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Small Change
Directed by François Truffaut
Produced by François Truffaut
Written by François Truffaut,
Suzanne Schiffman
Starring Nicole Félix,
Chantal Mercier,
Jean-François Stévenin,
Virginie Thévenet
Distributed by United Artists
Release date(s) March 17, 1976 (France)
Running time 104 min.
Language French

Small Change (L'Argent de poche) is a 1976 French film directed by François Truffaut. The title translates to "Pocket Money" from French, but since there was a Paul Newman movie called Pocket Money, Steven Spielberg suggested the title Small Change for US release. In English-speaking countries outside North America the film is known as "Pocket Money".



Small Change is a light family comedy concerning the daily lives of young children in Thiers, France. Scenes include a baby and a cat on an open windowsill, a girl causing confusion with a bullhorn, a double date at the movie theater, a kid telling a dirty joke, a botched haircut, as well as many scenes about school life, including one boy from a troubled, abusive home, and a young boy with a crush on the mother of one of his friends. Truffaut is less interested in telling a three act story, instead focusing on the small events that make up childhood. Most of the children were not professional actors and there is no screenplay credit, leading many to believe the dialogue was improvised. There is a pleasant theme song.


When released, Small Change amassed critical acclaim. It was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Foreign Film. Vincent Canby of the New York Times called Small Change, "an original, a major work in minor keys"[1] and Pauline Kael described it as , "that rarity, a poetic comedy that's really funny."[2] Roger Ebert named it his favorite of the year, calling it a "magical film" and singled out the windowsill scene as "Truffaut at his best." [3] Leonard Maltin gave the movie four stars (out of four) and called it "wise, witty and perceptive." [4]


  1. ^ New York Times review
  2. ^ review
  3. ^ Roger Ebert's review
  4. ^ Leonard Maltin's 2006 Movie Guide, Signet: New York

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