The 400 Blows [Criterion Collection] [2 Discs] [Blu-ray/DVD] [1959]

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Overview

Special Features

  • Two Audio Commentaries, one by cinema professor Brian Stonehill and the other by Director François Truffaut's lifelong friend Robert Lachenay
  • Rare audition footage of Jean-Pierre Léaud, Patrick Auffay, and Richard Kanayan
  • Newsreel footage from the film's showing at Cannes
  • Excerpt from a 1965 interview with Truffaut in which he discusses his youth, his critical writings, and the origins of the character Antoine Doinel
  • Excerpt from a 1960 interview with Truffaut about the global reception of The 400 Blows and his own critical view of the film
  • Trailer
  • Plus: An essay by film scholar Annette Insdorf

Synopsis

The 400 Blows
For his feature-film debut, critic-turned-director François Truffaut drew inspiration from his own troubled childhood. The 400 Blows stars Jean-Pierre Léaud as Antoine Doinel, Truffaut's preteen alter ego. Misunderstood at home by his parents and tormented in school by his insensitive teacher (Guy Decomble), Antoine frequently runs away from both places. The boy finally quits school after being accused of plagiarism by his teacher. He steals a typewriter from his father (Albert Remy) to finance his plans to leave home. The father angrily turns Antoine over to the police, who lock the boy up with hardened criminals. A psychiatrist at a delinquency center probes Antoine's unhappiness, which he reveals in a fragmented series of monologues. Originally intended as a 20-minute short, The 400 Blows was expanded into a feature when Truffaut decided to elaborate on his self-analysis. For the benefit of Truffaut's fellow film buffs, The 400 Blows is full of brief references to favorite directors, notably Truffaut's then-idol Jean Vigo. The film won the 1959 Best Director prize at the Cannes Film Festival, even though Truffaut had been declared persona non grata the year before for his inflammatory comments about the festival's commercialism. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Jean-Pierre Léaud
    Jean-Pierre Léaud - Antoine Doinel
  • Image coming soon
    Robert Beauvais - School Director
  • Claire Maurier
    Claire Maurier - Mme. Doinel
  • Albert Remy
    Albert Remy - M. Doinel
  • Image coming soon
    Patrick Auffay - Rene Bigey
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