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The Lower Depths (1936)
"Les bas-fonds" (original title)

Approved  |   |  Crime, Drama, Romance  |  10 September 1937 (USA)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 2,005 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 21 critic

A charismatic thief makes friends with a bankrupt baron who comes to live in the thief's slum. Meanwhile the thief seeks the love of a young woman, who is held emotionally captive by her slumlord family.

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(play), (as E. Zamiatine) , 5 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Suzy Prim ...
Vassilissa Kostyleva
Louis Jouvet ...
Le baron
Jany Holt ...
Nastia
Vladimir Sokoloff ...
Kostylev
Robert Le Vigan ...
L'acteur alcoolique
Camille Bert ...
Le comte
René Génin ...
Louka - le philosophe (as René Genin)
Paul Temps ...
Satine - le télégraphiste
Robert Ozanne ...
Jabot de Travers
Henri Saint-Isle ...
Klestch - le cordonnier (as Saint-Iles)
Alex Allin ...
Tatar
André Gabriello ...
Toptoun - l'inspecteur des garnis
Léon Larive ...
Felix - le valet du baron
Nathalie Alexeeff ...
Anna - un pauvresse qui se meurt
Edit

Storyline

The winner of the Louis Delluc Prize as the most outstanding French photo-play of 1936, as selected by the Young Independent Critics of France (an organization and not a description.) The film treats the imprisoning hold of poverty; the disheartening odds of people rising from such social despair, and the ease in which those in the upper spheres of Society may descend. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

10 September 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Lower Depths  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Tobis-Klangfilm)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

French visa # 365 delivered on 10-11-1936. See more »

Goofs

As Kostylev lies dead on the anvil, the shadow of the camera can be seen approaching on the ground. See more »

Quotes

Vassilissa Kostyleva: One day, everything will be ours. We'll go away together. To live the good life where no one knows us.
Wasska Pepel: Stop it.
Vassilissa Kostyleva: You don't love me anymore. Why not?
See more »

Crazy Credits

The last scene zooms out and fades away to the end title: 'FIN'. See more »

Connections

Remade as Na dne (1952) See more »

Soundtracks

Title unknown
Lyrics by Charles Spaak
Sung by Irène Joachim
See more »

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User Reviews

Renoir and the classics
25 August 2007 | by See all my reviews

It was not the first time Renoir had tackled a literary work:he had already transferred to the screen Zola's "Nana" and Flaubert's "Madame Bovary" .More masterpieces were to follow with Maupassant's "Une Partie de Campagne" -though unfinished,it's my favorite- and Zola's(again)"La Bete Humaine".

I do not think that "les Bas-Fonds" is in the same league as the four works I mention above.The problem lies in the fact that this is a Russian classic and that a French director cannot "feel" it like he does in a celebrated novel of his cultural heritage such as "Madame Bovary".Yes,the names are kept,and they pay in Roubles and Kopecks.It's not enough to create a Russian atmosphere .Renoir told that he wanted to Frenchify the novel :but Gabin and Jouvet ,although they are the creme de la creme of French actors of that era (and of all time) ,are not credible as Russians or Frenchified Russians.

Renoir's permanent features of the thirties are present.His anarchist mind ,present in such works as "La Chienne " and "Boudu Sauvé des Eaux" comes to the fore:the endings of "Boudu" and "Les Bas-Fonds" are similar ,when the two heroes hit the road,turning their back on a society they despise.Suzy Prim's Vassilissa is a distant relative of Lulu "La Chienne".


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