The 400 Blows (1959)


“He escaped a week ago, but they got him. Around here to escape is bad enough, but getting caught is worse. ” – Juvenile Delinquent

Number of Times Seen – 1 (21 May 2018)

Brief Synopsis – A young boy misunderstood by his teachers and parents decides to start a life of crime in order to get by.

My Take on it – In my attempt to expand my knowledge of foreign language films, I decided to see why this film is sometimes considered to be the best film made by French film maker Francois Truffaut.

This film gives us a fairly realistic portrayal of what could possibly happen to a child if the adults around him don’t pay close enough attention to what is happening with him.

The main character of this film starts off as being quite unlucky and is caught by both his parents and teachers in small lies or even momentary lapses of good judgement.

The audience gets to see the truth, but those around him are oblivious to that fact and brand him as a trouble maker.

The story itself moves along at a nice pace and we get to see where things can ultimately lead when a child is neglected by the adults around him who instead of trying to nurture him, see him as more of a nuisance and wish to let others try and rehabilitate him in their stead.

I don’t quite understand how this can be considered among the best films ever made, but it was enjoyable to watch nevertheless.

Bottom Line – Very realistic portrayal of what can happen to a child if the adults around him don’t pay close enough attention to what is happening in his life. The main character starts off as being very unlucky and is perceived as a bad child even though that is far from the truth based on what the viewer gets to see that the adults seem to miss. The story moves along at a nice pace and we get to see where things can possibly lead when one is in such an unfortunate situation. Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Jean-Pierre Leaud’s answers to the questions given to him by the psychologist at the camp near the end of the film were not scripted. Francois Truffaut told Leaud in advance about the scene for what to expect to a certain extent, and did provide some minor coaching when Leaud answered the question in between takes as to what was working and what was not, but at large, Leaud’s answers are unscripted and ad-libbed, per Truffaut’s wishes, who wanted the scene to feel spontaneous and believable.  (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy (8/10)

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2 thoughts on “The 400 Blows (1959)

  1. Pingback: Movies Reviewed Index A-Z |

  2. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1959 | MovieRob

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