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Elevator to the Gallows (1958)

Ascenseur pour l'échafaud (original title)
Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Thriller | 29 January 1958 (France)
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A self-assured businessman murders his employer, the husband of his mistress, which unintentionally provokes an ill-fated chain of events.

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(adaptation), (adaptation) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Louis
...
...
...
Frieda Bencker
Sylviane Aisenstein ...
Yvonne, La fille du bar
Micheline Bona ...
Geneviève
Gisèle Grandpré ...
Jacqueline Mauclair
Jacqueline Staup ...
Anna
Marcel Cuvelier ...
Le réceptionniste du motel
Gérard Darrieu ...
Maurice
...
...
Le substitut du procureur
Jacques Hilling ...
Le garagiste
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Storyline

Florence Carala and her lover Julien Tavernier, an ex - paratrooper want to murder her husband by faking a suicide. But after Julien has killed him and he puts his things in his car, he finds he has forgotten the rope outside the window and he returns to the building to remove it... Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

rope | murder | german | alibi | thief | See All (157) »

Taglines:

The most tense, taut 24 hours that ever confronted a woman and her lover. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

29 January 1958 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Elevator to the Gallows  »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,354, 26 June 2005, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$109,257, 16 December 2016
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(copyright length)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The German tourists' Mercedes-Benz 300SL W198 "Gullwing" was the fastest production car of its day. It is the first production car with direct fuel injection, which is why the characters mention that the engine has no carburetors. See more »

Goofs

The incriminating photographs on the Minox camera could not have been taken, as that model of camera had no "delay" feature and there certainly would have been no third party present when they were taken. See more »

Quotes

Commissaire de police: Anything's good for an alibi. Wives, girlfriends, bartenders, childhood friends, deceived husbands - but not an elevator. That's ridiculous. It's totally harebrained.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Broken Embraces (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

L'Assassinat De Carala
Composed by Miles Davis
Performed by Miles Davis (Trumpet), Barney Wilen (Tenor Saxophone), René Urtreger (Piano), Pierre Michelot (Bass) and Kenny Clarke (Drums)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Camera has more than one picture
22 April 2006 | by See all my reviews

Greetings again from the darkness. The phrase Film Noir conjures up a certain feel and look and "Gallows" certainly captures what we have come to expect from the genre. However, the great director Louis Malle goes even further with his minimalistic approach to sound, lighting and dialog. Where 1944's "Double Indemnity" wreaks explosive on screen passion, Malle offers up a quiet simmering that draws the viewer into the lives of the main characters.

Jeanne Moreau is the perfect pouty French femme fatale. Her scenes of walking (wandering) the dark, rainy streets of Paris are chilling to watch for film lovers. The weak lighting and lack of make-up allow Moreau's true emotions to guide us. Malle also is tremendous in his filming of the elevator scenes with Maurice Ronet.

The secondary characters of the young lovers played by Yori Bertin (Veronique) and George Poujouly (Louis) are unmistakable in their likeness to Natalie Wood and James Dean. Watching two young kids carelessly destroy their own lives, as well as that of others, is quite the contrast to the well-conceived scheme of Moreau and Ronet.

I have not been able to come up with an apt description of the powerfully improvised jazz score from the legendary Miles Davis. The approach has been mimicked over the years, but never duplicated. It is startling in its ability to slap the viewer in the face! Moreau is of course a screen legend and went on to star in "Jules and Jim", Truffaut's "The Four Hundred Blows" and my personal favorite, "The Bride Wore Black". As great as she was in all of these, I am not sure her essence was ever better captured than her wandering through the Paris streets in "Elevator to the Gallows".


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