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

7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 1,785 users  
Reviews: 14 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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Title: The Lower Depths (1936)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Pepel Wasska
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 »
Edit

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

Finnish censorship visa # 021253. 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

Version of Nachtasyl (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
A grandly theatrical exercise by a great master
26 July 2004 | by (Frostbite Falls, MN) – See all my reviews

Now that Criterion has released not one but two 'Lower Depth' features, one by Renoir, the other by Kurosawa, you have a double bill of masterpieces to look forward to. Renoir's contribution to this menage is a surprisingly buoyant one. Gabin and Jouvet dominate the film with their mano-a-mano discussions on life and freedom. Suzy Prim is properly bitchy as the woman scorned, although Junie Astor as her oppressed sister doesn't have it in her to elevate the scenes that she's in. The plot is almost completely different from Gorky's, yet the playwright read and publicly approved of the project. In Renoir's world there is always a way out for those who are kind and strive. There are doomed souls too, but their fates are laid out in a gentle, loving manner. This isn't the best Renoir film, but it reflects his lifelong humanism and warmth (and many depth-of-field shots for those mise-en-scene fanatics). Needless to day, I enjoyed it thoroughly.


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