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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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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

This was the first French production to be shot in the anamorphic (2.35:1) widescreen format. The French Dyaliscope anamorphic system used for this film had previously been used for an Italian feature. See more »

Goofs

At the end of the movie, crew footprints can be seen in the sand on the beach. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Referenced in Cookie Jar (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The "Liberté, égalité, fraternité, ou la mort" is here the "Negligence, companionship, liveliness, or the collapse"
13 December 2016 | by georgidianovSee all my reviews

What a dreadful disenchantment! What a shame of life! What a pity of parents! Sorry boy, it is not your entire fault: your school mates also want to run away from those 'chaotic' kind of teachers and miserable classroom. You are not the only one willing to do it, although your brightness looks like missing from your head-box and it is probably in your 'bollocks'.

The educated ones once said: "the apple does not fall far from the tree", so Antoine darling, do not expect too much from this life, because it was your mother who drew your path since she gave you birth. What is more, did not you see her kissing that disgusting guy whilst crossing the pedestrian crossing? She does not give you money, she is not even interested in what you are studying at school... What kind of mother is that!? Yes, but do not forget to throw the garbage away...

Ah, right, I understand. Only when you missed things up she comes to you and says "if you do this, I will give you that". Oh, come on! But even so, after all your 'minor effort' in Honoré de Balzac to get better marks, here comes the other nuts scatterbrained tutor and throws away all your effort. Even I would not make any effort to study in that case.

However, remember that you have a treasure, which name is 'René'. Such a lovely friend, always helping and giving the most accurate advice. What a bad luck at the end, though, when he could not visit his friend Antoine, after a long journey with the bicycle.

But, at any rate, Antoine is a good kid. When he has to take away the garbage he does it. When he has to study, he also does it. Even when his tutor tells him off and orders him to clean or do anything, he is listening! Let us not forget that after stealing the typewriter, it was him who decided to go back and leave it from where he took it, and it was not his Chicken-René-friend.

I truly believe that François Truffaut wanted to show us the 'lack of child guidance' combined with the unhappy home life, Antoine's mistakes and his behavior towards the consequences. This movie reminded me of both Billy Elliot and Forrest Gump, given the fact that all characters are running towards desperate destinations, in a crucial time of their lives.

I enjoyed the movie and the French expressions, but I disagree that this movie is better than Ben-Hur (1959) or Strangers on a Train (1951).


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