Thursday, June 18, 2009

The 400 Blows Is Devastating, Spectacular

Just watched Francois Truffaut's The 400 Blows. It is the story of a 12 year old boy who is misunderstood by all those around him. His brutal teacher, oblivious father, and adulterous mother show no true caring for the boy, and make no legitimate attempt to connect with him. The boy eventually slides down a path of truancy and petty larceny, eventually earning suspensions form school.

The boy is played by Jean Pierre Leaud, and he gives the performance of a lifetime. Angry, broken, sullen, feral, angelic, tough - often within the same scene, and mostly sans dialogue. This surely was an actor beyond his years.

The ending is spectacular, and sure to keep replaying in your mind over and over after the final frame. The 400 Blows is one of the greatest films ever made.

Again, TCM's Month of Great Director's keeps rolling along, consistently providing some of the finest films ever made. I also watched Jules and Jim and The Bride Wore Black as part of the Truffaut feature, and while that film was excellent, The 400 Blows just blew me away.