François Truffaut and Adoption

Truffaut's grave




Truffaut was born in Paris to an architect and his wife. He was a frail child and his parents, sports enthusiasts, rejected him, sending him to live with his grandmother until he was eight, and he was neglected by his parents after returning to them.

He discovered films when he was 11. He left school at 14 and worked at menial jobs but was sent to reform school (borstal) for thefts committed to finance his cinema interests. The influential journalist and film critic André Bazin rescued him and fostered him.

He joined the French army but deserted as a conscientious objector and was imprisoned. Bazin rescued him again and found him a job as a critic for the magazine he edited. In 1954 Truffaut published an article which established him as the founder of the French New Wave. His first film was also made in 1954, Une Visite, and he went on to make a number of the most influential films of the second half of the century, including The 400 Blows, Jules et Jim, The Wild Child (about a feral child), The Man Who Loved Women, The Bride Wore Black, and he acted in Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

He died of a brain tumor shortly after the birth of his third child.


Dever, Maria, and Dever, Aileen. Relative Origins: Famous Foster and Adopted People. (Portland: National Book Company, 1992) International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers, vol. 2: Directors, edited by Laurie Collier Hillstrom. 3rd edition. (Detroit: St. James Press, 1997) Microsoft Encarta 98 Encyclopedia, 1993-97 De Baecque, Antoine, and Toubiana, Serge. Truffaut. (New York: Knopf, 1999) "Chronologie." [Includes portraits]. Available at: Baseline's Encyclopedia of Film. "Francois Truffaut." Available at: