The historical significance of The 400 Blows—one of the first films of the French New Wave—cannot be overstated. François Truffaut's feature-film debut follows a neglected and misunderstood French boy (Jean-Pierre Léaud, in the first of many incarnations of Antoine Doinel) who turns to petty crime as a means of attracting attention. The boy's intellectual curiosity, distracted parents, and penchant for trouble contribute to the haunting final image of his unknowable future.
See Jean-Pierre Léaud’s audition tapes here.
Preceded by Les mistons
(1957, 18 min., in French with English subtitles)
In this Truffaut short, five children spy on lovers Gerard and Bernadette during one summer in Nice.