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Film / Stolen Kisses

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Stolen Kisses is a 1968 film from France directed by François Truffaut. It is the third film in his five-film series The Adventures of Antoine Doinel, which follows the character of Antoine Doinel from his juvenile delinquent youth to his somewhat disappointing adulthood.

This one finds Antoine, played as always by Jean-Pierre Léaud, leaving the army via dishonorable discharge, having been as much of a bumbling goof in military life as he was in civilian. He seeks out his old crush, Christine (Claude Jade). Antoine offers dogged devotion but Christine maintains a distance between them. Meanwhile, Antoine blunders his way through a series of jobs. Having been kicked out of the army he gets a job as a night clerk at a hotel, only to be soon fired from that position as well. He then gets work with a private detective agency, and is terrible at that job too. Sent to work undercover in a shoe store, he finds himself distracted from Christine by the store owner's sexy wife Fabienne (Delphine Seyrig).

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Tropes:

  • As You Know: The officer who is telling Antoine about his dishonorable discharge from the army reads out all the times Antoine has gone AWOL and gotten into trouble. Justified in universe as the officer is explaining the reason for Antoine's discharge.
  • Continuity Nod: While out and about on the streets Antoine runs into Colette, his crush from the second film in the Antoine Doinel series, Antoine and Colette. She is taking a walk with Albert, seen at the end of Antoine and Colette as the man who beats out Antoine for her love; they're now married with a baby.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Antoine as usual, hanging around Christine, spending all the time he can with her even when she's giving him mixed signals.
  • Eiffel Tower Effect: Just to make sure we know where we are, the first shot after the end of the opening credits shows the tower.
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  • Exact Eavesdropping: Fabienne is among the shelves when she hears the girls over in the next row of shelves talking about how Antoine has a crush on her.
  • Everything Sounds Sexier in French: Inverted, as Antoine is quite obviously turned on when Fabienne picks up the phone and chats in English for a bit. (So turned on that he starts trying to learn it.)
  • Fake Static: Antoine taps the receiver with his pen while pretending to plead with the operator to not cut them off, pretending to lose the phone call when he has to end a phone conversation with Christine to follow a suspect.
  • Fanservice: The unfaithful wife pops up topless out of bed.
  • Gratuitous English: Truffaut had a habit of throwing some English in his films for no particular reason. Here he has Fabienne take a phone call and chatter away in English briefly. Antoine is shown in the next scene practicing with a "Cours d'Anglais" record set.
  • Idiosyncratic Wipe: One of Truffaut's trademarks. A scene with Antoine following a woman starts out with a small box on Antoine, the rest of the frame being black. The image then expands out to fill the screen.
  • Incredibly Obvious Tail: Antoine the incompetent detective has a habit of tailing people by simply walking behind them at a distance of only a few yards. The first time he does this, the woman he's following spots him and sends a policeman after him.
  • Off-into-the-Distance Ending: Ends with Antoine and Christine walking away in the park, he having finally won her affections.
  • Said Bookism: Discussed Trope, when Henri asks for a different word to use instead of "say" as he's already used it ten times in writing his report that morning.
  • She's Got Legs: Fabienne is introduced trying on shoes in her husband's store, while wearing a short skirt and positioned in a way to show off her smooth calves.
  • Stage Magician: Antoine has a job following a stage magician who does tricks with ropes. He makes a date out of it by inviting Christine along.
  • Stalker with a Crush: The creepy guy in the raincoat who keeps following Christine around. The movie ends with him finally approaching Christine in the park, while she's with Antoine, and declaring his love. Antoine seems to realize that he and the stalker aren't so different.
  • Streetwalker: Antoine picks one up outside a cemetery, of all places.
  • While You Were in Diapers: Henri, one of the older detectives at the Blady detective agency, tells M. Blady that "I argued with your father when you were in knee pants!"
  • Wrong Insult Offence: An attempt at Hitler Ate Sugar backfires when Georges Tabard correctly points out that Hitler was an artist, not a housepainter as Fabienne had just implied.
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