The 400 Blows See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The zoetrope scene included Antoine holding his head while going dizzy on a ride, a nod to Hitchcock's Vertigo (1958). See more »

Goofs

When carrying the typewriter, Antoine's hair is mussed, but it is in place when he puts on his hat. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Petite Feuille: Doinel, bring me that. Indeed! Go to the corner!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Out List (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Balzac et Gymnastique
(uncredited)
Written by Jean Constantin
See more »

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User Reviews

Memorable Story With Thoughtful Direction By Truffaut
17 May 2005 | by Snow LeopardSee all my reviews

The memorable story of young, troubled Antoine is worth seeing for a good number of reasons, probably most of all for the thoughtful direction by François Truffaut. It stands out from most other movies about troubled youths, both in the way that it portrays the main character and in making such good use of seemingly minor events in showing how they shape Antoine's life.

As Antoine, Jean-Pierre Léaud (in the role with which he would always be identified) strikes a nice balance in making his character come to life without making any of his actions seem forced or over-dramatic. Truffaut sets things up for him perfectly, by presenting a great variety of situations in his life that allow Antoine's character to come out naturally. Many of the settings are in themselves interesting and creative, despite being located in familiar types of places.

The story is written carefully so as to allow the viewer to identify with and sympathize with Antoine, while still seeing his faults clearly. What is often the most affecting thing about it is the way that Truffaut shows how even the most commonplace kinds of events can have such an effect on a maturing person, if they are a source of disappointed expectations or misunderstood intentions. To make this kind of movie so effectively without relying on violent or shocking material is an admirable achievement, and it repays careful thought and attention while watching it.


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