The 400 Blows

The 400 Blows

Criterion Collection Edition #5

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 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.

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The 400 Blows
  • The 400 Blows

    Directed by François Truffaut • 1959 • France

    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 childhood, unsentimentally...


  • THE 400 BLOWS Edition Intro

  • THE 400 BLOWS Commentary 1

    Recorded in 1992, cinema professor Brian Stonehill’s commentary on THE 400 BLOWS provides an informative blend of biography and analysis to illuminate the film.

  • THE 400 BLOWS Commentary 2

    Robert Lachenay, François Truffaut’s lifelong friend, offers a uniquely personal look at THE 400 BLOWS and the life of its creator. The French-language Lachenay commentary features optional italicized subtitles.

  • Mary Karr on THE 400 BLOWS

  • THE 400 BLOWS Auditions

    This 16 mm screen test footage from 1958 features an interview with actor Jean-Pierre Léaud, some improvised dialogue between Léaud and Patrick Auffay (René in THE 400 BLOWS), and an audition by Richard Kanayan (who plays one of the children and went on to appear in François Truffaut’s SHOOT THE ...

  • THE 400 BLOWS at Cannes

    This newsreel excerpt from François Chalais and Jacques Planche’s “Reflets de Cannes 1959” depicts the excitement of THE 400 BLOWS’ reception at the festival (François Truffaut won best director), along with the young Jean-Pierre Léaud’s thoughts about being in the acclaimed film.

  • “Cinépanorama”: François Truffaut, 1960

    In this excerpt from the February 20, 1960, episode of “Cinépanorama,” director François Truffaut discusses the global reception of THE 400 BLOWS, which had just been named best foreign film by the New York Film Critics Circle, and undertakes some self-critical evaluation of his work.

  • “Cinéastes de notre temps”: François Truffaut, 1965

    In this television excerpt from December 2, 1965, François Truffaut discusses his youth, writing for “Cahiers du cinéma,” and the character Antoine Doinel. Actors Jean-Pierre Léaud and Albert Rémy and Truffaut’s collaborator Claude de Givray also appear.

  • Introducing My Father, François Truffaut

    Laura Truffaut shares her memories of her legendary filmmaker father in this 2019 piece by Daniel Raim.