The 400 Blows , as hae been perceived is comrpisd of several styles and to some extent its style amounts to the personal history of Truffaut of French film. This is clearly visible from several scenes, of which the most notable is the scened that was borrowed from Zero de conduite of Jean Vigo. In short, the 400 Blows besides being a devicve of an efficient character study, happens to be also an exposure of the injustices of the treatment of juvenile ofenders in France at that very time. The film deals with the expereinces of Antoine who was born while his mother was unmarried. However, afterwards he was married to an oldman, for the sake of giving her newborn baby a name. But her married life has made her totally unhappy and resents Antoine because of this. On the other hand, the family is financially insecure, and that is evident in the film from the poor dresses and also poor foods, if not more sleeping in a sleeping bag (which he prefers because "at least it's warm") on a cot crammed next to the back entrance to the apartment! It seems that since he sleeps in a through-way, and does not have his own home, he is perhaps considered both by his mother and step-father as an unwanted burden. The 400 Blows then focuses on his series of childish pranks, nevertheless at the instigation of his schoolmates but has to bear the blame for eah of his act. Even, being insigated by his friend René, he pilfers a typewriter from his father's workplace. While finding that it cannot be pawned, he becoming wise about the fallout of the daring act tries to return it. It is at the time of apprehending by the concierge he is handovered to the police by his step father. The post arrest event dpeoicts a dramatic episode where his step father surrendering control over him to the investigating magistrate confirms that he is incorrigible, leaving him to the mercy of the French judicial system. The next scene portrays him in a detention center, and tfollowed by a work camp. Strikingly, hi mother does not make any plea for leniency, on the cintrary agrees to his commitment to the work camp. When the interrogation at the detention center begins, it comes out that he instead of being raised with his mother and step-father, has usually been shuffled off to his other relatives. The film director keeps no stone unturned to portray the boy in a perplexed note, which is shown in his escape and running toeards the sea. At this juncture the film ends on a freeze frame where Antoine is on a beach with his feet in the surf, looking back to the shore, with no place left to run.
The 400 Blows from its first release has been widely accliamed, and to this date also! It bagged numerous awards that included the award for the Best Director at the 1959 Cannes Film Festival, the Critics Award of the 1959 New York Film Critics' Circle and also th Best european Film Award at the Bodil Awards of the year 1960. Besides it was also nominated for the Best Original Screenplay at the 32 nd Academy Awards. It is to be noted that Truffaut made four other films with Léaud depicting Antoine at later stages of his life. It is in Antoine and Colette, he meets his first love, which was nothing but the contribution of Truffaut to the 1962 anthology Love at Twenty.
He again falls in love with Christine Darbon in Stolen Kisses. He marries Christine in Bed and Board, but the couple gets separated in Love on the Run.