The 400 Blows
1959, NR, 99 min. Directed by François Truffaut. Starring Jean-Pierre Léaud, Patrick Auffay, Claire Maurier, Albert Rémy.
REVIEWED By Marjorie Baumgarten, Thu., Nov. 4, 1999
Along with Godard’s Breathless, The 400 Blows is one of the films that announced the arrival of the French New Wave. Still perhaps Truffaut’s most affecting film, The 400 Blows tells the story of a young boy and his petty crimes and mischief. The famous freeze frame of the boy at the fence that concludes the movie is one of the most quoted images in the history of cinema. The film also marks the debut of Truffaut’s alter-ego Antoine Doinel, played throughout the years by Jean-Pierre Léaud.