8.0/10
17,233
85 user 120 critic

Elevator to the Gallows (1958)

Ascenseur pour l'échafaud (original title)
Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Thriller | 29 January 1958 (France)
Trailer
1:49 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $3.99 (HD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
A self-assured businessman murders his employer, the husband of his mistress, which unintentionally provokes an ill-fated chain of events.

Director:

Louis Malle

Writers:

Roger Nimier (adaptation), Louis Malle (adaptation) | 3 more credits »
1 win. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

The Lovers (1958)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Saddled with a dull husband and a foolish lover, a woman has an affair with a stranger.

Director: Louis Malle
Stars: Jeanne Moreau, Alain Cuny, Jean-Marc Bory
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Alain Leroy is having a course of treatment in a private hospital because of his problem with alcohol. Although he is constantly distressed, he leaves the hospital and tries to meet good ... See full summary »

Director: Louis Malle
Stars: Maurice Ronet, Léna Skerla, Yvonne Clech
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A French boarding school run by priests seems to be a haven from World War II until a new student arrives. He becomes the roommate of top student in his class. Rivals at first, the roommates form a bond and share a secret.

Director: Louis Malle
Stars: Gaspard Manesse, Raphael Fejtö, Francine Racette
Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

This merry farce depicts a satirical view of the French society: Ten-year-old Zazie has to stay two days with her relatives in Paris, so that her mother can spend some time with her lover. ... See full summary »

Director: Louis Malle
Stars: Catherine Demongeot, Philippe Noiret, Hubert Deschamps
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

In 1944, an 18-year old boy from small-town France, collaborates with the Nazi-regime and subsequently falls in love with a Jewish girl.

Director: Louis Malle
Stars: Pierre Blaise, Aurore Clément, Holger Löwenadler
Jules and Jim (1962)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Decades of a love triangle concerning two friends and an impulsive woman.

Director: François Truffaut
Stars: Jeanne Moreau, Oskar Werner, Henri Serre
Pickpocket (1959)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Michel is released from jail after serving a sentence for thievery. His mother dies and he resorts to pickpocketing as a means of survival.

Director: Robert Bresson
Stars: Martin LaSalle, Marika Green, Jean Pélégri
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

In the end of the first Indochina War, an open-minded teenage boy finds himself between the urge to discover love and the ever-present, dominating affection of his mother.

Director: Louis Malle
Stars: Lea Massari, Benoît Ferreux, Daniel Gélin
Atlantic City (1980)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In a corrupt city, a small-time gangster and the estranged wife of a pot dealer find themselves thrown together in an escapade of love, money, drugs, and danger.

Director: Louis Malle
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Susan Sarandon, Kate Reid
Le Samouraï (1967)
Certificate: GP Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

After Professional hitman Jef Costello is seen by witnesses his efforts to provide himself an alibi drive him further into a corner.

Director: Jean-Pierre Melville
Stars: Alain Delon, François Périer, Nathalie Delon
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Charlie Kohler is a piano player in a bar. The waitress Lena is in love with him. One of Charlie's brother, Chico, a crook, takes refuge in the bar because he is chased by two gangsters, ... See full summary »

Director: François Truffaut
Stars: Charles Aznavour, Marie Dubois, Nicole Berger
La Notte (1961)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A day in the life of an unfaithful married couple and their steadily deteriorating relationship.

Director: Michelangelo Antonioni
Stars: Jeanne Moreau, Marcello Mastroianni, Monica Vitti
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jeanne Moreau ... Florence Carala
Maurice Ronet ... Julien Tavernier
Georges Poujouly ... Louis
Yori Bertin ... Véronique
Jean Wall ... Simon Carala
Elga Andersen ... Frieda Bencker
Sylviane Aisenstein Sylviane Aisenstein ... Yvonne, La fille du bar
Micheline Bona Micheline Bona ... Geneviève
Gisèle Grandpré Gisèle Grandpré ... Jacqueline Mauclair
Jacqueline Staup Jacqueline Staup ... Anna
Marcel Cuvelier Marcel Cuvelier ... Le réceptionniste du motel
Gérard Darrieu Gérard Darrieu ... Maurice
Charles Denner ... L'adjoint du commissaire Cherrier
Hubert Deschamps ... Le substitut du procureur
Jacques Hilling Jacques Hilling ... Le garagiste
Edit

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

Taglines:

More Thrills and Suspense and Daring! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Rialto Pictures

Country:

France

Language:

French | German

Release Date:

29 January 1958 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Elevator to the Gallows See more »

Edit

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

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(copyright length)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

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

When Louis can't start the Mercedes, Horst Bencker reveals that the car won't start because he's taken first gear out. However, with no further changes, Louis is able to drive off five minutes later. 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 Dante no es únicamente severo (1967) 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 »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Overrated
25 April 2011 | by dougdoepkeSee all my reviews

No need to recap the plot. The movie really represents a triumph of form over content. Seldom have I seen a smoother technique than director Malle shows here. The transition from scene to scene is almost seamless and keeps the viewer engaged regardless what's developing plot-wise. Then too, Decae's camera work shows how compelling natural lighting can be. The overall effect is one of effortless fluidity, a style well suited to lyrical subjects.

The trouble is the material itself is better suited to Hollywood B-movie techniques. In short, the material is jagged, while Malle's style is smooth, resulting unfortunately in a thriller drained of inherent drama. Note, for example, the elevator sequence, a predicament fairly bursting with suspenseful potential. Yet Malle's style does little to heighten the implicit desperation and even cuts away (though smoothly) from the mounting tension. To be fair, Ronet (Tavernier) adds nothing by remaining impassive throughout. (Perhaps paratroopers never sweat.) Thus the movie's dramatic centerpiece flattens out into just one more event among many.

Then there are the various misadventures of the free-spirited kids. They look cuddly, but remain amoral cyphers throughout, their double homicide coming across again as just one more event, no more important than Florence's (Moreau) dispirited walk up the avenue. In fact, the one time Malle highlights with his camera is that lengthy trudge through Paris, a director clearly fascinated by Moreau's distinctive appearance. Again, the style is smooth and polished, but also highly impersonal and homogenizing. I kept wishing one of Hollywood's noir masters like Nicholas Ray or Billy Wilder had gotten hold of the material first.

No need to go on apart from Malle about a sloppy script with its number of plot holes helpfully cited by other reviewers, or about overlooked details like a bullet to the head that raises no blood. All in all, I wonder how many folks would celebrate the film if it were not from France with Malle's name on it. Apart from its influence on French cinema, the movie does not wear well over time. Moreover, given the style he shows here, it's no surprise to me that Malle's breakthrough movie would be titled The Lovers rather than this over-civilized slice of thick ear.


17 of 31 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 85 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed