Stolen Kisses

Stolen Kisses (French: Baisers volés) is a 1968 French romantic comedy-drama film directed by François Truffaut starring Jean-Pierre Léaud and Claude Jade. It continues the story of the character Antoine Doinel, whom Truffaut had previously depicted in The 400 Blows and the short film Antoine and Colette. In this film, Antoine begins his relationship with Christine Darbon, which is depicted further in the last two films in the series, Bed & Board and Love on the Run.

Stolen Kisses
Original film poster
Directed byFrançois Truffaut
Produced byFrançois Truffaut
Marcel Berbert
Written byFrançois Truffaut
Claude de Givray
Bernard Revon
StarringJean-Pierre Léaud
Claude Jade
Delphine Seyrig
Music byAntoine Duhamel
Song: Que reste-t-il de nos amours? by Charles Trenet
CinematographyDenys Clerval
Edited byAgnès Guillemot
Les Films du Carrosse
Distributed byUnited Artists
Release date
  • 14 August 1968 (1968-08-14) (Avignon)
  • 4 September 1968 (1968-09-04) (France)
Running time
91 minutes
Box office$1.5 million[1]
1,156,101 admissions (France)[2]

The original French title of the film comes from a line in Charles Trenet's song "Que reste-t-il de nos amours ?" which is also used as the film's signature tune. The film was nominated for Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.[3]

The film begins with a pan onto the locked gates of the Cinémathèque Française then based at the Palais du Chaillot. On the gates there is a sign 'Relache' ('Closed'). This is Truffaut's reference to the Affaire Langlois when the head of the Cinémathèque had been sacked by the French government. He was eventually reinstated after filmmakers like Truffaut used all their wiles to foment protest.


There are many continuations from The 400 Blows; discharged from the army as unfit, Antoine Doinel seeks out his sweetheart, violinist Christine Darbon. He has written to her voluminously (but, she says, not always nicely) while in the military. Their relationship is tentative and unresolved. Christine is away skiing with friends when Antoine arrives, and her parents must entertain him themselves, though glad to see him. After she learns that Antoine has returned from military service, Christine goes to greet him at his new job as a hotel night clerk. It is a promising sign that perhaps this time, the romance will turn out happily for Antoine. He is, however, quickly fired from the hotel job. Counting the army, Antoine loses three jobs in the film, and is clearly destined to lose a fourth, all symbolic of his general difficulty with finding his identity and "fitting in".

Later, Christine attempts to guess Antoine's third job, amusingly tossing out guesses like sheriff or water taster. Finally, his job as a private detective is revealed. Throughout the film, Antoine works to maintain the job, working a case that requires him to pose as a shoe store stock boy. The job separates Antoine from his relationship with Christine. Soon, he falls for his employer's attractive (and older) wife, who willingly seduces him. He quarrels with Christine, saying he has never "admired" her. Fired from the detective agency, by the film's end, Antoine has become a TV repairman. He still avoids Christine, but she wins him back by deliberately (and simply) disabling her TV, then calling his company for repairs while her parents are away. The company sends Antoine, who is once again bumbling and inept, trying for hours to fix a TV with just one missing tube. Morning finds the two of them in bed together.

The film's final scene shows the newly engaged Antoine and Christine, strolling in the park. A strange man who has trailed Christine for days approaches the couple and declares his love for Christine. He describes his love as "permanent" and unlike the "temporary" love of "temporary people". When he walks away, Christine explains that the man must be mad. Antoine, recognising similarities in much of his own previous behaviour, admits, "He must be".


References to other Truffaut films

  • Early in the film Doinel can seen reading a French translation of the 1947 William Irish (Cornell Woolrich) novel Waltz into Darkness, the source of Truffaut's next film, Mississippi Mermaid.’’
  • In the first scene, Doinel reads Le Lys dans la vallée (The Lily in the Valley). It is another of Balzac’s books.
  • The character Colette Tazzi and her husband Albert make a brief cameo appearance. She chides Doinel for not contacting her, saying he didn't used to be "afraid of the telephone." This is a reference to the plot of the 1962 Antoine and Colette.

Critical response

Stolen Kisses was well-reviewed by critics all over the world. In an enthusiastic article from the New York Times (March 4, 1969) Vincent Canby comments:[5]

With what can only be described as cinematic grace, Truffaut's point of view slips in and out of Antoine so that something that on the surface looks like a conventional movie eventually becomes as fully and carefully populated as a Balzac novel. There is not a silly or superfluous incident, character, or camera angle in the movie. Truffaut is the star of the film, always in control, whether the movie is ranging into the area of slapstick, lyrical romance or touching lightly on De Gaulle's France (a student demonstration on the TV screen). His love of old movies is reflected in plot devices (overheard conversations), incidental action (two children walking out of the shoe store wearing Laurel and Hardy masks), and in the score, which takes Charles Trenet's 1943 song Que reste-t-il de nos amours (known in an English-language version as "I Wish You Love") and turns it into a joyous motif.

Danny Peary called it "François Truffaut's witty, sad, insightful meditation on Love, encompassing passion, courtship, confusion, conflict, romance, jealousy, disloyalty, dishonesty, sex, conquest, and commitment (and second thoughts)."[6]

Awards and nominations

Year Award ceremony Category Nominee Result
1970 NBR Awards Top Foreign Language Films Stolen Kisses Won
National Society of Film Critics Awards Best Film Stolen Kisses Nominated
Best Director François Truffaut Won
Best Supporting Actress Delphine Seyrig Won
1969 Academy Awards Best Foreign Language Film Stolen Kisses Nominated
Golden Globe Awards Best Foreign Language Film Stolen Kisses Nominated
French Syndicate of Cinema Critics Prix Méliès Stolen Kisses Won
New York Film Critics Circle Awards Best Supporting Actress Delphine Seyrig Nominated
Best Screenplay Bernard Revon, Claude de Givray, François Truffaut Nominated
1968 Cahiers du cinéma Annual Top 10 List François Truffaut 8th
Prix Louis Delluc Best Film Stolen Kisses Won

See also


  1. Tino Balio, United Artists: The Company That Changed the Film Industry, University of Wisconsin Press, 1987 p. 282
  2. Box Office information for Francois Truffaut films at Box Office Story
  3. "The 41st Academy Awards (1969) Nominees and Winners". Retrieved 15 November 2011.
  4. Allen, Don. Finally Truffaut. New York: Beaufort Books. 1985. ISBN 0-8253-0335-4. OCLC 12613514. pp. 229-230.
  5. New York Times article
  6. Peary, Danny (1986). Guide for the film fanatic. New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 405. ISBN 0-671-61081-3. OCLC 13581204.
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.