The 400 Blows (Les Quatre cents coups)
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The 400 Blows (Les Quatre cents coups)
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… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"One of the first glistening droplets of the French New Wave."
‑ Nina Caplan, Time Out
"A remarkable confluence of talents are at work here."
‑ Nick Pinkerton, Village Voice
"Truffaut's ode to his childhood is an engrossing watch that is alluring in its simplicity and brilliant in its direction. It flows nicely at its own pace, never allowing melodrama to ruin its realistic and voyeuristic atmosphere."
‑ Matthew Pejkovic, Matt's Movie Reviews
"François Truffaut's iconoclastic feature debut and one of the most enduring examples of the French New Wave."
‑ Jon Fortgang, Film4
"Henri Decae's black and white photography helped Truffaut enormously but what the director himself provides is a sense that though there is no easy answer to the problems of growing up, there is a hope that will never be wholly denied."
‑ , This is London
"Seems forever young."
‑ Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune
"Distinguished by its intensity of feeling and freewheeling use of the wide-screen frame, the film ranks among Truffaut's best."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"Truffaut brought a fresh and piercingly honest portrayal of troubled youth to the screen. In many ways, Antonie Doinel is not only the cinematic embodiment of Truffaut, but also the French New Wave as a whole."
‑ Radheyan Simonpillai, AskMen.com
"What is there to say about The 400 Blows that hasn't already been said?"
‑ Sukhdev Sandhu, Daily Telegraph
"Vibrant, visually exciting and emotionally resonant."
‑ Nick Dawson, Empire Magazine
"Forget my curmudgeonly attitude and see it -- again, or for the first time -- for yourself."
‑ Andrew O'Hehir, Salon.com
"An engaging, moving film."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"Truffault's masterpiece. Timeless and true, heartbreakingly sad."
‑ Dan Jardine, Apollo Guide
"It's a cornerstone of the French New Wave, and one of the greatest movies about childhood, from anywhere, ever."
‑ Anthony Quinn, Independent
"Distinguished by its naturalistic, quasi-documentary approach and an extraordinary central performance from the 12-year-old Jean-Pierre Léaud, this is a blisteringly authentic story."
‑ Wendy Ide, Times [UK]
More reviews for The 400 Blows (Les Quatre cents coups) on Rotten Tomatoes