François Truffaut

The 400 Blows

The 400 Blows

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.

Film Info

Special 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

Purchase Options

Collector's Sets

Collector's Set

Essential Art House: 50 Years of Janus Films

Essential Art House: 50 Years of Janus Films

DVD Box Set

50 Discs

Ships Dec 27, 2019

$650.00

Collector's Set

The Adventures of Antoine Doinel

The Adventures of Antoine Doinel

DVD Box Set

5 Discs

$79.96

Out Of Print

Special 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
The 400 Blows
Cast
Jean-Pierre Léaud
Antoine Doinel
Claire Maurier
Madame Doinel
Albert Rémy
Monsieur Doinel
Guy Decomble
Teacher (“Little Quiz”)
Georges Flamant
Monsieur Bigey
Patrick Auffay
René Bigey
Daniel Couturier
The children
François Nocher
Richard Kanayan
Renaud Fontanarosa
Michel Girard
Henry Moati
Bernard Abbou
Jean-François Bergouignan
Michel Lesignor
Credits
Director
François Truffaut
Original story by
François Truffaut
Adaptation by
Marcel Moussy
Adaptation by
François Truffaut
Dialogue by
Marcel Moussy
Director of photography
Henri Decaë
Camera operator
Jean Rabier
Camera assistant
Alain Levent
Editors
Marie Josèphe Yoyotte
Editors
Cécile Decugis
Editors
Michèle de Possel
Music
Jean Constantin
Producer
Georges Charlot
Production supervisors
Jean Lavie
Production supervisors
Robert Lachenay
Assistant directors
Philippe de Broca
Assistant directors
Alain Jeannel
Assistant directors
Francis Cognany
Assistant directors
Robert Bober
Props
Raymond Le Moigne

From The Current

Jean-Pierre Léaud Auditions
Jean-Pierre Léaud Auditions
Jean-Pierre Léaud defines the word precocious in this charming 16 mm footage of the confident teenager’s audition for François Truffaut’s The 400 Blows. As we know, the rest is history. You can see more from Léaud’s audition (including some …
The 400 Blows: Close to Home
The 400 Blows: Close to Home
François Truffaut’s first feature, The 400 Blows (Les Quatre cents coups), was more than a semi-autobiographical film; it was also an elaboration of what the French New Wave directors would embrace as the caméra-stylo (camera-as-pen) whose écrit…

By Annette Insdorf

From the Truffaut Archives
From the Truffaut Archives
Today marks the birthday of French New Wave pioneer François Truffaut. In celebration of his incredible life and body of work, revisit a selection of essays and Criterion supplements dedicated to the brilliant filmmaker and cinephile: “The face o…
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Hou Hsiao-hsien on the Films That Changed His Life

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

By Hillary Weston

Letters from Truffaut

Flashbacks

Letters from Truffaut

The author recalls his encounters and correspondence with the filmmaker.

By Peter Cowie

Explore

François Truffaut

Writer, Director

François Truffaut
François Truffaut

A lifelong cinephile, François Truffaut first made his cinematic mark as a fiery, contentious critic for Cahiers du cinéma in the 1950s, denouncing the French film industry's bloated "tradition of quality" and calling for the director to be redefined as the auteur, or individual author, of the film. Truffaut then became an auteur himself, starting with The 400 Blows, which won him the best director award at Cannes and led the French new-wave charge. The 400 Blows remains Truffaut’s seminal film, yet he continued to reinvigorate cinema throughout the sixties, with such thrilling works as Shoot the Piano Player and Jules and Jim. Truffaut also continued to follow the adventures of 400 Blows protagonist Antoine Doinel—embodied by Jean-Pierre Léaud—through the seventies (Stolen Kisses, Bed and Board, Love on the Run), while directing such other classics as Day for Night and The Last Metro, which displayed his undying love for cinema and life. His own life was tragically cut short at the age of fifty-two.