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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 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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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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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the end of the film, alcoholic actor quotes from Shakespeare's Hamlet: 'To die, to sleep - No more; and by a sleep, to say we end The Heart-ache, and the thousand Natural shocks That Flesh is heir to?' 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

Featured in Han-shojo (1938) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

Highly watchable!
22 August 2006 | by birthdaynoodleSee all my reviews

The Criterion Collection offers two different film versions of "The Lower Depths": one made in 1936 by Jean Renoir and another one made in 1957 by Kurosawa. The two directors never worked together on either film. In fact, they only met once in their lives, many years later. Both films are based on Russian writer Maxim Gorky's 1902 play, which describes life in a miserable slum where most characters have lost all sense of hope. Renoir deals with this serious subject matter in a much more humorous and amusing way than Kurosawa, whose film is slower, decidedly somber and a lot more difficult to digest. While Renoir's work takes the viewer in an out of the slums, Kurosawa doesn't allow one to see beyond the wretchedness of the underworld. Both films are great, but it was probably Kurosawa's which left a more durable and deeper impression on me.


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