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The 400 Blows DVD

aka Les Quatre Cents Coups, François Truffaut, 1959


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3 Reviews // 6 Lists

Film Details

Directed by François Truffaut

Produced in 1959

Main Language - French with English subtitles

Countries & Regions - European Film, French Film


Albert Remy, Claire Maurier, Jean-Pierre Léaud


Classic Drama MoviesClassic Movies Blu-raysEuropean FilmFrench FilmBlu-ray

MovieMail's Review

Jean-Pierre Léaud stars as the youth who winds up in borstal in Truffaut's semi-autobiographical debut. It saw him create great art from his own psychological pain, writes David Parkinson.

Few filmmakers have approached the subject of adolescence with more honesty or simplicity than François Truffaut in this poignantly autobiographical tale that sought to return French cinema to the purer days of poetic realism.

Belying his reputation as a firebrand at Cahiers du Cinéma, Truffaut broke few rules with the story of a youth who winds up in borstal while reeling from the treachery of his mother's adultery. But, in quoting his auteur heroes and thanking mentor André Bazin, Truffaut restored an audiovisual authenticity to French film, which had become stifled by literary pretension. Moreover, he gave fresh impetus to the nouvelle vague by winning the Best Director prize at Cannes and launched a masterly cycle of pictures in which Jean-Pierre Léaud reprised the character of Antoine Doinel.

Throughout, Truffaut's directorial choices are bold, but never gratuitous, with the closing freeze frame remaining among the medium's most iconic moments. Yet it's Henri Decaë's monochrome cinematography that enabled Truffaut to achieve the directorial equivalent of Method acting, as he created great art from personal experience and psychological pain.

David Parkinson on 24th June 2014
Author of 245 reviews

The 400 Blows The 400 Blows The 400 Blows

Film Description

One of the defining films of the French New Wave, The 400 Blows - 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).

DVD Details

Certificate: 12

Publisher: Artificial Eye

Length: 95 mins

Format: DVD B&W

Region: 2

Released: 11th August 2014

Cat No: ART710DVD

Subtitles: English

DVD Extras

  • Restored
  • Introduction by Serge Toubiana
  • Audio Commentary with Robert Lachenay
  • Screen Tests.

Film Stills

The 400 Blows The 400 Blows The 400 Blows The 400 Blows The 400 Blows The 400 Blows

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Community Reviews

by Anon on 4th January 2000

A masterpiece by "New Wave" director Francois Truffaut in his debut film. Antoine Doinel is a Parisian teenager who becomes a small time criminal in a desperate cry f... Read on


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