The 400 Blows (Les Quarte Cents Coups)

Director: Francois Truffaut
Screenwriters: Francois Truffaut

Institute History

  • 1985 Sundance Film Festival


The 400 Blows, Truffaut’s first feature, burst upon the international scene to quickly become a classic of contemporary cinema and a key film of the developing French New Wave. The young Antoine Doniel stumbles through life thoroughly misunderstand at home and in school. In succession he runs away from family, school and reformatory, roaming the streets of Paris and eventually escaping from the city altogether. The plot line is simple enough but the character of Antoine is handled by Truffaut with great care and sensitivity, giving his young actor a painful and premature wisdom of the world. His inarticulate sorrow is experienced in complete isolation and we leave him at film’s end in a profound state of loss and apprehension, free but utterly alone.

Screening Details

  • Section: Highlights: Petit, Truffaut, Passer, Corman's Prodigies
  • Film Type: Dramatic Feature
  • Country: France
  • Run Time: 94 min.
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