Stolen Kisses

Movie Information

In Brief: The third film in François Truffaut's Antoine Doinel series, Stolen Kisses (1968) is probably the best after the original, which none of the sequels topped or even equaled. It's lightweight (a curiously insubstantial affair considering the political and cultural turmoil surrounding its making) and somewhat rambling, but very appealing and still embracing something of the New Wave style that the original film, The 400 Blows (1959), helped define. Essentially, it just follows the adventures of Antoine (Jean-Pierre Léaud) when he's discharged from the army — adventures mostly concerning a variety of odd jobs and his romantic affairs, which, as usual, are very disordered. Classic World Cinema by Courtyard Gallery will present Stolen Kisses Friday, Sept. 26, at 8 p.m. at Phil Mechanic Studios, 109 Roberts St., River Arts District (upstairs in the Railroad Library).  Info: 273-3332,
Genre: Comedy-Drama
Director: François Truffaut
Starring: Jean-Pierre Léaud, Delphine Seyrig, Claude Jade, Michel Lonsdale
Rated: R



François Truffaut’s Stolen Kisses (1968) — the third movie in his Antoine Doinel films — is something of an oddity. It is dedicated to Henry Langlois and his Cinematheque Francais. The opening credits are in part over the closed Museum of Cinema. The film later makes passing references to the political and cultural unrest that was part of that closing — events Truffaut took a stand on. But the film itself takes place in a kind of vacuum. None of what was really going on in Paris at the time seems to intrude into this lightweight film about the further adventures of Antoine Doinel (Jean-Pierre Léaud) — a somewhat bittersweet, but mostly charming work. Why Truffaut takes this apolitical approach is unclear, though it’s possible that he simply thought — and maybe rightly — that the largely self-involved Antoine wouldn’t fit into the reality of the time. Instead, we get a slightly meandering movie that merely follows Antoine from the point of being kicked out of the army through a series of usually short-lived jobs and up to the moment he proposes  to Christine Darbon (Claude Jade).




In terms of events, Stolen Kisses is not heavy stuff. We see Antoine working at a hotel, being conned by a private detective, losing his job, getting a job at the detective agency. This in turn leads to a stint at a shoe store — working undercover — a brief affair with the boss’s wife (Delphine Seyrig), another job, etc. It’s almost featherweight, but that seems to be the point. We just spend time with the appealing, but not particularly ambitious — except as concerns his pursuit of Christine — or especially scrupulous Antoine. It’s simply a pleasant 90 minutes that has the benfit of being playfully reminiscent of Truffaut’s early films made during the first breath of the French New Wave.

Classic World Cinema by Courtyard Gallery will present Stolen Kisses Friday, Sept. 26, at 8 p.m. at Phil Mechanic Studios, 109 Roberts St., River Arts District (upstairs in the Railroad Library).  Info: 273-3332,

About Ken Hanke
Head film critic for Mountain Xpress from December 2000 until his death in June 2016. Author of books "Ken Russell's Films," "Charlie Chan at the Movies," "A Critical Guide to Horror Film Series," "Tim Burton: An Unauthorized Biography of the Filmmaker."

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