Urban Cinefile
"The biggest change was that Aladdin had a mother - with a nice ballad. But we lost the mother and pushed the romance up front."  -Ron Clements, co-producer, co-director and co-writer of Disney's Aladdin
 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Wednesday, October 18, 2017 

Search SEARCH FOR A DVD
Our Review Policy OUR REVIEW POLICY
Printable page PRINTABLE PAGE

Help/Contact

400 BLOWS, THE: DVD

SYNOPSIS: 
A mature 12 year old, Antoine (Jean-Pierre Leaud), has troubles at home and at school. Ignored by his parents, his relationship with his mother is strained further when he discovers she has taken a lover. His teachers write him off as a useless troublemaker without prospects. Isolated and unloved, he finds refuge in the cinema, but soon finds it imperative to break free and search the world for something of value. 


Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Based on Truffaut’s own fatherless, troubled childhood, The 400 Blows comes straight from the heart, with all the sensitivity and truth of youth, about a young boy who is given punishment when he is crying out for love and attention. The Antoine (Jean-Pierre Leaud) we get to know is misunderstood and unlucky, and Truffaut uses no cinematic artifice, just his natural gift for filmmaking to take us into this world. He won the Best Director award at Cannes in 1959, and the film received Oscar and BAFTA nominations in various categories. It is also regarded as the film that launched the French Novelle-Vague, pioneering not just an era of new cinema, but a revolution in the language of cinema. 

On the DVD (digitally remastered transfer, but still in B/W not colour as the flyer has it), you can explore Truffaut’s cinematic style closely and repeatedly. See how he holds the camera on Antoine, for example, through a bitter, revealing row between his parents, as the young boy lies in the darkness of his bed hearing his mother accuse his father of not wanting him. Of suggesting an orphanage… But Truffaut isn’t as heavy handed as this makes it sound. Indeed, it’s the subtlety of the screenplay that impresses.

The only ‘bonus’ is Truffaut’s 18 minute short, Les Miston (the Brats), a bitter sweet and tragedy-tinted story about youngsters and a beautiful young woman. 

Published October 16, 2003

Email this article

400 BLOWS, THE: DVD (PG)
(France, 1959)

Les Quatre cents coups

CAST: Jean-Pierre Laud, Claire Maurier, Albert Remy, Guy Decomble, Georges Flamant, Patrick Auffray, Daniel Coutourier

DIRECTOR: Francois Truffaut

RUNNING TIME: 95 minutes

PRESENTATION: 16:9; DD 2.0

SPECIAL FEATURES: Les Miston, by Francois Truffaut (1957, 18 mins)

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Umbrella Entertainment

DVD RELEASE: September 12, 2003







© Urban Cinefile 1997 - 2017