400 Blows (DVD)

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Description

Francois Truffaut's semi-autobiographical first feature stars Jean-Pierre Léaud as Antoine Doinel, an unruly young Parisian whose unhappiness leads him into trouble. Frequently running away from school and home, Antoine spends much of his time playing with his friends on the steets of the city; but events take a more serious turn when an accusation of plagiarism leads him to quit school and the theft of a typewriter lands him in trouble with the police. Léaud was to reprise his role as Doinel in four further Truffaut-directed adventures: 'Antoine et Colette' (1962), 'Baiser volés' (1968), 'Domicile conjugal' (1970), and 'Love on the Run' (1979).

Product Details

Barcode
5021866710303
Department
Movies & TV
Released
11 Aug 2014
Type
Movies
Format
DVD
Genre
Foreign Language
Sub-genre
Classic
Region
Region 2
Language
French
Studio
Artificial Eye
Extras
  • Interactive Menus
Runtime
95 min
Age Restriction
12
Supply Source
UK

Movie

Title
400 Blows
Release Year
1959
Running Time
99 min
Language
French
Color
B&W
Alternate Title
400 Coups
Categories
Foreign Films / French / Classic / Essential Cinema / New Wave (Film) / Rape / Teachers / Tear Jerker / Theatrical Release
Ratings
IMDb
8.1
Rotten Tomatoes®
100% 94%
Synopsis
Director François Truffaut's first feature film, THE 400 BLOWS, is a landmark in French cinema. Antoine Doinel (Jean-Pierre Léaud) is a 13-year-old boy who can't seem to do anything right. His parents yell at him and then bribe him for his love and his promises to work harder in school. Meanwhile, his schoolteacher is out to get him and blames Antoine for everything--turning him into the class clown. As a result, Antoine runs away from school and his difficult family, living on the streets of Paris and committing petty crimes. While his life on the street is tough, it's much better than dealing with his preoccupied parents and his accusatory teacher. Nonetheless, things only go downhill for Antoine, descending to a simultaneously painful and beautiful conclusion.

A truly impressive film, THE 400 BLOWS is raw, honest, and intensely emotional. Imbued with a strong and complex personality, Antoine maintains his poise and self-confidence, even as he endures abusive treatment from every adult he encounters. René Simonet (Patrick Auffray) is Antoine's one pal, and the unspoken dialogues between the boys, depicted by Truffaut through the boys' facial expressions and with masterful roving photography, allow the viewer to see through Antoine's eyes and understand his unflinching tenacity. Few films have captured the difficulties of childhood as well as this acclaimed French masterpiece. Essentially the start of the French New Wave movement, THE 400 BLOWS is also the beginning of Truffaut's Antoine Doinel cycle, which follows Léaud as Antoine in five additional films over the course of 20 years.
Notes
Theatrical release: June 1959.

Filmed entirely on location in Paris, France.

This film is dedicated to the memory of André Bazin.

THE 400 BLOWS was French New Wave director François Truffaut's first feature film. It won an Academy Award nomination for Best Script, and was a huge success at the Cannes Film Festival, where he won the award for Best Director--a particular triumph for Truffaut, who only a year before had been ignominiously tossed out of the festival for protesting the values of the entrenched French film establishment.

The film's French title, LES QUATRE CENTS COUPS, comes from a colloquial term to describe adolescent rebellion.

Truffaut originally conceived THE 400 BLOWS as a short film entitled LA FUGUE D'ANTOINE (ANTOINE RUNS AWAY), but eventually decided to make it a feature length film.

Jean-Pierre Léaud would reprise his role as Antoine Doinel in four other Truffaut films: LOVE AT TWENTY (1962), STOLEN KISSES (1968), BED & BOARD (1970), and LOVE ON THE RUN (1979). Léaud also went on to star in films by French New Wave director Jean-Luc Godard.

At one point, when Antoine and René (Patrick Auffay) ditch school and run around town, they pull a woman's picture off of a movie poster. The picture is of Harriet Andersson, who starred in Ingmar Bergman's 1952 film MONIKA.

The long tracking shot of Antoine running at the the end of the film is one of the most famous tracking shots in the history of cinema.

Winner of the New York Film Critics Award for Best Foreign Film.
Poster
Poster for 400 Blows
Cast & Crew
Director
François Truffaut
Star
Patrick Auffray / Guy Decomble / Jean-Pierre Léaud / Claire Maurier / Albert Rémy
Movie Critics
Chicago Sun-Times
"...THE 400 BLOW's one of the most intensely touching stories ever made about a young adolescent..."
Roger Ebert (8 Aug 1999, p.5)
Premiere
"...[A] truly authentic coming-of-age movie....Truffaut helped to usher in the New Wave of French filmmaking..."
Premiere Staff (1 Dec 2003, p.9)
Sight and Sound
"Truffaut's autobiographical debut feature introduced one of cinema's greatest anti-heroes to the screen -- 12-year-old Antonie Doinel..."
Geoffrey Macnab (1 Mar 2003, p.62)
Wall Street Journal
"Truffaut's debut feature is one of the seminal coming-of-age stories of world cinema..."
(3 Jun 2011, )

Awards

Cannes
Best Director
Winner: 1959 - François Truffaut