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François Truffaut's autobiographical first feature, chronicling the misadventures of a twelve-year-old delinquent hero (the unforgettable Jean-Pierre Léaud), was an international sensation and a clarion call for the emerging French New Wave.
A restoration of Truffaut's enduring and endearing first feature, which launched his international career and initiated his autobiographical Antoine Doinel cycle. The clarion call for the Nouvelle Vague, The 400 Blows follows the misadventures of its twelve-year-old delinquent hero (Jean-Pierre Léaud) as he attempts to escape from the indifference and brutality of his parents, turns to petty thievery, and ends up in a reformatory. The famous final freeze frame is a blow to the heart. (The intimacy and modesty of the story often make one forget that the film was made in Scope.) Influenced by Vigo, Renoir and Rossellini, the film is also full of affectionate homages to the American cinema, particularly Hitchcock and Welles. "One of the most intensely touching stories ever made about a young adolescent" (Roger Ebert); "If Truffaut had never made another film, The 400 Blows would have earned him an enduring place in film history" (Pacific Film Archive).