The story takes place in provincial France, where a group of young boys ("mistons" roughly translates "brats") are infatuated with a beautiful young woman. Jealous of her passionate affair, they conspire to make mischief for the woman and her boyfriend.
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Truffaut's technique celebrates the small things in life, something that soon characterized the whole French New Wave, and was very influential with later French film directors such as Jean-Pierre Jeunet (Amelie).
The film was shot on location in the town of Nîmes, in the south of France, notably in and around the town's Roman arena.