A-Z French film titles


PURCHASE DOLANGUAGES MATERIALS  BELOW WITH PAYPAL/CARD-  DVDs and background materials also  available below.  

For webinar see below

french a level, cinema, essay, summary

Resources have been written with the needs of busy teachers in mind. They are available:

  • to download (online version)
  • to receive on CD with access to the online version also
  • to receive as a VLE version (moodle, firefox etc) with access to the online version also

When the film Les 400 coups hit the Cannes festival in 1959, the dreams of a young cinema fanatic were finally realized. The young Truffaut's childhood, like that of the main character was steeped in love for this art form; he eventually set up a ciné club (which failed)  before being taken under the wing of the renowned critic and founder of the influential Cahiers du Cinéma, André Bazin.  He like several other future directors such as Jean-Luc Godard became out-spoken critics of the cinema of the day, the so-called cinéma de qualité.   They aspired to producing films which did not subserviently depend on the reproduction of successful books and to get out of the studio;   this was to culminate in the Nouvelle Vague of which Les 400 coups was to be an example.

Shot on a small budget subsidized by his wife's father the film was at least partly biographical;  Truffaut had been an unwanted child and grew up with his grand-parents and we join the film as cracks in the parent/step-parent/child relationship begin to appear.   The portrayal of the harshness of education at the time and straitened circumstances contrast starkly with today's in many ways more liberal society;   where the film excels is in showing the young people asserting their individuality and breaking away from the everyday constraints, in much the same way as Truffaut was trying to do filmically.

Tense, bitter scenes alternate with whimsical, humorous ones with a lilting musical score binding the whole together to create classic coming of age film with its memorable ending.  

Les 400 coups is a fascinating film to study with its portrayal of the clash between youthful deviation and authority, whether it be parental, school or the more formal police setting.



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New-webinar 1st April

Les 400 coups webinar



  • Detailed summary of film with verbs gapped (infinitives given)
  • Comprehensive questions on each scene
  • Character study guide with wide range of adjectives


  • Multi-tense practice tool
  • A-factor builds in practice of more complex structures
  • Direct-indirect speech exercise encourages reported speech


  • Matching quotations to themes to prepare for paragraphing
  • Essay planning guide including template
  • Essay plan and sample essay


  • Examplar scenes analysed
  • Scene analysis template


Mark schemes are provided for:

  • the gapped summary
  • character guide
  • multi-tense exercise
  • A-factor
  • direct-indirect speech exercise
  • themes exercise

Answers are NOT given for the questions which are intended to elicit an individual response.


English subtitles

I can only find versions with English subtitles