The 400 Blows (French: Les quatre cents coups) is a 1959 French drama film directed by Francois Truffaut and starring Jean-Pierre Leaud, Albert Remy, and Claire Maurier. One of the defining films of the French New Wave, it displays many of the characteristic traits of the movement. Written by Truffaut and Marcel Moussy, the film is about Antoine Doinel, a misunderstood adolescent in Paris who is thought by his parents and teachers to be a troublemaker. Filmed on location in Paris and Honfleur, The 400 Blows received numerous awards and nominations, including the Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Director, the OCIC Award, and a Palme d'Or nomination in 1959. The film was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Writing in 1960. Les 400 coups, had a total of 3,642,981 admissions in France, making it Truffaut's most successful film in his home country.
Antoine Doinel (Jean-Pierre Leaud) is a 12-year old boy growing up in Paris during the early 1950s. Misunderstood at home by his parents and tormented in school by his insensitive teacher (Guy Decomble), Antoine frequently runs away from both places. The boy finally quits school after being accused of plagiarism by his teacher. He steals a typewriter from his father's (Albert Remy) work place to finance his plans to leave home.
The father angrily turns Antoine over to the police, who lock the boy up with hardened criminals. Antoine spends the night in jail, sharing a cell with prostitutes and thieves. During an interview with the judge, Antoine's mother confesses that Antoine's father is not his biological father. Antoine is placed in an observation center for troubled youths near the shore (as per his mother's wishes). A psychiatrist at the center probes Antoine's unhappiness, which he reveals in a fragmented series of monologues.
One day, while playing football with the other boys, Antoine escapes under a fence and runs away to the ocean, a place he has wanted to visit his entire life. He reaches the shoreline of the sea and runs into it. The film concludes with a freeze-frame of Antoine, and then the camera zooms in on his face, looking into the camera. Release date 1959.