Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Les Premieres Armes was one of three highly personal films directed by French screenwriter Rene Wheeler. Much of the story, concerning two young boys who are forced into becoming apprentice jockeys, was drawn from Wheeler's own bitter childhood experiences. Both despise the world of the racetrack, eventually rebelling against the cruelties of their superiors. The young actors playing the two protagonists don't seem not to be acting but to be truly living their roles. Uneven though it may be, Les Premieres Armes has a raw, unbridled power which compensates for its raggedness.