The 400 Blows (Les Quatre cents coups)
The 400 Blows (Les Quatre cents coups) (1959)

"The 400 Blows" marks the birth of legendary nouvelle vague character Antoine Doinel; his is the story of a 13-year-old wild child whose adventures were based on director Francois Truffaut's own adolescence.

Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: November 16, 1959
DVD Release Date: March 24, 1998
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Critic Score: 100% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: A seminal French New Wave film that offers an honest, sympathetic, and wholly heartbreaking observation of adolescence without trite nostalgia.

Nina Caplan
Time Out

One of the first glistening droplets of the French New Wave.

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Nick Pinkerton
Village Voice

A remarkable confluence of talents are at work here.

Josh Larsen

Truffaut imbues the movie with the irrepressible energy and optimism of youth.

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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune

Seems forever young.

Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader

Distinguished by its intensity of feeling and freewheeling use of the wide-screen frame, the film ranks among Truffaut's best.

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Fernando F. Croce

Childhood's frustrations for Truffaut are never far from its lilting delights

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Andrew O'Hehir

Forget my curmudgeonly attitude and see it -- again, or for the first time -- for yourself.

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Variety Staff

An engaging, moving film.

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Cole Smithey

Francois Truffaut's debut film not only galvanized the Nouvelle Vague movement of French cinema, but he also generated a personal filmic idiom that he would elaborate on for the rest of his career.

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Flixster Audience Score: 94% Flixster User Reviews
Alice Shen
In the decade or so since I first saw "Les Quatre cents coups" on that fateful day in film class, it has become one of those litmus test films, during… More
Tim Salmons
Along with maybe Saturday Night Fever, this is one of the best growing up stories ever put on film. I know that statement will probably send people through the… More
Kase Vollebregt
Francois Truffaut's directorial debut and great coming-of-age story 'The 400 Blows' stands as one of the best of its sub genre. With a great lead… More
familiar stranger
My bad; I should have known better. It's an enormous blow in the name of a film. But I've had worse that have enabled me to survive such blows.
Daniel Perry
Without a doubt, one of the best films ever made. This is Paris in 1968 before Paris in 1968. This is punk rock before punk rock, and what The Clash meant by… More
Chris Weber
This film marked the start of Francois Truffaut's careeer, as well as the start of the French New Wave of cinema. It's one of the most important and… More