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Elevator to the Gallows (1958)

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

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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
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Storyline

Florence Carala and her lover, Julien Tavernier, want to murder her husband - Julien's boss - by faking his suicide. But after Julien's killed him, and had left, he remembers he's forgotten the rope outside the window which could implicate him, 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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The German tourists' Mercedes-Benz 300SL W198 "Gullwing" was the fastest production car of its day. It is the first production car with direct fuel injection, which is why the character mentions that the engine has no carburetor. See more »

Goofs

When Julien is leaving the Carala building, a Vedette is parked in front of the entrance. When Julien is about to drive off from the opposite side of the street, the car is gone. When he is running back to remove the rope, the Vedette is there again. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Florence Carala: I'm the one who can't take anymore. I love you. I love you. So we have to. I love you.
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Soundtracks

Dîner Au Motel
Composed by Miles Davis
Performed by Miles Davis (Trumpet), Barney Wilen (Tenor Saxophone), Emilhenco (as René Urtreger) (Piano), Pierre Michelot (Bass) and Kenny Clarke (Drums)
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User Reviews

 
The Camera has more than one picture
22 April 2006 | by ferguson-6See all my reviews

Greetings again from the darkness. The phrase Film Noir conjures up a certain feel and look and "Gallows" certainly captures what we have come to expect from the genre. However, the great director Louis Malle goes even further with his minimalistic approach to sound, lighting and dialog. Where 1944's "Double Indemnity" wreaks explosive on screen passion, Malle offers up a quiet simmering that draws the viewer into the lives of the main characters.

Jeanne Moreau is the perfect pouty French femme fatale. Her scenes of walking (wandering) the dark, rainy streets of Paris are chilling to watch for film lovers. The weak lighting and lack of make-up allow Moreau's true emotions to guide us. Malle also is tremendous in his filming of the elevator scenes with Maurice Ronet.

The secondary characters of the young lovers played by Yori Bertin (Veronique) and George Poujouly (Louis) are unmistakable in their likeness to Natalie Wood and James Dean. Watching two young kids carelessly destroy their own lives, as well as that of others, is quite the contrast to the well-conceived scheme of Moreau and Ronet.

I have not been able to come up with an apt description of the powerfully improvised jazz score from the legendary Miles Davis. The approach has been mimicked over the years, but never duplicated. It is startling in its ability to slap the viewer in the face! Moreau is of course a screen legend and went on to star in "Jules and Jim", Truffaut's "The Four Hundred Blows" and my personal favorite, "The Bride Wore Black". As great as she was in all of these, I am not sure her essence was ever better captured than her wandering through the Paris streets in "Elevator to the Gallows".


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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 »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,354, 26 June 2005

Gross USA:

$374,671

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$431,784
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(copyright length)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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