Les Mistons

François Truffaut: The Mischief Makers

François TruffautThe Mischief Makers (1957) is the second short film by French director François Truffaut.

The Mischief Makers (1957), Les Mistons in French, is based on the novel by Maurice Pons, Virginal (1955), which won the Grand Prix de la Nouvelle, who also worked in the film as dialogue writer.

The Mischief Makers is a gang of pals who fall in love and are infatuated with a beautiful young woman, Berdanette Lafont. Once the young woman meet her boyfriend, the actor Gérard Blain, the gang begins to follow them in order to disturb as much as possible, making some mischiefs.

We can see here key elements of what would very soon be the French New Wave (Nouvelle Vague). We can see the naturality and the expression of the characters towards the small things of life, the small details, and discoveries, like love, sex, cigarettes or death.

The narrator, voice-over, is the actor Michel François, who gave the voice for the Anthony Perkins character (Norman Bates) in the French dubbing of Psycho (1960).

The music, highly consistent with both the short film and the period, belongs to the composer and conductor Maurice Leroux.

As curiosities, there is the scene recorded in the Roman amphitheatre of Nîmes, which is enabled for bullfights occasionally, and the appearance of some strange characters, like the man who never gives a light.

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