"I once had a dream, or a vision, and I imagined that dream to be of importance to other people, so I wrote the manuscript and made the film. But it is not until the moment when my dream meets with your emotions and your minds that my shadows come to life. It is your recognition that brings them to life. It is your indifference that kills them. I hope that you will understand; that you when you leave the cinema will take with you an experience or a sudden thought—or maybe a question. The efforts of my friends and myself have then not been in vain…" — Ingmar Bergman

Despite the lighter moments and the rich vein of humour that runs through it, Les Quatre Cents Coups is for the most part a bleak film. The ending, however, is ambiguous: Antoine reaches the sea, which he had never previously seen, but immediately turns back to the land. Freedom is achieved but is dull, desolate, disorienting. However Antoine has come through his various ordeals and the expression on his face can be read as one of defiance and determination to survive.