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The 400 Blows (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] (1959)

Jean-Pierre Léaud , Claire Maurier , François Truffaut  |  Unrated |  Blu-ray
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (142 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Jean-Pierre Léaud, Claire Maurier, Albert Rémy, Guy Decomble, Patrick Auffay
  • Directors: François Truffaut
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Black & White, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: The Criterion Collection
  • DVD Release Date: March 24, 2009
  • Run Time: 99 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (142 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001O549FC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #168,771 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The 400 Blows (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Special Features

New, restored high-definition digital transfer, with an uncompressed monaural soundtrack

Two audio commentaries: one by cinema professor Brian Stonehill and another by François Truffaut s lifelong friend Robert Lachenay

Rare audition footage of Jean-Pierre Léaud, Patrick Auffay, and Richard Kanayan

Newsreel footage of Léaud in Cannes for the showing of The 400 Blows

Excerpt from a TV program in which Truffaut discusses his youth, his critical writings, and the origins of Antoine

TV interview with Truffaut about the global reception of The 400 Blows and his own critical impression of the film

Theatrical trailer

PLUS: An essay by film scholar Annette Insdorf


Editorial Reviews

Review

One of the all-time great coming-of-age movies. --Time Out New York

It kick-started a revolutionary cinematic movement! --New York Magazine

Product Description

François Truffaut s first feature is also his most personal. Told through the eyes of Truffaut s cinematic counterpart, Antoine Doinel (Jean-Pierre Léaud), The 400 Blows sensitively re-creates the trials of Truffaut s own difficult 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.

BLU-RAY SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES:
New, restored high-definition digital transfer, with an uncompressed monaural soundtrack
Two audio commentaries: one by cinema professor Brian Stonehill and another by François Truffaut s lifelong friend Robert Lachenay
Rare audition footage of Jean-Pierre Léaud, Patrick Auffay, and Richard Kanayan
Newsreel footage of Léaud in Cannes for the showing of The 400 Blows
Excerpt from a TV program in which Truffaut discusses his youth, his critical writings, and the origins of Antoine
TV interview with Truffaut about the global reception of The 400 Blows and his own critical impression of the film
Theatrical trailer
PLUS: An essay by film scholar Annette Insdorf

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
102 of 116 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 400 Blows May 11, 2004
Format:DVD
I've spent decades avoiding THE 400 BLOWS, afraid it was either dark and brooding, or a documentation of child abuse (physical and/or emotional), or an angry and vindictive assault on the authors' of Francois Truffaut's traumatic childhood.
I shouldn't have worried. THE 400 BLOWS is a gentle and compassionate movie. It isn't overwhelmed by its anger, although a few characters, particularly the coming-of-age hero's mother and his school teacher, aren't terribly sympathetic. Being new to THE 400 BLOWS, I found the commentary by Premiere magazine film critic Glen Kenny especially helpful in understanding French New Wave cinema in general and Truffaut in particular. By the way, according to Kenny "400 blows" refers to a French colloquialism similar to the American "paint the town red." It means to give oneself over to every type of excess, and raise a little heck in the process.
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47 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A True-to-the-Bones-and-Heart Modern Day Dickensian Fable February 12, 2000
Format:DVD
The most heart-felt movie I've ever seen is a powerful mix of sharp-eye, hardhitting autobiographical remembrance of a nearly bruised childhood and a celebration of the wide-open, spontaneous and lyrical qualities of cinema to capture pointed truths of family, school and street lives as seen through the curiously haunted eyes of one Antoine Doinel, a modern-day Dickensian hero in a decidedly unglamours Paris, searching, often wrongheadly, for love and acceptance while, almost against himself, challenging the authorial rules imposed on children growing up in conformist post-WWII France. The film's tone is one of anguished bittersweetness and quiet defiance, counterpointed by bursts of joyful freedom and naughty prank playings as shared by many in their pre-adolescenthood. Doniel's friendship with the well-off but neglected Rene is also among the most moving portraits of childhood friendship ever. An unforgettable portrait, a cutting social study, a New Wave classic and Truffaut's best, but most importantly a timeless and univsersal "true" story. And yes, the last freeze, when it comes, is a stunner. Gosh, I just love it! (P.S., this relatively small and quiet masterpiece also happens to be the all-time favorite film of John Woo, imagine!)
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37 of 42 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
However, if you are a fan of this entire film series by Truffaut, then you should spring for the Adventures of Antoine Doinel boxed set. It comes with all the extras found on this disc, plus a bonus disc which features excerpts from a 1961 documentary on Truffaut, which touches on this film, and a promotional art gallery for this film. Neither of these bonus features are found on this disc, nor is the bonus short film, Antoine and Colette, which is on the 400 Blows' disc in the boxed set. Great if you only want this movie, but I'd pay the extra dough as it's well worth it to have the entire Criterion boxed set, which is loaded with extras covering all the other films.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Format:Blu-ray
In 1959, Francois Truffaut released a semibiographical film about his life with "the 4oo blows" (Les quatre cents coups). A film highly regarded as a definitive film that showcases French New Wave (a term to describe a group of French filmmakers in the 1950's-1960's that were inspired by classic Hollywood cinema and Italian Neorealism).

The film won several awards which include "Best Director Award" at the 1959 Cannes Film Festival and "Best Original Screenplay" at the 32nd Annual Academy Awards. Needless to say, the film made Francois Truffaut and young actor Jean-Pierre Léaud Internationally known and definitely gave movie fans a taste of the French New Wave film.

"the 400 blows" is the first of five films spanning around 20 years based on the character of Antoine Doinel (played by Jean-Pierre Léaud). Each film showcases the character's life as a teenager through his 30's but for "the 400 blows", the film focuses on the life of a troubled teenager.

Although not based 100% on Director Francois Truffaut's real life, a large part of the film was based on his troubled family life and in order for him to capture that life he had, he picked the right person with Jean-Pierre Leaud, an unknown actor (who was just as an antisocial loner) who was 13 and a half years old but had that rebellious nature that Truffaut found. A boy who would not have to learn a script but to use his his own words. This added to the realism of the film and what made this film so fantastic and engrossing just to watch.

VIDEO & AUDIO:

"the 400 blows" is presented in 1080p High Definition with an aspect ratio of 2:35:1.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic, heartfelt coming of age story December 12, 2002
Format:DVD
In Francois Truffaut's debut, award winning film, he paints visually the pain and joy of childhood, through a semi-autobiographical account of a 13 year old boy living in France. Antoine, lives with his mother and father in an apartment, on minimum finance. He gets into trouble at school, time after time, and at home his parents punish him, but at heart, he is a good kid. He decides to run away, but his parents find him, and they begin to treat him nicer. But when he gets suspended from school, he runs away for good. He begins stealing, and he gets caught. After he stays at a special home for juvenile delinquents, he escapes and his spirit prevails. This story is very moving, and entertaining. You get pulled into the young boy's life, and can relate with him. After you see how he keeps hope and prevails, it creates a warm feeling, and inspires you. The direction is perfect, and the director won the Best Director at Cannes Film Festival. I highly recommend those who wish to watch a fun, entertaining tale of hope and faith in the face of seemingly endless problems. 5 stars.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Nice story
Published 13 hours ago by Ralanda Pittman
3.0 out of 5 stars Storyline is not great but not bad
PROS:
- some funny scenes
- street scenery of Paris in 1959

CONS:
- movie dragged on

RECOMMENDATION: skip it, there are way better French... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Happy r/c
2.0 out of 5 stars It was okay
I just didn't really love it. It was a little too slow for my tastes. I can appreciate the care that was taken to make it, but I wouldn't want to watch it again.
Published 3 months ago by H. J. Coy
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorite French films
I have always loved this film. As a former caseworker in child welfare, I always empathized with this poor kid's behavior. Read more
Published 5 months ago by RainyDayGal
5.0 out of 5 stars Franc T. was a good story teller.
If you like a real story this film is the ticket. The story line is from real life and it's a tale well told.
Published 6 months ago by Mark Gresock
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Film
Recently, I conducted an experiment where I watched three movies by great directors. I watched a Fellini movie, an Ingmar Bergman and a Francois Truffaut. Read more
Published 6 months ago by C. Irish
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic
No matter which way you look at this film: an auto biography of Truffaut, a vision of growing up or just a fine French film, 400 Blows is a beauty. Read more
Published 7 months ago by C. Buras
4.0 out of 5 stars Youth Rebels
This may be my first taste of French Cinema, and it is off to a good start. This feels to me like a French version of Rebel without a Cause. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Thomas Gutowitz
4.0 out of 5 stars Popular
I think this film is best understood in context. It was one of the first to be filmed as it was, capturing life as it is. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Anyong
5.0 out of 5 stars weird
Very bizarre movie and very worth watching. assigned this for a film class and didn't know what to expect - it was very interesting and worth watching
Published 11 months ago by regharri
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Is this still coming in paper jacket?
A replacement case is available from Criterion for $5; in fact, replacement cases are available for all their paper jacket blu-rays, except for the more deluxe paper pacakaging that actually works like that of "The Leopard" and "Che". The replacement cases come with the slip... Read More
Sep 5, 2010 by Sherwin Doroudi |  See all 2 posts
"400 Blows" Criterion Blu-ray NOT Out Of Print. So why is it so hard to... Be the first to reply
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