Francois Truffaut famously said it is impossible to make an anti-war film. This is cited numerous times by Ebert, and there is even the trope "Truffaut was right". But what is the source for this statement?

  • 7
    What exactly are you after? Do you want to know what he meant with it? Or if he got this from somewhere else? Or if there was a particular incident that inspired him to this quote? Or when exactly he said that? What is it you want to know?
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Commented Jan 30, 2014 at 14:33
  • I mainly want to know where it was recorded so I can cite the original quote, instead of other people saying he said it. As well as see the original context.
    – Rob Mosher
    Commented Jan 31, 2014 at 20:59
  • Really interesting - Ebert used the quote in his review of the movie Platoon (1986) and of course everyone quotes him, but the original source work doesn't appear to be available via Google. Wonder if this is something Ebert heard Truffaut say as opposed to a literary piece.
    – lonstar
    Commented Feb 12, 2014 at 17:25

2 Answers 2


The earliest reference I could find was referenced in Truffaut: A Biography starting on page 163, 2nd paragraph.

This link starts on page 163 and gives the background. On page 164 there is the trope.

Truffaut never directly says "impossible to make an anti-war film." Rather in describing his desire to make one concerning Algiers, he decides that he cannot because "to show something is to ennoble it."


I found this quote today in a November 11, 1973 Chicago Tribune (pg 3e) interview Gene Siskel did with Francois Truffaut:

"I find that violence is very ambiguous in movies. For example, some films claim to be antiwar, but I don't think I've really seen an antiwar film. Every film about war ends up being pro-war."

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .