François Truffaut - Rotten Tomatoes

François Truffaut



Movie historian Leslie Halliwell has quoted French filmmaker François Truffaut as observing "I make films that I would like to have seen when I was a young man." It is difficult to believe that there exists a film that Truffaut didn't see as a youth.

The product of an unhappy, loveless home, Truffaut began using films to escape the exigencies of reality at age seven, virtually living in various Parisian movie houses. He left school to go to work at 14, and, one year later, founded a film club, which brought him to the attention of influential cinema critic Andre Bazin. Over the next few years, Bazin both financed and protected Truffaut, helping the young cineaste weather such crises as his arrest for nonpayment of debts and his 1951 public humiliation following his desertion from the Army. In 1953, Bazin hired Truffaut as a critic/essayist for Cahiers du Cinema. It was in the January 1954 edition that Truffaut published his landmark essay "A Certain Tendency in the French Cinema," in which he attacked directors who merely ground out films without any personal cinematic vision; he also propounded the auteur theory, which opined that the only directors worth serious consideration were those who left their own individual signatures on each of their films.



Forever marching to his own drummer, Truffaut parted company with his mentor Bazin over certain directors, including William Wyler, whom Truffaut found too bound to "theatricality" for his tastes. In later years, Truffaut noted that writing critiques enabled him to understand why he loved films and to rationalize his reasons for liking them. Hoping to put his auteur theory to practical use, Truffaut decided to direct a short film, 1954's Une Visite. In 1957, the same year he married Madeleine Morgenstern, the daughter of a major film distributor, Truffaut set up his own production company, Les Films du Carosse (named in honor of the Jean Renoir film Le Carrosse d'Or). He garnered critical acclaim for his 1957 short subject Les Mistons, and two years later he made his first feature, the intensely autobiographical The 400 Blows. Cast as Truffaut alter-ego Antoine Doinel was young Jean-Pierre Leaud, who went on to play Doinel at various later stages of his life in Truffaut's four follow-ups to 400 Blows.

In 1961, Truffaut directed what many consider his masterpiece, and what not a few observers regard as the finest film of its year: Jules et Jim, a hauntingly beautiful tale of a lingering romantic triangle. Though in the vanguard of the French New Wave (he contributed to the scripts of such groundbreaking films as Jean-Luc Godard's Breathless), Truffaut was never a hard-to-fathom aesthete, but, instead, the most successful filmmaker in France, as popular with casual fans as serious film students. He also differed from his New Wave colleagues by avoiding overt political statements: Even his most "politicized" film, 1980's The Last Metro, was more in the romantic tradition of Renoir than the tract-like pronouncements of Godard.



In developing a style of his own, Truffaut was heavily influenced by his idols Jean Vigo, Jacques Tati, and especially Renoir, whom Truffaut admired for his ability to simultaneously depict the realities of life and "improve" upon them. "To make a film is to improve upon life, to arrange it to suit oneself, to prolong the games of childhood, to construct something that is at once a new toy and a vase in which one can arrange in a permanent way the ideas one feels in the morning." Like Renoir, Truffaut endeavored to make films that approximated real life, but were romanticized enough to be entertainment. Truffaut also admired such Hollywood directors as Alfred Hitchcock, Howard Hawks, and Orson Welles. Echoes of Hawks and Welles would persist throughout Truffaut's career, while Hitchcock was imitated outright in 1967's The Bride Wore Black. His love affair with Hollywood films was manifested in his frequent employmen

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
66% Two in the Wave (Deux de la Vague)
  • Actor
2010
93% Henri Langlois: The Phantom of the Cinematheque
  • Actor
2004
67% La Petite Voleuse (The Little Thief)
  • Screenwriter
1988
88% Vivement dimanche! (Finally, Sunday)(Confidentially Yours)
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
  • Actor
1983
89% The Last Metro (Le Dernier Métro)
  • Director
1981
90% The Woman Next Door (La femme d'à côté)
  • Director
  • Producer
  • Screenwriter
1981
50% La Chambre Verte (The Green Room)
  • Director
  • Julien Davenne
  • Producer
1979
67% Love on the Run (L'Amour en fuite)
  • Producer
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
1979
No Score Yet Une belle fille comme moi (A Gorgeous Bird Like Me)(Such a Gorgeous Kid Like Me)
  • Director
1978
96% Close Encounters of the Third Kind
  • Claude Lacombe
1977
90% The Man Who Loved Women (L'Homme qui Aimait les Femmes)
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
  • Man at Funeral
1977
100% L' Argent de Poche (Pocket Money) (Small Change)
  • Martine's Father
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1976
94% The Story of Adele H
  • Officer On Ramparts
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
1975
100% Day for Night
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
  • Ferrand Director Ferrand
1973
86% Two English Girls (Les deux Anglaises et le continent)
  • Narrator
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1972
100% The Wild Child (L'enfant sauvage)
  • Dr. Jean Itard
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
1970
78% Bed & Board (Domicile Conjugal)
  • Screenwriter
  • Producer
1970
No Score Yet Naked Childhood (L'Enfance nue)
  • Producer
1969
87% Mississippi Mermaid (La Sirène du Mississipi)
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1969
81% The Bride Wore Black
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
1968
96% Stolen Kisses (Baisers Volés)
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
1968
81% Fahrenheit 451
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1966
No Score Yet Francois Truffaut ou L'esprit critique
  • Himself
1965
91% La Peau douce (The Soft Skin)
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
1964
92% Shoot the Piano Player (Tirez sur le pianiste)
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1962
No Score Yet Love at Twenty
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1962
97% Jules and Jim
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1962
No Score Yet Antoine and Colette (Antoine et Colette)
  • Director
1962
No Score Yet Une Histoire D'Eau
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1961
100% The 400 Blows (Les Quatre cents coups)
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
  • Producer
  • Man in Funfair
1959
No Score Yet Les Mistons (The Brats) (The Kids)
  • Director
1958

Quotes from François Truffaut's Characters

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