Eight years after the wry romantic sketch Antoine and Colette, François Truffaut and Jean-Pierre Léaud reunited to catch up with Truffaut's cinematic alter ego, Antoine Doinel, the troubled adolescent of The 400 Blows. Sto... more »len Kisses opens with the now-grown Doinel sprung from military prison with a dishonorable discharge, drawn directly from Truffaut's own history of delinquency, but the parallels end there. Lovesick Doinel woos the perky but unresponsive object of his affections, Christine (Claude Jade) while he engages in a series of professions--hotel night watchman, private investigator, TV repairman--with mixed success and comic entanglements. But when he falls in love with the elegant wife of his client (Delphine Seyrig at her most beautiful and charming), Christine realizes she misses Antoine's persistence and clumsy passes, so she embarks on a seductive plan of her own. Truffaut's comic confection is full of deadpan gags and screwball chaos, a world away from the heavy seriousness of The 400 Blows, and Léaud is endearingly naive as the determined Doinel, forging ahead with more pluck and passion than aptitude. It may be Truffaut's most sweetly romantic film, a knowing man's embrace of eager innocence and storybook sentiment. Doinel returns two years later in Bed and Board. --Sean Axmaker« less
"I have to respectfully disagree with the first reviewer. While "Stolen Kisses" might not be as powerful as the "The 400 Blows," it stands as one of the best treatments on film of the adolescent exploration of love andsexuality. However, I will warn readers who are already fans of this film that this DVD version is nothing exceptional. Its main advantage is that, until recently, Stolen Kisses has been out of print and, in many cases, available only in an English-dubbed version. Make no mistake, Stolen Kisses is an excellent film and a worthy successor to The 400 Blows; however, there is little to distinguish this DVD version from its VHS counterpart. The colors are dull, the image quality is below average, the scene access offers a mere six markers, and there are no real "special" features. As I have come to expect from Fox Lorber's collection of Godard and Truffaut films, quality is sporadic. If only Fox Lorber was more interested in the quality of its issues than in the quantity of the output. I think DVD collectors would be willing to wait and pay a few extra dollars for truly distinguished issues like "Jules and Jim" or "My Life to Live"."
ANTOINE STRIKES BACK
wdanthemanw | Geneva, Switzerland | 06/13/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Antoine Doinel, French director François Truffaut's cinematographic double, returns in STOLEN KISSES after an eight years break (if one excepts the short movie ANTOINE ET COLETTE ). Back to a beloved character for Truffaut, back to the civilian life for Antoine - Jean-Pierre Léaud - Doinel who tries to survive in the Paris of 1967.STOLEN KISSES is not a realistic movie, it's rather a mixture of light comedy and psychologic melodrama. I could say that Antoine Doinel is the big brother of the characters described 30 years later by Wes Anderson in BOTTLE ROCKET or RUSHMORE.STOLEN KISSES is also a movie about how Truffaut saw the relations between men and women. According to this movie, they are more than complex and this theme, from this moment on, will be one of the constants of François Truffaut's next movies of the 70's and the 80's.A dozen Truffaut trailers as bonus features, filmographies and english subtitles. Average sound but below-average images with faded colours.A DVD for the Doinel fans."
One of the greatest films ever
(5 out of 5 stars)
"i wouldn't say that about too many films but this one has it all - romance, humor, sex, etc, etc. It's truffaut's masterpiece so it's a masterpiece by one of the greatest. wow! buy it!"
Charming romantic comedy that really is funny
Dennis Littrell | SoCal | 05/30/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a delightful Truffaut movie starring Jean-Pierre Leaud who played Antoine Doinel, the running boy in Truffaut's famous Les Quatre cents coup (1959). He's a young man now just discharged from the army bouncing from one temporary job to another, from being a night watchman to being a TV repairman. He gets into scrapes and gets fired, but presses on (in-between impulsive liaisons with ladies of the evening).He gets his big chance when he lucks into a job with a private detective agency. After some mishaps he is called upon to take a job (within a job, as it were) at a shoe store to find out why the owner is not liked. There he meets the owner's wife, Fabienne Tabard, played by Delphine Seyrig (Last Year at Marienbad 1961; The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie 1972, etc.). He is immediately smitten by her. In typical French cinematic fashion it is not clear whether she is a goddess or a maternal figure for the thoroughly bewitched Antoine.Meanwhile there is Christine Darbon (Claude Jade) who plays Antoine's real love interest. What makes this film so thoroughly agreeable is Truffaut's light-hearted wit and his studious avoidance of cliche in a genre (the romantic comedy) in which cliches abound. The humor is often tongue-in-cheek, and as subtle as a diplomat's compliment. Leaud's charm and his oh so earnest style make him the perfect foil for life's little jokes. Along the way detective agencies are satirized as are its clientele, including a guy who wants his magician boyfriend tailed only to find that he is--horrors!--married, or the aforementioned shoe haberdasher who hires a private eye (not a shrink!) to find out why he is not beloved.Bottom line: see this for Francois Truffaut, whose keen sense of humanity's foibles and unique style, sometimes playful and sometimes penetrating, have made him one of cinema's greatest directors."
Disappointing continuation to The 400 Blows
Alan A. Elsner | Washington DC | 08/30/2009
(2 out of 5 stars)
"After being blown away by "The 400 Blows", I couldn't wait to continue the story of Truffaut's alter-ego, Antoine Doinel. So I have to report with some disappointment that I found this movie a less-than-worthy successor, lacking the tremendous narrative impetus of the first, and also lacking the charming performances and the cinematic virtuosity. It's not that it's totally terrible but it's not very good either.
We meet Doinel being discharged from the army. Back on the streets of Paris, he resumes a career as a jerk-of-all trades. He is successively, a hotel night desk clerk, a detective, a shoe shop stock room boy and a TV repairman. He fails at everything but has success in his on-off relationship with Christine for reasons that are not quite clear. He's also seduced by the wealthy wife of one of his bosses.
Jean-Pierre Leaud, so wonderful in "The 400 Blows", is not terribly compelling as an adult actor. His main tic is forever sweeping his greasy hair away from his eye. And Doinel is an unsympathetic character. He's not committed to anything. He doesn't seem to care what happens to him. When he's fired, he shrugs his shoulders. Whenever someone points him in a particular direction, he follows it -- until something else happens. I found it hard to square this aimless character with the unforgettable image of the intense kid who made a break for freedom at the end of "The 400 Blows" and kept running and running until he found it. The plot meanders around but I found myself steadily losing interest. There are two more movies in the series but I won't bother watching them."