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The 400 Blows [DVD]

4.6 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Jean-Pierre Léaud, Claire Maurier, Albert Remy, Guy Decomble, Patrick Auffray
  • Directors: François Truffaut
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Artificial Eye
  • DVD Release Date: 11 Aug. 2014
  • Run Time: 99 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00JRXHDUQ
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,534 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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Product description

Product Description

Francois Truffaut's semi-autobiographical first feature stars Jean-Pierre Léaud as Antoine Doinel, an unruly young Parisian whose unhappiness leads him into trouble. Frequently running away from school and home, Antoine spends much of his time playing with his friends on the steets of the city; but events take a more serious turn when an accusation of plagiarism leads him to quit school and the theft of a typewriter lands him in trouble with the police.

Synopsis

Director Francois Truffaut's first feature film, The 400 Blows, is a landmark in French cinema. Antoine Doinel (Jean-Pierre Leaud) is a 13-year-old boy who can't seem to do anything right. His parents yell at him and then bribe him for his love and his promises to work harder in school. Meanwhile, his schoolteacher is out to get him and blames Antoine for everything--turning him into the class clown. As a result, Antoine runs away from school and his difficult family, living on the streets of Paris and committing petty crimes. While his life on the street is tough, it's much better than dealing with his preoccupied parents and his accusatory teacher. Nonetheless, things only go downhill for Antoine, descending to a simultaneously painful and beautiful conclusion.

A truly impressive film, The 400 Blows is raw, honest, and intensely emotional. Imbued with a strong and complex personality, Antoine maintains his poise and self-confidence, even as he endures abusive treatment from every adult he encounters. Rene Simonet (Patrick Auffray) is Antoine's one pal, and the unspoken dialogues between the boys, depicted by Truffaut through the boys' facial expressions and with masterful roving photography, allow the viewer to see through Antoine's eyes and understand his unflinching tenacity. Few films have captured the difficulties of childhood as well as this acclaimed French masterpiece. Essentially the start of the French New Wave movement, The 400 Blows is also the beginning of Truffaut's Antoine Doinel cycle, which follows Leaud as Antoine in four additional films over the course of 20 years. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer reviews

Top customer reviews

By Bill Rodick TOP 500 REVIEWER on 16 Aug. 2014
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I have so much to say about this film of inept adulthood and children caught in their draft. François Truffaut tells a great story with his camera. Yes, the film always looks interesting but it is the performances he draws from Jean-Pierre Léaud, who plays the boy at the centre of this story, and all other actors which really holds our attention.

The messages are shown not told. Parental greed has an innocent sheen. Everywhere: at home, at school, with the law, the woeful forces of 'control.' But the fascinating story also has many gorgeous scenes for us to view. I watched on projection this widescreen film (black bars top and bottom) of late 1950s Paris so packed with life and the kind of street scenes that only come from old black and white films. Somehow more real than colour.

It is a film of today. No film-maker would dare put adults in such a spotlight. Not Loach or Leigh or Polanski. They would have to go to some tabloid extreme to find their hits. Truffaut fills the screen with the kind of truth that is found only in the moment. The moment where you are. Intensified, of course, through the eyes of the young. The scene of a close-up of a mass of very young watching a puppet show says as much about diversion as it does of joy. Pure joy.

I can not fault this blu ray edition. The faintest of faint grain but the kind which does not detract from its often hand-held allure. We have the director to thank for always filling the screen. The Extras seem token but that is not the reason why you should experience this film, this intimate film of many places where a boy nearly grows.
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Format: DVD
This is one of my favourite films. I think it speaks for itself as greatest Francious Truffaut and one of the most beautiful films ever made. I defy anyone to not fall in love with Jean-Pierre Leaud's Antoine Doniel. Some of the reviewers on this page are complaining that the subtitles are bad translations. This may be true - I dont speak much French. but what i'd like to say is that I thought the use of words such as 'ya', was meant to emphasise that they were speaking in 'parisian slang'. I found this adorable when the two boys were conversing with each other. The contradiction of the way they talk to each other like workingclass men, who are fed up with the world and their mischevous, work-shy, adolescent behaviour is highly amusing. Please dont be put off by the bad comments. If you do not yet own this film, you will be in for an absolute delight
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Format: DVD
Tears streamed down my face at the end of this film. It is just one of the most moving scenes in film history - often copied and imitated. The story of a neglected child and an unfair and judgemental society is simple, yet so brilliant.
Leaud plays a mischievous, yet normal boy whose mother and father hold an ambivalent relationship towards him. They are not necessarily malevolent people, but they have a misunderstanding towards their son - they represent the majority of parents who fail to nurture their children through society's attitudes and misgivings.
The elegance of the music and direction is so smooth and heightens the profound nature of the story. Truffaut's style has been plagiarised by so many great directors from Scorsese to Altman to Paul Thomas Anderson, its flowing and oozing sentiment.
If you don't like crying or being touched then definitely don't watch this film. Its sensitive, stirring and sincere. It pulls slowly yet cleverely at your heartstrings without brusque devices. Also, this film is proof that you can find very talented children that can act - unlike the awful child fodder poured out today.
Don't hesitate to buy this film, whatever the price!
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Format: DVD
Les 400 coups was Truffaut’s first feature film. Truffaut was only 27 when the movie was released. The film had a big success at the Cannes Festival (it won the prize for Best Director) and it was nominated for an Oscar for Best Writing, Story and Screenplay – Written Directly for the Screen.

The screenplay was written by Truffaut (with dialogs by Marcel Moussy). Les 400 coups is a semi-autobiographic film. Just like Antoine Doinel, also Truffaut hated school, loved cinema, had parents who hardly were at home, and was in jail for theft.

Jean-Pierre Léaud was Truffaut’s alter-ego and played Antoine Doinel in 4 more movies: Antoine et Colette (one of the 5 short stories of L’amour à vingt ans, 1962), Baisers volés (1968), Domicile conjugal (1970), and L’amour en fuite (1979).

Antoine’s scenes with the psychologist (where we only see Antoine) were the most important scenes for Truffaut. The answers were improvised by Léaud. Truffaut gave Léáud some clues before, but the lines are Léaud’s. Léaud’s performance is breathtaking and amazingly natural.

A few days ago I was trying to figure out who Jean-Pierre Léaud reminds of in his role of Antoine Doinel. He reminded me of another boy from another movie, another talented young actor, but I couldn’t find out who it was. Suddenly, I thought of the young Christian Bale in his role of Jim in Empire of the Sun (1987): same sad glance, same lost innocence… don’t both actors have indeed a similar touch?
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