Anyone interested in Francois Truffaut or the French New Wave could scarcely do better than to start here. Unlike some other classic films, one doesn't need to be a film buff to enjoy this. One only has to like good films.
Jean-Pierre Leaud is terrific as Antoine Doinel, a lonely Parisian boy who lives with his neglectful mother and flaky step-father. At school, Doinel has become a target of wrath for his sadistic English teacher. Doinel begins to hang out more and more with his deliquent friend. Together, they skip school, go to the amusement park, and watch films (the young Truffaut was an avid movie watcher).
Truffaut's Paris is certainly not a friendly place for children. Parents are neglectful and teachers are more interested in bringing students into line than in teaching. Indeed Doinel's English teacher seems to believe in harsh punishments over the most minor offense. The more the world tries to bring Doinel into line, the more he is compelled to rebel. Finally, Doinel steals a typewriter to be pawned to pay for his escape from home. Having a change of conscience, he tries to returns it, but is caught and sent to a home for juvenile delinquents.
Truffaut directs this semi-autobiographaphical film with great feeling, showing us the humor, triumph, and most of all sadness of his tragic childhood. The widescreen black & white photography of Paris is beautiful so be sure to see this letterboxed.