IMDb > Elevator to the Gallows (1958)
Ascenseur pour l'échafaud
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Elevator to the Gallows (1958) More at IMDbPro »Ascenseur pour l'échafaud (original title)

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Elevator to the Gallows -- Trailer for Elevator To The Gallows

Overview

User Rating:
8.0/10   11,091 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Roger Nimier (adaptation) &
Louis Malle (adaptation) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Elevator to the Gallows on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
29 January 1958 (France) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
A self-assured business man murders his employer, the husband of his mistress, which unintentionally provokes an ill-fated chain of events. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
1 win See more »
User Reviews:
naturalistic to a T, cool to the bone, atmosphere and suspense pay-off See more (73 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Jeanne Moreau ... Florence Carala
Maurice Ronet ... Julien Tavernier

Georges Poujouly ... Louis
Yori Bertin ... Véronique
Jean Wall ... Simon Carala
Elga Andersen ... 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

Charles Denner ... L'adjoint du commissaire Cherrier
Hubert Deschamps ... Le substitut du procureur
Jacques Hilling ... Le garagiste
Marcel Journet ... Le président du conseil d'administration
François Joux ... Commissaire de police

Iván Petrovich ... Horst Bencker
Félix Marten ... Christian Subervie

Lino Ventura ... Le commissaire Cherrier
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Micheline Sarfati
Robert Balpo ... Un consommateur (uncredited)
Nicolas Bataille ... Un consommateur à la brasserie (uncredited)
Marcel Bernier ... Un policier au commissariat (uncredited)

Jean-Claude Brialy ... Le jeune homme du motel (uncredited)
Christian Brocard ... Un consommateur (uncredited)
Olivier Darrieux ... Le chauffeur (uncredited)
Lucien Desagneaux ... Un journaliste (uncredited)
Pierre Devilder ... Petit rôle (uncredited)
Pierre Frag ... Un consommateur à la brasserie (uncredited)
Guy Henry ... Un inspecteur (uncredited)
Roger Jacquet ... Gaston (uncredited)
Alice Reichen ... La fleuriste (uncredited)

Directed by
Louis Malle 
 
Writing credits
Roger Nimier (adaptation) &
Louis Malle (adaptation)

Roger Nimier (dialogue)

Noël Calef (novel)

Noël Calef (pre-adaptation)

Produced by
Jean Thuillier .... producer
 
Original Music by
Miles Davis 
 
Cinematography by
Henri Decaë 
 
Film Editing by
Léonide Azar 
 
Art Direction by
Jean Mandaroux 
Rino Mondellini 
 
Makeup Department
Boris de Fast .... chief makeup
 
Production Management
Irénée Leriche .... production manager
Hubert Mérial .... unit production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Alain Cavalier .... assistant director (as Alain Fraisse)
François Leterrier .... second assistant director
 
Art Department
Pierre Guffroy .... first assistant art director
Clément Hurel .... poster artist
Jacques Martin .... property master
 
Sound Department
Raymond Gauguier .... sound engineer
 
Special Effects by
Pierre Lax .... special effects
 
Camera and Electrical Department
André Bouladoux .... key grip
Jean-Louis Castelli .... still photographer
Jean Rabier .... first assistant camera
Vincent Rossell .... still photographer
André Villard .... camera operator
 
Editorial Department
Madeleine Bibollet .... assistant editor
Kenout Peltier .... assistant editor
 
Music Department
Kenny Clarke .... musician: drums
Miles Davis .... musician: trumpet
Emilhenco .... musician: piano (as René Urtreger)
Pierre Michelot .... musician: bass
Barney Wilen .... musician: tenor sax
 
Other crew
Francine Corteggiani .... script supervisor
Jean-Paul Sassy .... technical advisor
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Ascenseur pour l'échafaud" - France (original title)
"Frantic" - USA
See more »
Runtime:
88 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Certification:
Argentina:16 | Australia:PG | Finland:K-16 | Netherlands:12 (re-release) (2005) | Netherlands:18 (original rating) (1958) | Norway:16 | Spain:16 (DVD rating) | UK:PG | USA:Not Rated | West Germany:12

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Miles Davis recorded the music with a quartet of French and US musicians in a few hours (from 11pm to 5am one night), improvising each number and allegedly sipping champagne with Jeanne Moreau and Louis Malle.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: Seen from the outside during the opening telephone call, Tavernier's office has a bare walkway and railing. Seen from the inside during the same telephone call, the walkway outside his office has a shrubbery.See more »
Quotes:
Julien Tavernier:How many billions did the Indochina War bring you? And now Algeria, how much?See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in My Wife Is an Actress (2001)See more »

FAQ

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18 out of 26 people found the following review useful.
naturalistic to a T, cool to the bone, atmosphere and suspense pay-off, 26 August 2005
Author: MisterWhiplash from United States

I've only seen a couple of other of Louis Malle's films, but I'm sure I'll want to see more after getting to see this in its revival in theaters. It's an ironic, tense, a little aloof and engrossing thriller that plays on a couple of expectations if not all. At times I almost felt like I was watching a darker, dramatic French-noir version of Curb Your Enthusiasm; you're cringing in your seat at times because everything, at least for the first hour, seems realistic, and the inter-cutting between the three plot-lines (Julien in the elevator, Florence on the streets, the lovers-on-the-run at the Motel). You know something bad will happen, as par for the style Malle is working in (it's his first film, one can/can't tell if they didn't know beforehand). But it interested me, and kept me in my seat, how I knew things may unravel as they should in these films, and I found myself having to root for someone in a sea of anti-heroes.

I mention Curb Your Enthusiasm as there is a sort of everyday occurrence that basically kicks off the plot (in tune with the genius title of the film), as Julien Tavaneur gets stuck in an elevator after getting rid of Florence Carala's rich husband (Moreau's character). Two kids, one more dangerous (if a little inexplicable, Louis) than the other, steal his car and stay at a Motel, where they meet a genial German tourist. Out of bad luck (as it is a running theme of the play), he kills the German, and things get more out of hand for everybody. In fact, the plot is rather thin, leaving room for a) suspense tenseness in the elevator scenes (and later in the interrogation scene, superbly lit), b) narrative musings by the calm Moreau, or c) troubles of the kids. These narratives are handled well, along with the typical police procedural, and it leads up to an ending that may not necessarily have a message to it.

It can't be as pat as 'crime doesn't pay'. Moreau, in a classy close-up, says things that struck a chord with me, as did many parts of the film. It may be fate, as par for the naturalism, but is there something behind the cool veneer? The only downside for me was with the performance of the actor who played Louis. I didn't think he gave enough to what is indeed a rather small-minded character. The actress who plays his girlfriend fares fine, but he is one of the keys to the film, and I felt a little uneasy watching some of his scenes later on in the film. But still, any fault(s) I had with the film were minuscule when looking at how it is overall. This is one of those films that for pretty much the whole way through had me in its grip; I've rarely felt that watching a 'film-noir' before, but I did feel a very small kinship to another love/lust/cold-murder film, Blood Simple, which leaped off of some of the conventions we all know and admire in these films.

And the contribution from Miles Davis, who is to 'cool' as the Beatles are to love & peace, can't be over-estimated. If Moreau gives the film a kind of downtrodden, wandering and wondering soul, and Malle gives the right look of the film with the great Henri (Le Samourai) Decae as DP, Davis backs up everything else. Sometimes his fast, overwhelming notes come through (mostly as on-the-set background music), and his slower music is landmark stuff, but what's surprising is that he can also add suspense, like to the elevator and interrogation scenes, and the mood is inescapable. I wouldn't be surprised if more than a few filmmakers who saw this film were inspired by Malle's use of free-flow jazz to add to the 'cool-ness' of the picture (not that he was the first of course, but it can be spotted in many films, in particular Herrmann's score for Taxi Driver). I have a feeling this may be the kind of film that will play better on multiple viewings, and for now I'm content to say it was a very well-spent trip.

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