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Elevator to the Gallows

Elevator to the Gallows

Director: Louis Malle Cast: Jeanne Moreau, Maurice Ronet, Georges Poujouly

Blu-ray (Special Edition / Wide Screen / Restored)

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The feature-film debut of famed director Louis Malle is an interesting, modern film noir with the classic theme of lovers plotting to kill the husband and make it look like suicide (reminiscent of The Postman Always Rings Twice). Jeanne Moreau, as Florence Carala, gives an astonishing performance, perverse but naive as she leads her young lover down a path that can only lead to doom for both of them. Malle and his cinematographer Henri Decae make extensive use of Paris at night, giving the film the feel of claustrophobia and desperation reminiscent of the classic noir films. The excellent score by Miles Davis adds to the entire effect of this mystery thriller.

Product Details

Release Date: 02/06/2018
UPC: 0715515209717
Original Release: 1958
Rating: NR
Source: Criterion
Region Code: A
Presentation: [Wide Screen]
Time: 1:31:00
Sales rank: 343

Special Features

Interview from 2005 with actor Jeanne Moreau; Archival interviews with Moreau, director Louis Malle, actor Maurice Ronet, and original soundtrack session pianist René Urtreger; Footage of musician Miles Davis and Malle from the soundtrack recording session; Program from 2005 about the score, featuring jazz trumpeter Jon Faddis and critic Gary Giddins; Malle's student film Crazeologie, featuring Charlie Parkers's song "Crazeology"; Trailers

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jeanne Moreau Florence Carala
Maurice Ronet Julien Tavernier
Georges Poujouly Louis
Felix Marten Subervie
Lino Ventura Insp. Cherter
Jean Wall Simon Carala
Yori Bertin Veronique
Elga Andersen Mme. Bencker
Micheline Bona Genevieve
Jacqueline Staup Actor
Marcel Cuvelier Actor
Gérard Darrieu Maurice
Charles Denner Inspector Cherier's assistant
Hubert Deschamps Attorny of State
Jacques Hilling Garage owner
Marcel Journet Actor
Francois Joux Actor
Ivan Petrovich Horst Bencker
Jean-Claude Brialy Chess player at motel

Technical Credits
Louis Malle Director,Screenwriter
Leonide Azar Editor
Alain Cavalier Asst. Director
Miles Davis Score Composer
Boris de Fas Makeup
Henri Decaë Cinematographer
Irenee Leriche Production Manager
Francois Leterrier Asst. Director
Jean Mandaroux Art Director
Rino Mondellini Art Director
Jean Thuillier Producer

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Ascenseur Pour L'Echafaud 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Bryan_Cassiday_author More than 1 year ago
"Elevator to the Gallows" is a deliberately paced outstanding example of fifties-style French film noir. Accompanied by a desolate tenor sax in its score, this film does not have the jackhammer drive and breathtaking momentum of contemporary thrillers. What it lacks in nail-biting suspense, however, it more than compensates for with character and story line.

A motley collection of well-limned intriguing characters become ensared in an intricate web of malevolence that is spun by an unhappy, alienated woman who decides to use her lover as a cat's-paw to do away with her wealthy corporate husband.

In the process, two joyriding teenagers are caught in the web after they rob the murderer's expensive car while he is stuck in the company elevator during his botched attempt to flee from the scene of his recently perpetrated crime. Trapped by circumstances beyond his control and desperate to escape, like all typical film-noir antiheroes, he can do nothing--no matter how hard he struggles--but meet his miserable fate when the elevator finally starts up again.

If you like Jean-Pierre Melville noir films like "Le Samourai," you should savor watching the various characters of "Elevator" succumb to their fates.

--Bryan Cassiday, author of "Fete of Death"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago