A Realistic Childhood in “The 400 Blows”

The 400 Blows, Fran├žois Truffaut‘s first feature film, does a wonderful job at capturing adolescence — and every minute of it will ring true for people who weren’t always on their best behaviour when they were kids. It’s one of Roger Ebert’s Great Movie picks: “The 400 Blows (1959) is one of the most intensely touching stories ever made about a young adolescent. Inspired by Truffaut’s own early life, it shows a resourceful boy growing up in Paris and apparently dashing headlong into a life of crime.” (Don’t read the whole review unless you’ve already seen the film.) Whether or not you relate to the main character, it’s difficult not to feel sympathy for him because although he gets into trouble, he’s not a bad kid; he’s just surrounded by stupid adults, at home, at school, everywhere. There isn’t much story to The 400 Blows, but it’s so well directed and acted and it all feels so genuine, it’s perfectly enjoyable just the way it is.

About Phillip

Phillip Cairns is a beekeeper in St. John's, Newfoundland, who writes about beekeeping at mudsongs.org.

One Reply to “A Realistic Childhood in “The 400 Blows””

  1. I watched one of the follow-ups movies called Stolen Kisses that follows the same character later in life just after he gets out of the army and finds a job as a PI and falls in love. The story is inconsequential. But the acting feels natural and charming. The main character is a bit odd but likeable. The movie easily more entertaining than most romantic comedies out of Hollywood. It may not be a 4 star movie, but it’s a good one. I recommend it.

    I also saw “Aliens vs Monsters” in 3D. I’ve seen enough 3D movies now to conclude that if a movie is in 3D, it means the only thing it has going for it is the 3D, and that ain’t much.

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