THE 400 BLOWS (1959) [feature]

(MIFF 2014 )

"One of the most tender and loving depictions of childhood in cinema." – Senses of Cinema

In 1959, a 27-year-old French film critic by the name of François Truffaut made his first full-length film: a warm, bittersweet tale of a marginalised, misunderstood adolescent whose inability to adhere to society's confines sees him pegged as a troublemaker.

One of the cornerstones of the French New Wave, a film that helped free mainstream art cinema from self-imposed stagnation, The 400 Blows remains a resonant depiction of rebellion and solitude. It also introduced the world to a then-teenaged Jean-Pierre Léaud, whose portrayal of youthful melancholy reflected the malaise of a generation and paved the way for a brilliant acting career.

Winner of the Best Director prize at the 1959 Cannes Film Festival.

"One of the most intensely touching stories ever made about a young adolescent." – Roger Ebert

For further information on The 400 Blows, read the Senses of Cinema dossier.

Select Festival

Search the film archive