The Reception of "The Four Hundred Blows" at Cahiers
Jacques Rivette May 1959 Cahiers du Cinema pre-coverage of its Cannes '59 screening
"With The Four Hundred Blows we return to our childhood as into a house abandoned since the war. Our childhood, even if it is before everything else the case of François Truffaut -- the consequences of a stupid lie, the aborted flight, the humiliation, the revelation of injustice, no, it is not of a childhood, "protected". Speaking of himself, he seems to also be speaking of us: this is a sign of the truth and the recompense of true classicism which knows how to limit itself to its subject but watches it suddenly cover the whole range of possibilities."
Jacques Doniol-Valcroze June 1959 Cahiers du Cinema covering the Cannes Film Festival , ending a short piece on the screening wrote.
"Bazin dead, The Four Hundred Blows which he is the posthumous producer could only be dedicated to him; André alive - and our throats tighten at the thought of what his joy would have been - it is to Resnais that this heart-rending and cheerful about all the tenderness of the world would have been dedicated."
Fereydoun Hoveyda July 1959 Cahiers du Cinema
"Thus Truffaut attains a sense of the real uncommon in cinema, which comes to underline hhis constant concern for reference to the true details. There is not a shot where Truffaut does not use an element of decor to make burst beyond the screen's canvas the profound truth of his subject. there is an innate sense of things in relation with human beings."
Following is the conseil des dix in the July 1959 issue of Cahiers du Cinema
4 stars -- Pierre Braunberger (film producer), Jean Douchet (Cahiers du Cinema), Jean-Luc Godard (Cahiers du Cinema), Jacques Rivette (Cahiers du Cinema)
3 stars -- Henri Agel (Etudes cinématographiques), Jean de Baroncelli (Le Monde), Jacques Doniol-Valcroze (Cahiers du Cinema), Claude Mauriac (Le Figaro), Eric Rohmer (Cahiers du Cinema), Georges Sadoul (Les Lettres françaises)