movie film review | chris tookey
 
     
     
 

Four Hundred Blows: / The 400 Blows / Les Quatre Cents Coups / Four Hundred Blows

 (A)
© Unknown - all rights reserved
     
  Four Hundred Blows:  / The 400 Blows  / Les Quatre Cents Coups / Four Hundred Blows Review
Tookey's Rating
8 /10
 
Average Rating
9.67 /10
 
Starring
Jean-Pierre Leaud , Claire Maurier, Albert Remy
Full Cast >
 

Directed by: Francois Truffaut
Written by: Francois Truffaut

 
 
 
Released: 1958
   
Genre: DRAMA
RITES-OF-PASSAGE
FOREIGN
   
Origin: France
   
Length: 94
 
 


 
PRO Reviews

Bookmark and Share
"Time will tell how much Truffaut has to say; in the meantime he, and this movie, bear watching."
(Playboy)
"One of the greatest movies ever made."
(Rex Reed)
"In every frame... Truffaut's force and intelligence are felt. He has a remarkable control of his medium and of himself."
(Time)
"One of the most beautiful films that I have ever seen."
(Akira Kurosawa)
"I have never been so moved at the cinema."
(Jean Cocteau)
"The first masterpiece of the New Wave."
(Jonas Mekas, Film Culture)
“Les 400 Coups is not a masterpiece. So much the better for Francois Truffaut! In the first place the word has been so debased that it finally becomes meaningless. Next, and above all, with a masterpiece in his pocket at twenty-seven Truffaut would really have something to worry about - he would have to spend his life trying to shed the burden. Les 400 Coups is better than a masterpiece. Together with Hiroshima Mon Amour, it is one of the two most original films made in France since the war."
(Fereydoun Hoveyda, Cahiers du Cinema)
"The narrative is boldly fluent. Sympathetic, amused, reminded, occasionally puzzled, you are carried along with it. I don't think you will get away before the end."
(Dilys Powell)
"Stylistically Truffaut has a marvellous command... The images effortlessly carry the narrative... The cinema achieves one of its pure moments of catharsis."
(David Robinson, Financial Times)
"A masterly and moving story... [The final freezeframe is] a tremendous full-stop to a record of childhood unsurpassed by any other I have seen."
(Alexander Walker, Evening Standard)
"Although the film is relatively simple, Truffaut effectively uses cinematic technique to express the conflict between a spontaneous individual and a restrictive society ... There is continual motion ... enhanced by a flow of lyrical music, but also periodically interrupted by static scenes in confining places."
(Marsha Kinder & Beverle Houston, Close-Up, A Critical Perspective on Film)
"A perfect short story of puberty... all the rapt qualities of adventure and instinct."
(New Statesman, 1961)
"The central artistic idea is freedom, both in human relationships and in film technique... The 400 Blows ranges from sentimental travelling shots of Antoine's tear-stained face, underscored by Jean Constantin's lush music; to improvised, candid comic scenes in the schoolroom, echoing Vigo's candid work with school children; to a cinema verite interview between Antoine and a prying social worker; to agonizingly long, subjective travelling shots as Antoine escapes the reform school and races toward the sea. The film then ends with a deliberately startling surprise, a freeze-frame of the boy staring ahead, presumably implying the ambiguity of the future that lies ahead of him."
(Gerald Mast, A Short History of the Movies, 1971)

Key to Symbols