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The Lower Depths (1936)

Les bas-fonds (original title)
Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Romance | 10 September 1937 (USA)
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.

Director:

Jean Renoir

Writers:

Maxim Gorky (play), Yevgeni Zamyatin (as E. Zamiatine) | 5 more credits »
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2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

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

Taglines:

Dialogue titles in English See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film is part of the Criterion Collection, which is included with The Lower Depths (1957), spine #239. 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 Na dne (1978) See more »

Soundtracks

Title unknown
Lyrics by Charles Spaak
Sung by Irène Joachim
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User Reviews

 
Despite the horrible little world Gorky created, Renoir makes it so very watchable.
6 July 2014 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

Seeing Maxim Gorky's play about the lowest level of society is an ultra- depressing depressing experience. Everyone is miserable and wretched and the entire production is filled with people who are complete messes. However, in this movie version, director Jean Renoir manages to make the film watchable and quite watchable! How does he do this? Well, he did a great job directed, got some wonderful performances AND used a script that changed the original play--giving it a hopeful and relatively happy ending!! While I usually would never want to see this (such as how they gave happy endings in "The Hairy Ape" and the recent version of "The Scarlet Letter"), in this it was a good thing! Giving the audience something to hope for makes this well worth seeing--not an exercise in masochism! All in all, extremely well made and the best version of the Gorky story I have seen.


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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French

Release Date:

10 September 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Lower Depths See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Films Albatros See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (Tobis-Klangfilm)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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