“400 Blows” French Film Screening


01/06/2023: French Film “400 Blows” directed by François Truffaut

Overview: 400 Blows (French: Les Quatre Cents Coups) is a 1959 French coming-of-age drama film. The most autobiographical of Truffaut’s films, 400 Blows follows a few months in the life of 12-year-old Antoine Doinel (Jean-Pierre Léaud) who, misunderstood and mistreated by his neglectful parents and repressive schoolteachers, seeks refuge in truancy, petty crime, and the cinema. The film’s French title actually means ‘raising hell’, and Antoine’s rebellion against rigid social norms, breaking out from the confinement of stifling classrooms or his parents’ cramped flat, is exhilaratingly captured in Henri Decaë’s lyrical location shooting on the streets of Paris.


  • All the young actors who unsuccessfully auditioned for the role of Antoine were used in the classroom scenes.
  • Ranked number 8 non-English-speaking film in the critics’ poll conducted by the BBC in 2018.
  • François Truffaut discovered Jean-Pierre Léaud after placing an ad in Paris Soir. The two would continue working together for the next 20 years.

“A small masterpiece from France” – The New York Times.

“One of the most esteemed classic films of the New French Wave” – MTV News


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