The 400 Blows

Les Quatre cents coups

François TruffautFrance99 minutes195914AB&WFrench

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François Truffaut's autobiographical first feature, chronicling the misadventures of his 12-year-old delinquent hero Antoine Doinel (Jean-Pierre Léaud), was an international sensation and a clarion call for the emerging French New Wave.

A foundation film in the French New Wave movement, Francois Truffaut's debut feature tells the story of misunderstood 14-year-old Parisian Antoine Doinel (Jean-Pierre Léaud). Mishandled by his parents and teachers, Antoine quits school and endeavours to run away after he's caught plagiarizing the writings of Balzac.

The 400 Blows is a quintessential coming-of-age story — yet its themes of adolescent rebellion and longing are treated unsentimentally. Inspired by Truffaut's own childhood (the Doinel character, always portrayed by Léaud, would appear in four more of his films between 1962 and 1979), it's also a deeply personal love letter to cinema and its power to move us in extraordinary ways.


I love this movie because of its honesty surrounding adolescence, identity, and rebellion. A French New Wave classic, it's a must see for any film-goer! — Chloe Bhumgara, TIFF Next Wave Committee

DramaViolenceComing of Age