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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Antoine And The Art Of MovieMaking
For my money, "The Adventures of Antoine Doinel" might be my favorite Criterion release. Period. One of the reasons I respect Criterion (and not every choice is a slam dunk) is that it allows regular people to really learn about cinema. As someone who attended graduate school in film, I feel as if my education and appreciation has never waned due to the influx of great...
Published on October 1, 2006 by K. Harris

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11 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Antoine Doinel Antoine Doinel Antoine Doinel Antoine Doinel
I happily added this to my basket after reading the enthusiastic reviews here. I'm disappointed by the later films in the set, which seem only to regurgitate the shenanigans of the character we know so well.

400 Blows is a masterpiece, that happens also to be very truthful and touching. While watching, few people could help being reminded of the difficult times...
Published on January 1, 2005 by Erik Andersen


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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Antoine And The Art Of MovieMaking, October 1, 2006
This review is from: Francois Truffaut's Adventures of Antoine Doinel (The 400 Blows / Antoine & Collette / Stolen Kisses / Bed & Board / Love on the Run) (The Criterion Collection) (DVD)
For my money, "The Adventures of Antoine Doinel" might be my favorite Criterion release. Period. One of the reasons I respect Criterion (and not every choice is a slam dunk) is that it allows regular people to really learn about cinema. As someone who attended graduate school in film, I feel as if my education and appreciation has never waned due to the influx of great choices on DVD. The constant improvement of special features and supplemental material adds a new level to the movie going experience. This set alone has scores of pertinent interviews, commentaries, a short, promotional art and a 72 page book of contemporary essays and Truffault's own notes.

Now, I had seen "The 400 Blows" several times--but I had not been introduced to the other 4 films that represent the saga of Antoine Doinel. And like some other reviewers, I will not dissect each disc--but leave some overall impressions. "The 400 Blows" is considered one of Truffault's masterpieces--not only was it instrumental in initiating the French New Wave movement, it's just a great entertaining film!

And it doesn't stop there. Every film, to me, succeeded on the level of entertainment. Some people think that the later films are lesser works--and surely they are less significant on an individual basis than "The 400 Blows." But I loved them. Any one of them, taken out of context, is worth seeing--if for no other reason than entertainment value. There is much humor, sweetness, romance, and trouble to be had in the misadventures of Doinel.

Taken together, however, I think this set is a towering achievement! It's a real pleasure to spend 20 years with the same director, the same actor and the same character! You see how these components interact and evolve. How often do you get a chance to sit down and live a life with someone? By compiling the set together and watching it together--you are experience history. A good story and entertaining films, YES--but you are also growing and aging with a phenomenal director, his iconic antihero, and the film movement. The whole experience was magical and enthralling and I definitely recommend it to anyone who really loves film! KGHarris, 10/06.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank You Criterion, July 30, 2003
By 
P. Smith "PedroMiguel" (Fresno, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Francois Truffaut's Adventures of Antoine Doinel (The 400 Blows / Antoine & Collette / Stolen Kisses / Bed & Board / Love on the Run) (The Criterion Collection) (DVD)
There isn't much I can say about Truffaut that hasn't been stated already. The man is a genius. You can sense his love of life in every frame of his films.
I never thought I'd have much interest in French film or culture. Hitchcock was and still is my favorite director of them all. Once I learned how much Truffaut respected Hitch I became more interested in his works. What a happy accident that at the exact same time Criterion released this set. I think The 400 Blows was nearly impossible to find. Before this collection, all Criterion editions had sold out.
As for plot, amazon has already provided all that you need to know. What is important is the character of Doinel; a charming, infuriating, idealistic, romantic, ridiculous manchild. How many movies document most of a character's life? Especially one that outwardly leads a somewhat ordinary life.
You can't really categorize any of these movies as sequels since not that much is repeated. The consistencies among the movies ring true to real life. (ex. recurring characters like the tall longhaired guy, Antoine ogling his latest 'apparition'.)
The only let down was Love On The Run. The character of Sabine wasn't that fascinating, and you cared more about Claude Jade's character than her. There were way too many flashbacks too. But much of that is forgiven due to the 'discovery' Antoine makes.
If you tend to overdose on life, then you must see this series. The only other Truffaut film I've managed to see otherwise is Day For Night, but I wholeheartedly encourage you to see that too.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Looks like a treasure chest, and it is one indeed., December 7, 2003
By 
Amazon Customer "absicht" (Chicago, IL United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Francois Truffaut's Adventures of Antoine Doinel (The 400 Blows / Antoine & Collette / Stolen Kisses / Bed & Board / Love on the Run) (The Criterion Collection) (DVD)
I am very partial to all of Truffaut's movies, and I am very partial to all the DVDs released by Criterion Collection. To write a review about both of them is bound to be a praise over and over. These movies, masterfully transferred by Criterion, are some of the most memorable treasures of all time. Truffaut has that rare gift of storytelling, and these are some of the finest examples. Lucid and honest, yet never so obvious, the stories are told as if an intimate secret from a friend. Stolen Kisses, in particular, will make you rethink about the much loved-or-despised genre called romantic comedy. The previous previewers have done an excellent job, so I shouldn't even go further to explain every one in the series. The only thing I can add is that whether you watch movies analytically or for pure pleasure, these movies will not betray you.
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22 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best Criterion releases yet., November 25, 2004
By 
Ted "Ted" (Pennsylvania, USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Francois Truffaut's Adventures of Antoine Doinel (The 400 Blows / Antoine & Collette / Stolen Kisses / Bed & Board / Love on the Run) (The Criterion Collection) (DVD)
In this 5 disc set, the five Antoine Doinel films are released. All are by François Truffaut.

The first film, "The 400 Blows" or "Le Quatre Cents Coups" was previouslly released by the Criterion Collection but was taken out of print until this version was released. Truffaut based it loosely on his own troubled adolescence. It follows 14 year old Antoine Doinel's youth playing hooky from school, later running away from home and eventually sent to a juvenile deliquent center.

The second film "Antoine and Collette" or ""Antoine et Colette" was originally a segment of a film titled "L'Amour à vingt ans" or "Love at Twenty" It follows his life as he is in his late teens working in a phonograph record factory.

The third film, "Stolen Kisses" or "Baisers volés" covers his dishonorable discharge from the army, his reunion with his girlfriend, and subsequent attempts to find a steady job

The fourth film, "Bed & Board" or "Domicile conjugal" skips ahead to after he is married. It covers his wife's pregnancy, his son's birth, and an adulterous affair he has with a Japanese woman.

The fifth and final film, "Love on the Run" or "L'Amour en fuite" covers the process of his divorce and reunion with an ex flame.

The films wer made between 1959 and 1979 and Jean-Pierre Léaud reprises his role for each film. The films are very impressive and quite rare for there to be series like this. Each film has some fine secenes and some interesting comedy. The acting is good and many scenes are well photographed.

The box set has some excellent special features also.

out of the five discs, four are numbered. For describing the special features, I will list the unnumbered disc as the last one.

Disc one contains the first two films. 400 Blows and Antoine & Colette. The supplements for the 400 Blows are similar to ones in the out of print version. There are two audio commentaries. One is by film professor, Brian Stonehill and the other is by Robert Lachenay who was a lifelong friend of François Truffaut. The commentary by Lachenay is in French with subtitles. There is also audition footage for three of the child actors in the film. Jean-Pierre Léaud who played Antoine, Patrick Auffay, who played Rene, and Richard Kanayan who played Abbou. There is also footage of Jean-Pierre at the Cannes film festival for the screening of the film and a theatrical trailer. There are also two television interviews with François Truffaut about the making of the film.

It also contains the short film, Antoine and Colette.

Disc two contains the film Stolen Kisses along with the following special features:

There is News footage of Truffaut's participation in the sucessful attempt to shut down the 1968 Canne Film Festival to support students and striking workers, a TV spot of Truffaut and Jean-Luc Goddard showing ther support for Cinémathèque française founder, Henri Langlois at a time when his job was in jeopardy, news footage of French cinema VIP's protesting against the planned removal of Henri Langlois from his job, excerpts from a TV interview with Truffaut discussing actor Jean-Pierre Léaud's portrayal of Antoine, and a video introduction to the film and events surrounding its release presented by film historian Serge Toubiana.

Disc three contains the film Bed and Board with the following supplements:

Behind the scenes footage with interviews of some of the cast & crew, a TV interview with Jean-Pierre talking about the film being the last in the series (before Truffaut decided to make the fifth and final film,) a TV interview with Truffaut and Bernard Revon discussing how the write the scripts, and a scene from a Truffaut documentary where he discusses the character of Antoine Doinel.

Disc four contains the final film in the series Love on the Run along with the following

Truffaut and Marie-France Pisier talking about their work on the film and their feelings about the film, Scenes of a TV interview with Truffaut talking about his feelings on ending the series, There is also a theatrical trailer.

The final unnumbered disc contains:

François Truffaut's 1957 short film, "Les Mistons" or "The Mischief Makers" about some young teenage boys who attempt to sabotage the relationship of an older couple. The film also has oprional audio commentary by Claude De Givray. It is in French with English subtitles. There is also a primer for the film presented by Serge Toubiana, a noted film historian.

There is also a 44 minute interview with co-writers Claude deGivray and Bernard Revon. A scene from a 1961 documentary titled "François Truffaut," a 1981 TV interview with Truffaut, and a slide show of movie posters for the four feature length Doinel films.

This set is a must buy for those who like the series as well as Criterion collectors, and fans of François Truffaut's work.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Collector 'must have', January 20, 2007
This review is from: Francois Truffaut's Adventures of Antoine Doinel (The 400 Blows / Antoine & Collette / Stolen Kisses / Bed & Board / Love on the Run) (The Criterion Collection) (DVD)
I was a bit concerned about paying the high price for films I've never seen before. But without a doubt I can only describe this series as "excellent." The caveat would be for those viewers expecting high drama.

I was surprised to learn Francois Truffaut was disappointed with Love on the Run as the finale to the adventures of Doinel. For the period in France, the series was befitting of family struggle post war reconstruction, and the new socialism of the 1970s. I also appreciate how French films seem to allow women to pursue the same sexual desires Hollywood likes to reserve for men.

Character Doinel is stuck, (which seems to have bothered Truffaut most,) but he gets away with what most men probably wish for -- being a silly prankster boy who ends up never having a shortage of women in his life as an adult.

As with many French 'people' films, this series is not for those who wouldn't appreciate the lifestyle and culture and storylines simply about 'average.' One could draw a comparison between what films were being produced in the USA during '59/'62 -- '79 to see the difference from being entertained (by John Wayne) to spying on a character's real life saga via story telling.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential French New Wave, May 19, 2003
By 
Jheez (Allentown, PA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Francois Truffaut's Adventures of Antoine Doinel (The 400 Blows / Antoine & Collette / Stolen Kisses / Bed & Board / Love on the Run) (The Criterion Collection) (DVD)
When Criterion decided to release this Antoine Doinel set, I was ecstatic. Truffaut, being my favorite French New Wave director, displays his marvelous talent in these movies. Most film buffs know The 400 Blows well. It is at this point where the adventure begins. This major film displays, honestly, what most of us felt as young teenagers. I don't think I have to go into this one much more. The 400 Blows is remarkable effort for a first feature film. It didn't use studios and Truffaut decided to simply take the camera outside on the streets.
Antoine & Collette is one of the favorite in the series. It is a short from the bigger work, Love at Twenty. Antoine has his first love and it is absolutely charming in its execution.
Stolen Kisses happens to be my favorite feature-length film of the group. It is so brutally honest and true to human emotions that we empasize for Antoine greatly. We go through all the trials of a young man, trying to get through life. He can't find the right job and is unsure about love. This whitty and funny film is one I'll be revisiting the most.
Bed and Board did not hit the high chord of the others. It was nonetheless entertaining and worth my while. Antoine gets a mistress and we deal with the troubles of that through his marriage.
Love On the Run is the flop of the group, told through mostly a series of flashbacks to the other movies. I really didn't enjoy it that much and found it boring. Basically what this film captured though, was a conclusion to the story. It wrapped up some of the ends, which I'm not sure needed to be.
The DVD package altogether is a very great deal. All the movies are excellent, with the exception of maybe Love on the Run. The transfers are also superb. If you found this set on here, you probably deserve to purchase it. All the films are funny, whitty, and deal with the troubles of youth, with someone who doesn't really want to grow up. There are also some very nice extras including a immensely charming early short that would somewhat inspire Truffaut to make The 400 Blows. I would recommend a purchase of this if you can afford it. These are some of the best films to come out of the French New Wave, made by someone who is incredibly passionate about his work.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The New Wave's Hero, July 19, 2007
By 
This review is from: Francois Truffaut's Adventures of Antoine Doinel (The 400 Blows / Antoine & Collette / Stolen Kisses / Bed & Board / Love on the Run) (The Criterion Collection) (DVD)
In the early Fifties, Francois Truffaut and other important critics and soon-to-be-filmmakers (such as Godard and Varda) contributed to the film journal "Cahiers de Cinema". But in 1958, Truffaut decided to put up or shut up (as the ancient axiom is "those who can't do, criticize"). What resulted was a series of films so breathtakingly new, so odd and yet moving, that this box set collects them brilliantly.

Antoine Doinel (as played by Jean-Pierre Leaud through four films and one short) is Truffaut's alter-ego, a disruptive but good-hearted young boy who matures into a hopeless romantic of an adolescent and adult. In "The 400 Blows" (1959), he escapes the clutches of his negligent family and the boundaries of his state prison, only to be left alone on the beach. In the short subject "Antoine et Collette", he is older but not wiser, as he falls for a girl way, way out of his league (her parents warm up to him, however, especially when he moves across the street).

In "Stolen Kisses", made during the turmoil of Langlois's dismissal from the Cinematheque in 1968 (just prior to the May riots that would sweep Paris out of the comfort of bourgeois existence if only briefly), we return to Doinel as a recent "dishonorable discharge" from the Army, and he finds work and time to be with the charming older wife of an employer as well as his soon-to-be wife, Christine Darbon. But in "Bed and Board" (1970), the happy family is shattered when Antoine falls for another impossible woman. Though he returns to Christine at the end of the film, in "Love on The Run" (1979), they have seperated, and the film finds Doinel reflecting on his romantic past and trying to preserve his possible future with a young record store clerk.

That, in a nutshell, is the story. But there's so much more going on in each film, and Truffaut doesn't so much focus on the stories of each film as the way his character Antoine navigates the events. The only one of the series that fails is the last, which feels a lot like a "greatest hits" wrap-up of the series, and because Antoine's love interest isn't nearly as interesting as the returning Collette (who reappears in Antoine's life and would have made a more interesting reward for all of his romantic angst over the years, if you ask me).

I came to Truffaut thanks to seeing the work of his cohort, Jean-Luc Godard, in a class last spring, and I have to say both revolutionized the way I see movies. I wasn't a philistine when it came to foreign films, I had just never bothered to examine why they're worth studying. Now I get it: apart from surrendering to the Germans, the French are also good at film-making.

Seek this box set out, it's worth your time if you're well-aware of the French New Wave or if you're new (and you get it mixed up with the musical "new Wave" of the Seventies). There's nothing wrong with expanding your cinematic horizons
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The ultimate Antoine Doinel set!, July 7, 2004
By 
Sarah Szefer (Montreal, Quebec Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Francois Truffaut's Adventures of Antoine Doinel (The 400 Blows / Antoine & Collette / Stolen Kisses / Bed & Board / Love on the Run) (The Criterion Collection) (DVD)
This top-notch Criterion set is worth every penny and is actually cheaper (per movie) than most standalone Criterion releases.
The box set itself is nicely designed in a cardboard case looking like a suitcase. Each disk has its own cardboard slip case, each representing a symbolic shirt of Doinel's, from his black turtleneck in Les Quatre cents coups (The Four Hundred Blows) to his suit in L'Amour en fuite (Love on the Run). The bonus disk's slip case looks like a book cover titled Les Salades de l'amour (which is the title of the book published by Doinel just before the timeframe of Love on the Run). The accompanying booklet is an extensive collection of synopsis and essays pertaining to the Doinel cycle, most of which have appeared before in out-of-print books.
Each movie is beautifully remastered and the quality of the subtitles is top-notch (incidentally, all subtitles to the movies and the extras can be turned off). Even the audio commentary by Robert Lachenay (Truffaut's childhood friend and the model for René in Les Quatre cent coups) is subtitled for non-French speakers.
The extras are plentiful, from vintage TV interviews to newsreel archives to the inclusion of the short features Les Mistons and Antoine et Colette.
This set is a dream come true for North American fans of François Truffaut and Jean-Pierre Léaud! I am sure that, if Truffaut were alive today, he'd love the job done by Criterion with his movies!
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Truffaut Package., September 6, 2003
By 
J. A. Stankunas "jonukwho" (Jupiter, FL United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Francois Truffaut's Adventures of Antoine Doinel (The 400 Blows / Antoine & Collette / Stolen Kisses / Bed & Board / Love on the Run) (The Criterion Collection) (DVD)
All of the Antoine Doinel films are here in this excellent dvd box set. The films are packaged in their best possible presentation thanks to Criterion, and the special features are all one could ask for including Truffaut's first short film. Not only a great collection of films (THE 400 BLOWS and STOLEN KISSES are among the best) but one of the best titles in the Criterion Collection. A Must own.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Unique serie in the history of Cinema, December 4, 2005
By 
G. A. Kaufman (The Hague, Netherlands) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Francois Truffaut's Adventures of Antoine Doinel (The 400 Blows / Antoine & Collette / Stolen Kisses / Bed & Board / Love on the Run) (The Criterion Collection) (DVD)
Antoine Doinel is filmed as a troubled child in 400 Blows, as an adolescent in Antoine & Colette, and as young man in love in Stolen Kisses, as married man an a father in Bead & Board and as a divorced, yet-trying-to-reconstruct-himself man in Love on the Run. The actor Jean-Pierre Leaud gets older during the films, still he is the same person, dealing with the same unresolved conflicts, defending the same values, entonating the same voice, 5, 10, 15, 20 years later ... as in real life. Each movie is a jewel on its own, however seeing the whole serie and getting the full, coherent picture is a unique exercise, as when you know a person from childhood from adulthood, you know what will happen, and it just happens.
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