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Les Quatre Cents Coups (1959)

Drama | 99 minutes
3,70 484 votes

Genre: Drama

Duration: 99 minuten

Alternative titles: The 400 Blows / De Vierhonderd Slagen

Country: France

Directed by: François Truffaut

Stars: Jean-Pierre Léaud, Claire Maurier and Albert Rémy

IMDb score: 8,1 (128.313)

Releasedate: 3 June 1959

Les Quatre Cents Coups plot

"Angel faces hell-bent for violence."

Twelve-year-old Antoine Doinel lives with his mother and stepfather in a tiny apartment in Paris. His mother has a head full of worries with her son, lack of money and a lover at work. His stepfather is a kind man but feels little affection towards the boy. Both are often away from home and pay little attention to Antoine. At school, Antoine is branded a troublemaker; when a pin-up sheet is passed around the classroom, it is just in his hands when the teacher takes it. Things go from bad to worse and Antoine starts skipping school. He ends up on the street and fills his time with going to the movies and playing mischief...

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Full Cast & Crew

Actors and actresses

Antoine Doinel

Gilberte Doinel

Julien Doinel

Director of the school

English Teacher

French Teacher

Betrand Mauricet

Reviews & comments


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avatar van arno74


  • 8700 messages
  • 3342 votes

Les 400 Coups is mainly a sympathetic film about a little boy who, as the title suggests, has to endure quite a bit, who goes from very innocent things such as being caught in class with a pin-up picture to ending up in a juvenile detention center. What starts very innocently gradually takes on more serious forms. It's my first Truffaut ( ), a film with a lot of solidity and a story that is easy to look at, although nowadays I don't think it as "social youth drama" the absolute pinnacle of that genre. A decent 3.5* is in it, partly because of the authentic acting.

dutch flagTranslated from Dutch · View original

avatar van Filmkriebel


  • 9030 messages
  • 4174 votes

Truffaut's debut was immediately good for an award in Cannes. Children behind bars, it reminded me of De Sica (Sciuscia) but without firing any political message. Truffaut makes you feel the bad feeling of being unwanted and rejected and the fact that the boy doesn't really deserve his fate makes it extra dramatic. Because Doinel is not the worst, only there is nothing that plays in his favor in life. Yes, I didn't feel good about it, especially when the mother unlovingly proclaims that he is better off in the penitentiary , which must be very traumatizing for a child to hear. The much-discussed last shot is mysterious. Yes, I am also sold for this Truffaut and especially the melancholy that expresses it.

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avatar van Fisico

Fisico (moderator films)

  • 8530 messages
  • 4785 votes

My first encounter with Truffaut actually. We follow the life of the young Antoine. As a naughty boy, Antoine sometimes plays pranks and now and then he does, witness the theft of that typewriter. Bit of a Ciske De Rat the French way and without money worries. Truffaut emphasizes the lack of parental authority because his stepfather and mother are rarely present. Fortunately not really a derailed home situation (of a loose-handed or addicted stepfather), but just the sketch of a teenager who feels misunderstood.

Truffaut also imposes a kind of social criticism when the youth institution comes on the scene. This archaic detached and repressive view is now pedagogically completely obsolete. Technically a very good film with excellent camera work and cinematography. There was also the acting.

dutch flagTranslated from Dutch · View original