Quatre cents coups, Les (The 400 Blows) (1959)

Original Story by
Adaptation by
Dialogue by
The Children
Director of Photography
Still Photographer
Set Designer
Music by
Edited by
Assistants Director
Production Supervisor
Production Manager
Directed by
We wish to thank
This film is dedicated to
the Memory of Andre Bazin
Doinel! Bring me that
Nice! Get in the corner
Just one minute left.
Silence, please
Be ready to pick up the papers
I'll count to three
One, two
three. Collect the papers
Get his, first
Give it to me. Wait a minute.
- What's going on?
He won't give me his paper.
- No exception
Do I have everybody's paper?
Class dismissed
Not you
Recess isn't mandatory.
It's a reward
Here poor Antoine Doinel was
unjustifiably punished by Sourpuss
for a pinup fallen from the sky
It will be an eye for an eye
You need a referee maybe
No recess for three days
That will teach you
Hey guys, look at this
What's so interesting over there?
We have a new poet in our class
Only he can't tell an Alexandrine
from a decasyllabic verse
Doinel, you'll conjugate
for tomorrow
go to your seat
in indicative, conditional and
subjunctive tenses the sentence
everyone else recitation books out
I deface the classroom walls
and abuse French verse
The Hare
Now, Doinel, go get some water
and erase those insanities, or I'll
make you lick the wall, my friend
who gave you permission
to change seats, Richer?
In the season when the thickets
Glow with flowers
When the black tip
Of my long ears
Could be seen
The still green rye
From which I nibbled
The tender stems
As I played around
One day that
I was there
Fast asleep in my hutch.
Little Margot surprised me
I saw you, Simonet!
- I didn't do anything, Sir
She loved me so
My beautiful mistress
She was tender
And sweet
How she hugged me on her lap
And kissed me
What idiot whistled?
I'm warning you
If no one confesses, you'll
all be sorry. Right, Simonet?
I didn't do it, Sir.
It wasn't me, Sir
Cowards, too! What a class this year
I've known idiots, but at least
they were discreet
and didn't get caught. And you
you call this clean? You made that
wall dirtier! Go back to your seat
Your parents will hear from me!
Poor France! What a future
Everybody steals money from their
parents! - Maybe but it isn't easy
I bet even Mauricet does it. - Come
here. We want to ask you something
Where'd you get these expensive
glasses? - I bought them
Did you steal the money
from your dad or your mom?
Don't pretend you've never
gone through their pockets
You're the louse
who got me in trouble
You're a louse, Mauricet!
Your days are numbered
You better watch it
I'll never finish tonight
Sourpuss is an asshole.
- It's his job
Before the Army gets me
I'll break his face
- Bye
I deface the classroom walls
Hi, Mom.
- Hello
Where's the flour?
- The flour?
What's this? You didn't buy
what I told you to
Where's the list I left you?
I lost it. - No wonder you
get such bad grades
Get me my slippers
In the bedroom.
Under the bed
And go get that flour.
I need it right away
A difficult delivery. They used
forceps. It runs in the family
The same thing happened to her
mother. - It doesn't mean anything
For Fanny, it was over in ten
minutes. But with my last one
if I hadn't had a C-section,
I wouldn't be here, talking to you
And my sister, one every year.
Can you imagine?
The doctor warned her. She had to
have surgery. There was blood over
Always running, son?
- I got in trouble with Mom
You know you shouldn't
get your mother angry
What's that? - A fog-light. I'll
try it on Sunday at the race
Look at your son. All floured up!
- I'm not in the mood
Too bad. I am
What about my change?
- I need it for lunch at school
Ask your father
Nothing quiet on the home front.
- I need some money for lunch, Dad
Only 1.000 francs.
- Therefore you hope for 500
therefore you need 300.
Here's 100
Here's 500 more.
Next time ask your mother
Where are the scissors?
- Where are the scissors?
That's not funny.
Put that homework away
it's time to eat.
- Your mother's right. There's a time
and place for everything
Where did you get this pen?
- I traded it
You do a lot of trading lately
Do you smell something?
It's the fish.
- It's promising
I can't wait. Go ask your mom
if the dishtowel is burning. - Why?
That's a joke
You can clear the table now
I got a call from your cousin.
His wife is pregnant again
Four times in 3 years! Worse
than rabbits! That's disgusting
By the way, what should
we do with the kid next summer?
There's always camp.
- You're right and it's fun
We don't have to decide yet.
- The sooner the better
Hey, be careful
Isn't it a beauty?
- Lions Racing Club
What's going on here?
- Slowly
Where would you prefer
to race, next Sunday?
It's my pick this time.
- I want to rest on Sunday
I'll go over to Huguette's.
- What will the fellows think?
Listen, I need a rest.
Between the cleaning
in the morning.
- And in the afternoon
Your typing in the afternoon. You
definitely got the touch! - Go to bed
'Night Dad, 'night Mom
You are so stupid
Can't you take a joke? - You're
wasting your time with this crap
Antoine, don't forget the garbage
and turn your light off
I'm making contacts. It could
help me get a promotion
You? You'll never be
VP of anything
Get up, get up,
we didn't hear the alarm
I deface the classroom walls
I have no socks left around these
holes! - Those are gone
Buy yourself some new ones.
The others are dirty
I gave you money for the kid's
new sheets, remember?
He prefers his sleeping bag
Don't you, sweetheart?
- At least, it keeps me warm
You're still here?
Why are you running?
- We're going to be late
We'll have to sneak in again and
we'll get in trouble. - Don't rush
- Sourpuss won't let you in
You think he'll do it? - Yes.
He can't stand you. You got money?
Sure. Lunch money.
- In that case, let's go
What's the plan?
Follow me. Put your bag
next to mine behind the door.
Will they be safe?
- I always leave mine here
Oh, my God. It's Antoine. I'm sure
he saw me. - Which one is your son?
The brown one.
He's supposed to be in school
You're going to get it tonight!
- Kidding? She won't tell my father
That wasn't him?
- Never saw him before
You're safe, then
I'll go back to school tomorrow
But I'll need an excuse note.
What about you?
I have an old letter from my folks
I never used
I'll cut off the date.
Here, you can copy it tonight
But the handwriting?
- Imitate your mother's
It'll be hard, she writes funny
Don't worry. It will work!
- I hope so
Dear Sir
Will you excuse my son
who was sick
My son Rene
Something's burning again here?
- It comes from downstairs
Set the table for two only.
- Why? Has Mom left?
No, she called to say
she'd be home late
Her boss needs her for the inventory
So we'll cook ourselves and
have a real bachelor's dinner
She said there are eggs.
- I know where
How was school today?
What did you study?
- The Hare
Oh, yes. The Hare and The Tortoise.
- No, it's just The Hare
Did you do well?
- I wasn't asked anything
You must be aggressive
to go forward in life
or else you won't make it
to the finish line
You have to take initiatives
Have you thought about your mother's
birthday? It's on the 17th, you know
I hope you'll get her something
Antoine, are you listening?
Oh, I know what you're thinking
She's been tough on you lately
She's nervous.
You have to understand
She has lots to do between
being a housewife and her job
And this place is too small
We might be moving soon.
I'm working on it
And you see, at the office
they take advantage of women
But she loves you, you know.
She does. Oh, shit
Where did you put my Michelin guide?
- I didn't touch it
Antoine, you know,
I can't stand it when you lie
I'm sure.
- I'm sure I had it yesterday
I swear it's not me!
- It's incredible
how things always disappear
in this house
I didn't take it
All right, I'll ask your mother
Go to bed
Don't forget the garbage
My boss drove me home
I couldn't refuse
Are you getting paid overtime?
- Of course, at the end of the month
He should give you cash
Enough already! - No wonder
you'll need to rest on Sunday
Where's my Michelin's guide?
- How would I know? Ask Antoine
He said he didn't touch it.
- He's always lying
Like you. - You should show him
some manners
I gave him a name. I feed him.
- I'm sick of this
If you can't handle him, let's
send him away to boarding school
so I can have some
peace for a change
The best thing is to eat out
until the end of the month
For that, I need a clean shirt
You could at least wash the collar
If only you hadn't bought
that fog-light
I got it secondhand
Well? Open the door!
- What if it's the gas man?
They always send a notice first
Hi, Sir. I'm in Antoine's class.
I came to see if he is better
Better? Why?
- He wasn't at school yesterday
Did you hear that?
Thanks, kiddo.
- Bye, Sir
You don't seem surprised
Why should I be?
I expect anything from him
What excuse should I use?
- Something big
The bigger, the better. Last year,
when my mom broke her leg
I told them everything,
except that she was drunk
I didn't need a letter.
- I can't tell a thing like that
In any case, we can't show up
together. - Right. You go first
So, there you are
A little extra homework
and you get sick
And your parents fell for it. What
excuse do you have this time?
Let's see the letter
I don't have one. - And you think
you're going to get away with this?
It would be too easy, my friend
But Sir, it's my mother.
- What about your mother?
She's dead
I'm sorry, kid. I didn't know
Was she ill?
- Yes, Sir
You should have told me. You should
always confide in your teachers
Go join the others
What did you tell him?
- Leave me alone
Better thorns in the woods than...
- Up your
If you washed your ears, Duverger,
you would hear the whispering
Than up your ass! - He's not
whispering. He wants to confuse me
I'm all mixed up now, Sir
Than flowers in the cradle. - Flowers
in the cradle. Better to have freedom
And feel a threat...
- Than slavery
With an eternal April...
And you're eternally lazy
Sit down! F!
- I knew it at home
Doinel! Oh, sorry, my boy
I suggest he gets
maximum punishment
He's beyond that.
He was out of line
This is a matter for his parents.
- We'll settle this at home tonight
What're you gonna do?
- After that
I can't live with my parents
anymore. I have to go away
You're over reacting!
- Well
I've got to live my own life.
I'll write them a letter and explain
Right now?
- Yes, I better
Where will you sleep tonight?
- I don't know. I don't care
I might have an idea.
Meet me in an hour
in front of the fountain,
place Pigalle. - OK
It used to be my
uncle's printing factory
The machines were so heavy,
the floor caved in
Do you think it's dangerous?
No. It already hit the bottom!
At least you'll be warm here
Here's a mattress and a pillow
Wow, it's heavy
Don't come here until midnight
Keep my bag. You'll give it
back to me tomorrow
My dear Parents. I understand,
misspelled of course
the gravity of my lie.
- Listen to this
Why did he have me die and not you?
- He prefers me, obviously
But now, we can't
live together anymore
So I'm going to try to live
my own life here or elsewhere
When I'm a man, I'll return
and we'll talk about everything.
Goodbye. Love, Antoine
So, you think it's normal
that he hates me
You're too hard on him.
- He gets on my nerves
Can you help me catch him?
That's your sister? - I don't know
her. She asked me to chase her dog
Is it her dog?
- I don't know
May I help you?
- Sure. The more the better
What's his name?
- I don't know
Beat it, kid!
- But she asked me first
Tell me, Doinel, I bet
you got it last night
Not at all, everything went fine
Parents are irresponsible
Last and simple question
No, the tip of the tongue
between the teeth
As if you had a lisp
But I can't, Sir. Not everybody
has a tongue like yours
Shut up
Go, sit...
Go sit down
You're insolent
Fronchot, you're in charge
until I come back
We don't know what
to do with him anymore
My dear Lady, you don't deserve this
My poor darling. Are you alright?
Where did you spend the night?
- In a printing factory
I don't care about his grades.
All I want is for him to behave
Alright then
Maybe it's genetic
You mustn't catch cold
Now jump in bed
I'm not tired, Mom
No, no. You'll be more
comfortable in ours
You know, I was once
your age too
Children always forget that
I didn't want to confide
to my parents either
I kept a secret diary
One day, I'll show it to you
When I was your age
I ran away with a farm-boy
It wasn't serious
but we were caught
My mother made me promise
never to see him again
and she didn't tell my father.
So, I cried
but I obeyed, because
a mother always knows best
We, too, can have secrets, you know
What did you mean in your letter by
We'll talk about everything.
- I meant
my problems at school.
- So, tell me
I can't concentrate
I'd like to quit school
and start making a living
What are you saying?
I wish I'd studied longer
And if your father
had gone to college
he'd be much further in his career
I know you learn lots
of useless things at school
Algebra, science
Who needs it? But French, eh?
We all need to write letters
Let's share another secret, Ok?
If next time you have a test
you're among
the top five, I'll give
you 1.000 francs, Ok?
But you mustn't tell your father
The dying man pulled himself up
And gave his children
a piercing look
His hair bristled
on the nape of his neck
His eyes lit up. A breath caressed
his face and made it sublime
He raised his hand with anger
And shouted Archimedes'
famous last words
Eureka! I found it
Describe a serious event which you
witnessed and involved you personally
Eureka, I found it
My grandfather's death
The boss is sleeping
with the new secretary now
Well armed that girl
She used her weapons to be
promoted executive secretary
Of course, she's got what it takes
Now, we'll have to watch out for
her. You know, pillow talk
I used to tell
how to cheat on her travel expenses
but now I may regret it
By the way, I still haven't
found my Michelin guide
One of you must have it.
- Who cares?
Well, I don't like mysteries
You left something on the stove
again. - No, I didn't
I can't believe this.
Stop screaming
Go get some water instead of
You idiot! I've had it with you
What possessed you,
to light a candle in there?
It was for Balzac, Daddy. - Balzac?
Are you pulling my leg?
It was for my writing class. - Leave
him alone. He promised me something
To collect our home insurance?
One candle won't do the job
You want my lighter, perhaps.
- Don't be ridiculous
As long as we feed you,
you'll do as you're told
or else we'll send you
to the military Academy
You never heard of it. You'll learn
fast! They'll keep you in the line
Why don't we get out of here
and go to the movies together?
- Good
That's your way of
teaching him a lesson?
Did you write a good paper?
- I think so
Trust him, Julien.
You'll have a pleasant surprise
Sounds dangerous. - So, are you
taking us to the movies?
What's playing?
- Paris is Ours
Since you're both against me.
- You'd rather stay here?
I deserve to go out! But they don't
care much for arsonists at the theater
She had one of those...
- That's all you noticed
I liked the movie.
- But it wasn't funny
But it had some depth.
- Some what?
Gen. Daredevil and his Army
Look at your mother's legs.
Pretty, eh?
Home sweet home, smoky though.
- Don't forget the garbage, honey
I've won him over.
I hope I won't regret it
Doinel, if your paper is first today
it's because I've decided to give
the results beginning with the worst
Your search for perfection
led you straight to an F, my friend
To those less familiar with Balzac,
we have here A Sinister Affair
That Doinel chose to write about his
grandfather's death was his right
We know he doesn't hesitate to
sacrifice his relatives if necessary
It's not true, Sir. I didn't cheat!
- Judge for yourselves
The dying man pulled himself up, and
gave his children a piercing look
His hair bristled
on the nape of his neck
His eyes lit up. A breath caressed
his face and made it sublime
He raised his hand with anger and
shouted Archimedes' famous last words
Eureka! I found it!
Well, I found it, too, Doinel
You're an abominable plagiarist!
- That's not true
Take your paper to
the principal, immediately
And tell him you're suspended from
class until the end of the semester
He didn't cheat, Sir. I sat next to
him. I would have noticed if he did
You want to be suspended, too?
- I wouldn't mind
Talking back? Get out
I don't mind being suspended but
I don't want to go out. - Get out
It's illegal! - I'll show
you who makes the law here
So, did you take him to the
principal? - No, he ran away
So I punched him
and I ran away
What happened? - He was furious. I'm
suspended from school until Christmas
Now I really can't go home
My father said he'd send me to the
Military Academy. - What's that?
Some kind of military school.
- You'll wear a nice uniform
and besides, there's a future in the
Army. - Thanks, but no, thanks
If only it was the Navy!
I've never seen the sea
I've seen the Channel, the Atlantic,
the Mediterranean
but not the North Sea. Come on,
you can stay with me. We'll manage
Holy cow, a horse
It's my father's. It's a souvenir
It's big here
You can sleep on the couch. No one
will know. - What about your folks?
They're never here. My mother drinks
and my father is always at the track
You're free to come and go
First, we've got to find a way
to make some money
Right, that's the first thing to do.
- That's the first thing to do
In the meantime, I'll take an
advance on my inheritance
Hi, Lady!
- Little wretch
Have you seen your mother lately?
- Today when I came home from school
She makes sure she's out
when I'm here
She must be up to something
Where's the fruit?
This is for you
Oh, 9:30. I'll be late for the club
Hurry up! We'll miss the newsreel
Boy, I'm thirsty
It's already empty, asshole.
- Your turn. Hurry up
Eh, that's the old man!
- Help me with the blanket
That's fine.
What's all this smoke?
Where do you think you are?
Alright, retain the cost of
What's this?
My horse is not a coat rack
It's worth a lot of money!
It's a work of art
I'll never get rid of it,
unless I have to
Turn your light off,
and go to bed now
Eh, not bad
Give me your Michelin guide.
- We could sell the horse
No. My dad would kill me
Coward! With the money
we'd live by the sea
have boats. We'd be on our own
Make up your mind. - I'm sure we
could get one from my father's office
Let's get it, then. - But we couldn't
sell it. They're all numbered
We'll pawn it.
My mother pawns everything
How much?
- 10 percent
and 1000 francs in advance. - No,
when you get back with the money
I see you don't trust me
We want it back.
- Where do you think you're going?
I thought you were gone
It didn't work. They want to see a
a receipt. - Give it back to us then
Fine, but I want
We don't have any money.
- Well
then 300. - We're broke.
Give us back our typewriter
Then I'll keep the typewriter
as a down payment
No way! It's ours!
- Listen
Give it back or I'll break
your face. - Hands off
It's no more yours than mine,
alright? There comes a cop
Let's ask him
O.K. Keep the damned thing
I'm sick of carrying it!
- It's your turn
My father will guess I took it.
- It was your idea
It was yours, asshole.
- I don't care. I'll leave it here
Are you nuts?
- Alright, I'll take it back then
but I'm going to wear a hat
so the concierge won't recognize me
Please, bring it back for me.
- Oh, no! It wasn't my idea
OK. But you're an asshole.
Hold it, while I put on the hat
You'll wait for me outside
You're Mr. Doinel's son!
Put that down
Your father's not going to like this
This time, I'll show them
I'm doing my job
Don't try to escape.
I'm warning you
I've dealt with punks like you before
Mr. Doinel? Sorry to bother you
but you better come over
Let's say it's a surprise.
But not a pleasant one
Keep that hat on
I'm not taking you to
a party, this time
Happy days are over for you. Your
mother and I will have some peace
Take a good look at your pal
because you won't be
seeing him for a while
Maybe this will do it.
This can't go on anymore
If I'd done this when I was your age,
my father would have killed me
Can we see the Chief?
We've tried everything. Kindness,
persuasion, punishment
But we never hit him.
- Sometimes, the old methods
Of course, but we're not like that
He had a lot of freedom.
- Too much, perhaps
Not too much. You see, both my wife
and I work, and you know how it is
I'm a father, too
I must admit it's not always easy
If only we could talk with him
But he doesn't even listen
You think he's listening now? Look
how I found him with the typewriter
God only knows what goes on
in that head
Take down his statement
Vagrancy and theft
So, what's your decision?
- In any case
if I take him home,
he'll run away again
I don't know. Maybe you
could send him some place
to the countryside, where they'd
make him work. He won't study anymore
We could put him in a house of
correction. They're well organized
He'd learn a craft.
- That sounds fine
If there's room for him, of course
But you'll have to fill out an
application for the transfer of your
parental rights to the Department
for the Juvenile Delinquents
He'll appear in the Juvenile Court
tomorrow morning
You or your wife must be present
No one saw you enter the building?
I hereby declare having broken
into the building and stole
a typewriter
Sign here
He's all yours
Take care of him.
I'm going home
What did you do?
- I ran away from home
And you?
Oh, I
Here come the girls
I saw a police station
in a movie. It was cleaner
I once saw a dirtier one.
- And I, more cheerful one
The limo has arrived, folks
Put on your jacket
Tie, belt, shoe lace.
Empty your pockets
Sign here
Maybe we could take him back
but he'd have to change drastically
If only you could scare him,
Your Honor
That's not my role.
- But we can't control him
Or perhaps you're not
doing it the right way
Tell me, is it true that he sometimes
spends his weekends home alone?
My husband has a racing club.
It's possible we left him home alone
but he hates sports. He spends
hours at the movies, ruining his eyes
What does your husband have to say?
It's his son after all
He's not. He married me when my child
was still a baby. - That's quite noble
I shouldn't have told you.
- On the contrary
I think we should place your child
under observation in a special home.
- Could it be by the sea, Your Honor?
We're not sending him
to Summer camp
But I'll do my best depending
on what's available
He'll stay there for 2 or 3 months
while I study his case
Then, we'll take a decision
Believe me, this change
will benefit him
Goodbye, Your Honor.
- Goodbye
How did you end up here?
- And you?
I made the wrong turn.
- I stole a typewriter
A typewriter? That's dumb!
No wonder you got caught
They're numbered
You see that big guy?
He stole car tires
Each time I cried
my father would imitate
me on his fiddle
just to drive me nuts.
One day, I got fed up
and I knocked him out
Good for you. If I'd been you,
I would have killed him
Who's that? They caught him.
He escaped a week ago
You know, you can escape
but you can't get caught
What are you doing here?
Line up! Quick
Show me the bread
You couldn't wait, eh?
Bring your plate and bread here
Right or left?
- Left, Sir
And no talking
- I brought you that.
I bet they'd catch you and I won
So what? I had five days of fun
I'll do it again.
- What are you doing here?
Kanayan, to the psychologist
If she drops her pen, pick it up
but don't look at her legs
Or else, it will be on your record.
- My record?
They keep a file on what everybody
thinks of you. The doctor, the judge
even your parent's neighbors
I know mine by heart
I'm an unstable psychotic
individual with perverted tendencies
What if I play dumb?
- Then, it's the funny farm
or boot camp
Why did you return the typewriter?
- Well
since I couldn't sell it or anything
I got scared. I don't know
why I returned it. Just like that
I hear you stole 10.000 francs
from your grandmother
She had invited me for her birthday
I thought she is old, and doesn't
eat much. She doesn't need the money
She was going to die soon
So, since I knew where she kept
her dough, I took some
I knew she wouldn't notice.
And she didn't
She gave me a nice book that day
But my mother, she used
to go through my pockets
That night, while I was asleep
she must have found the money in
my pocket cause next day it was gone
Later, she mentioned it and
I had to confess where I got it
And then she took the nice book away
One day I asked for it back
and I found out she'd sold it
Your parents say you're always lying
Oh, I lie, now and then, I suppose
Sometimes, if I told them the truth
they wouldn't believe me,
anyway. So I prefer to lie
Why don't you like your mother?
Well, she put me in a foster home
and then, when they had no more money
I lived with my grandmother
But then she got old and
she couldn't take care of me anymore
So, when I was 8,
I went to live with my parents
I could tell Mom didn't like me.
She was always
yelling at me for no reason
There were fights at home
and I, I overheard
that my mother had me
before she was married
And she had a fight
with my grandmother once
that's when I found out that
she had wanted to have an abortion
It's thanks to my grandmother
that I was born
Have you ever slept with a girl?
No. But some friends of mine have
They told me where
the hookers hang out
And so I went, and I tried
to pick up some girls
but they yelled at me.
So, I got scared and I left
I went back several times
Once a man asked me
what I was doing there
He was North African. So I told him
I guess he knew a lot of women.
He said he knew one
a young one, who liked guys my age
So he took me to
the hotel where she was
only she wasn't there that day
We waited an hour or two.
She didn't show up. So I left
Don't look for your father,
I came alone. Over there?
Your personal letter hurt
your father deeply
and of course he showed it to me.
Whatever you may think
we get along well
I went through a difficult time, but
you didn't need to remind him of it
He gave you his name, after all
We were willing to try again
and take you back
but the neighbors would talk.
You probably complained
to the entire neighborhood.
- I didn't say anything, Mom
I'm used to this anyway. I have
been criticized my entire life
That's all I wanted to tell you.
And don't go crying to your father
He told me to tell you
he doesn't care about you anymore
So you will be sent to a Labor Center
You wanted to work.
Well, now you'll see if you like it