The 400 Blows The 400 Blows

The 400 Blows

François Truffaut

The 400 Blows (Criterion Blu-Ray)


1 Disc

SRP: $39.95

Criterion Store price:$31.96

  • France
  • 1959
  • 99 minutes
  • Black and White
  • 2.35:1
  • French
  • Spine #5

François Truffaut’s first feature is also his most personal. Told from the point of view of Truffaut’s cinematic counterpart, Antoine Doinel (Jean-Pierre Léaud), The 400 Blows (Les quatre cents coups) sensitively re-creates the trials of Truffaut’s own childhood, unsentimentally portraying aloof parents, oppressive teachers, and petty crime. The film marked Truffaut’s passage from leading critic to trailblazing auteur of the French New Wave.

Disc Features

  • Restored high-definition digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Two audio commentaries, one by cinema professor Brian Stonehill and the other by director François Truffaut’s lifelong friend Robert Lachenay
  • Rare audition footage of Jean-Pierre Léaud, Patrick Auffay, and Richard Kanayan
  • Newsreel footage from the film’s showing at Cannes
  • Excerpt from a 1965 interview with Truffaut in which he discusses his youth, his critical writings, and the origins of the character Antoine Doinel
  • Excerpt from a 1960 interview with Truffaut about the global reception of The 400 Blows and his own critical view of the film
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: An essay by film scholar Annette Insdorf

    Cover by Lucien S. Y. Yang

Film Essays


The 400 Blows: Close to Home

By Annette Insdorf April 08, 2014

François Truffaut moved cinema forward by looking back at his own troubled past. Read more »

Photo Galleries

On Five


From the Truffaut Archives

February 06, 2016

Today marks what would have been the eighty-fourth birthday of French New Wave pioneer François Truffaut. In celebration of his incredible life and body of work, revisit a selection of essays . . . Read more »



​Hou Hsiao-hsien on the Films That Changed His Life

By Hillary Weston October 20, 2015

Taiwanese filmmaker Hou Hsiao-hsien is back with an awe-inspiring martial-arts epic. Read more »



Flashback: François Truffaut

By Peter Cowie March 19, 2015

The author recalls his encounters and correspondence with the filmmaker. Read more »


Film Essays


The 400 Blows: Close to Home

By Annette Insdorf April 08, 2014

François Truffaut moved cinema forward by looking back at his own troubled past. Read more »


Photo Galleries


Truffaut: A Look Back

August 18, 2010

UPDATE 14OCT2010: It seems that we at Criterion, or at least our subtitles, have gotten caught up in a bit of a controversy with regard to the article that we linked to here. Some sharp readers . . . Read more »


Into the Archives: A Conversation with Emmanuel Laurent

May 19, 2010

Plenty of ink has been expended over the years on the turbulent friendship between Jean-Luc Godard and François Truffaut, which helped define the French New Wave in the 1960s. Now those stories . . . Read more »


Off the Shelf

May 06, 2010

For its June issue, Sight & Sound has conducted a poll of fifty-one leading critics and writers, asking them to select the best, “most inspirational” books about film ever written. The . . . Read more »


Beaucoup de Truffaut

April 07, 2010

The smart folks at the niftily designed film website Not Coming to a Theater Near You are in the midst of a monthlong feature titled Love on the Run: The Films of François Truffaut. One essay . . . Read more »



April 26, 2009

The British film magazine Sight & Sound dedicates its May issue to the fiftieth anniversary of the French New Wave, which it dates to the first screening of François Truffaut’s The 400 Blows . . . Read more »


“The Face of the French Cinema Has Changed”

By Jean-Luc Godard April 21, 2009

Fifty years ago today . . . Godard wrote this New Wave battle cry for the April 22, 1959, issue of the French journal Arts, on the news of François Truffaut’s The 400 Blows being selected to . . . Read more »


Bazin Season

By Colin MacCabe December 21, 2008

André Bazin has a curious status in intellectual life. He is everywhere admitted as the founding father of film criticism and theory in general. The magazine he created in the 1950s, Cahiers du . . . Read more »


Jack C.

Updated 12/12/2017


Jaye S.

Updated 12/13/2017

Greg S.

Updated 12/11/2017

Adam Vyfhuis

Updated 11/27/2017

Andris L.

Updated 11/22/2017

Kevin L.

Updated 11/20/2017


Updated 12/01/2017


Cool C.

Updated 11/19/2017


Updated 11/17/2017


Jonathon Kolata

Updated 11/17/2017


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