The 400 Blows

The 400 Blows (François Truffaut, 1959) aka Les quatre cents coups

Story of a young boy who, left without attention, delves into a life of petty crime.

Jean-Pierre Léaud, Claire Maurier, Albert Rémy

This is the first of five Truffaut films in the semi-autobiographical Antoine Doinel series, Jean-Pierre Léaud playing the main character in each of them, in 1959, 1962, 1968, 1970, and 1979. In this first film, which I saw (unforgettably) soon after its first release, Doinel skips school and turns to street life and petty crime in response to neglect at home by his parents. He later escapes from a reform school and runs until the end of the film when at last he turns and looks into the camera in closeup, in one of the most memorable endings I've ever seen.

'Faire le 400 coups' means 'to raise hell'.

IMDb entry
Wikipedia entry


Garry Gillard | New: 23 March, 2017 | Now: 27 March, 2017