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

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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 »
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:
Malle's Atmospheric Debut Made Resonant by Moreau's Haunting Presence and Davis's Jazz Score 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:
The tiny camera is Minox. It was originally developed as a luxury item, but it gained notoriety from its use as a spy camera.See more »
Goofs:
Revealing mistakes: When Julien is hanging from the cable and the elevator suddenly starts moving down the shaft, there is a shot of him where the walls around him aren't moving as they should.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 »
Movie Connections:

FAQ

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16 out of 18 people found the following review useful.
Malle's Atmospheric Debut Made Resonant by Moreau's Haunting Presence and Davis's Jazz Score, 20 May 2006
Author: Ed Uyeshima from San Francisco, CA, USA

Louis Malle was all of 25 when he made his directorial debut with this 1958 noirish thriller that also serves as a morality play. Using the elevator of the title as a vehicle for his leitmotif, he does an admirable job of capturing the smoky gray atmosphere of Paris in the 1950's and using it to great cinematic effect on a chain-link story of deception and murder. In fact, the whole movie plays like a Francophile version of a James M. Cain novel times two with plot twists coming in quick and sometimes contrived succession. To its credit, the brief 92-minute running time trots by quickly given the multiple story lines.

The labyrinth story focuses first on illicit lovers Florence Carala, the restless wife of a corrupt arms dealer, and Julien Tavernier, a former war hero working for Florence's husband. There is not a wasted moment as they plot her husband's murder, but of course, things go awry with a forgotten piece of evidence and a running car ready to be taken. An amoral young couple, sullen and resentful Louis and free-spirited Veronique, enter the scene tangentially and get caught up in their own deceptions with a boisterous German couple whom they meet through a fender bender. The plot strands meander somewhat and eventually come together in a climax that has all the characters confronting the harsh reality of their past actions. There is a particular poignancy in the photos Florence sees at the end since we have no indication of the depth of emotion between the lovers otherwise.

Malle, along with co-screenwriter Roger Nimier, presents an interesting puzzle full of irony and chance events, but there is a periodic slackness to the suspense, for instance, Florence's endlessly despondent walk though nocturnal Paris. Jazz great Miles Davis contributes a fitting hipster score, though the music is not as big an element as I expected in setting the mood. With her sorrowful eyes and pouting intelligence, Jeanne Moreau makes a vivid impression as Florence and gives her obsessed character the necessary gravitas to make her journey worthy of our interest. Maurice Ronet effectively plays Julien like a coiled spring throughout, and it's intriguing to note how most of his performance takes place in an immobilized elevator. As Louis and Veronique, Georges Poujuloy and the especially pixyish Yori Bertin are the forerunners for the runaway pair in Jean-Luc Godard's "Breathless" replete with youthful angst and mercenary cool.

The print transfer on the 2006 Criterion Collection DVD package is wonderfully pristine. The first disc also contains the original and 2005 re-release trailers, though there is surprisingly no scholarly audio commentary track (the usual bonus for a Criterion release). The second disc, however, makes up for it with a bevy of extras starting with an extensive 1975 early career retrospective interview with Malle, a 2005 interview with an aged but still haunting Moreau, and a joint interview with the two icons and one-time lovers at the 1993 Cannes Film Festival.

Three shorts on the second disc focus on Davis's contribution - the six-minute "The Record Session" shot the night Davis and his musicians recorded the score; a remembrance piece with pianist Rene Utreger, the only surviving member of Davis's ensemble; and the celebratory "Miles Goes Modal: The Breakthrough Score to Elevator to the Gallows" where jazz trumpeter Jon Faddis and music critic Gary Giddins discuss Davis's influence over the generation of musicians to come. There is also a short by Malle set to Charlie Parker's "Crazeology" and an informative 25-page photo essay booklet.

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