99 Min. | Crime – Drama | December 1959
IMDB Rating: 8.1
Director: François Truffaut
Starring: Jean-Pierre Léaud, Albert Rémy, Claire Maurier
The 400 Blows Review
The 400 Blows is all about simplicity, but that doesn’t stop it from being a masterpiece. Many times the most simple things are the best. Simplicity is often the right road to go far. François Truffaut must have directed The 400 Blows with all his dedication, heart and soul. It’s realistic, touching, sensitive and human. It does a very good job in showing the existence’s crisis faced by the teenagers, as well as showing how hard life can be in that complex phase of life. It also feels very nostalgic for many reasons, but it would take me forever to number them here.
Another thing which The 400 Blows triumphs is when it comes to settings by showing us the streets of Paris and many different areas of this city fondly known as the “City of Lights”. The soundtrack is magnificent, it sounds so sad, so deep, so intense and so beautiful. All in all, a wonderful movie, with very little to be improved. Even its ending is very expressive. There is something inspiring about that ending and it makes me wanna do the same thing. Antoine Doinel runs away to a beach, finally experiencing the sea. He wets his feet, but doesn’t take his shoes and socks off. That “freezed” final shot of him looking at the camera accents the originality and makes it more memorable.
Although of dramatic nature, there are elements of comedy in The 400 Blows. Certain scenes really make laugh like few movies do now. Antoine Doinel is often funny and so is his good friend René (brilliantly portrayed by Patrick Auffay). Richard Kanayan is hilarious in every scene he shows up, even though his role is minor and he barely talks. But the things he does, combined with his figure and the actor’s charisma and talent, make him hilarious. Guy Decomble is priceless as the impatient and short-tempered but hilarious French teacher, “fondly” nicknamed ‘Petite Feuille’ by his pupils. Just about all the kids are very good. Claire Maurier and Albert Rémy are interesting choices to play Antoine’s parents and they convince. Overall, The 400 Blows is an excellent film.
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