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The Four Hundred Blows

by

Roger Davidson

The Four Hundred Blows
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Another great film from across the seas, Francois Truffaut's The Four Hundred Blows was the film that introduced him to the United States. The story follows a young boy (Jean-Pierre Leaud) who takes to a life of street crime. His mother knows what the boy is up to, but the father smothers his boy with so much love, that he doesn't realize until it's too late. In the mean time, Leaud skips school, steals items to pawn later and lies to everyone, just so he can get a little attention once in awhile.

This is a harrowing tale about troubled youth and is a good example of what some kids do to get attention. The last scene, in which he escapes from his boy's school and runs away to the beaches of Normandy, shows a close-up of the boy, showing the bruises he's suffered at society's hands. Though I must admit, I don't usually like French cinema, Truffaut paints an interesting portrait of youth and it's troubles. Leaud is no less than fantastic as the young boy, telling what he thinks of his life and the world in general. Truffaut's direction is quite good, and he keeps the film interesting, despite a slow pace. A excellent film, The Four Hundred Blows presents something that everyone can relate too, be they French, English, African or what-have-you. Troubled youth.

My Rating = Four Stars


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