The 400 blows

The 400 blows

DVD - 2006 | French
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The semi-autobiographical story of fourteen-year-old Antoine Doinel, portraying his aloof parents, oppressive teachers, petty crime, and a friendship that would last a lifetime. Also includes the short film, Antoine and Colette, which originally appeared as part of the film L'amour à vingt ans, picking up Antoine's story a few years later, when he is living on his own and pursuing his first love affair, initiating a lifelong career of quixotic dreams and amorous restlessness
Publisher: [New York, NY?] : Criterion Collection, 2006, 1959
Edition: Widescreen format
ISBN: 9781559409735
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (99 min.) : sd., b&w ; 4 3/4 in
Other Standard Identifier: 715515017527


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The 400 Blows is a brutally honest coming of age story set in 50s Paris, where normal and educated people begin to rebel and crumble at different speeds. Our protagonist and alter ego of Truffaut himself is Antoine Doinel, one of the best characters ever brought to screen, and his debut proves it. HIs passionlessness is amplified by the backdrop of the perceived high society of Paris and magnified by his equally apathetic but desperate parents. And the final scene is cinematic brilliance. This is a must for fans of foreign film.

From way back in 1959, it is one of the great classics of world cinema. This 2006 re-issue is particularly good, as it has all kinds of bonus features. I really enjoyed watching the audition of 14-year-old Jean-Pierre Leaud, who is the star of the movie (the title of which should be translated as something like "Sowing Wild Oats," rather by the literal, and nonsensical "400 Blows"). Leaud would go on to become Truffaut's favourite actor. Be sure to see him in «La Nuit Américaine», or "Day for Night."

Sep 04, 2013

Truly a touching piece. Truffaut's presentation of young Antoine's troubles was so heartfelt it made me wonder if I was witnessing his own biopic. And Antoine's portrayer, Jean-Pierre Léaud, was amazingly mature and gifted. A very good film.

Jul 27, 2013

a must see for every classic movie lover


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Sep 04, 2013

Psychiatrist: "Your parents say you're always lying." Antoine Doinel: "Oh, I lie now and then, I suppose. Sometimes I'd tell them the truth and they still wouldn't believe me, so I prefer to lie."


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