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Elevator to the Gallows (1958)

Ascenseur pour l'échafaud (original title)
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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, 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:

The most tense, taut 24 hours that ever confronted a woman and her lover. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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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, 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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Mercedes-Benz "Gullwing" 300SLs are highly sought-after collector cars now. Produced from 1954 to 1957, they originally sold for $11,000 USD. A pair (Gullwing and Roadster) were offered together for $1.3 million USD in 2009, and in 2012 an extremely rare 1955 model with aluminum body (of which only 29 were made) was sold for $4.62 million USD. See more »

Goofs

Time leaps: When Louis is driving off with Julien's car, the clock on the dashboard reads 5.15, although it is actually about 7.40 p.m. The next moment the clock reads 11.20. After passing by Florence at the cafe, the clock reads 11.50. When Florence is leaving the cafe to start her walk, a clock in the cafe reads 9.30, a few seconds later the clock over a pub reads 2.35. A minute later Julien's watch reads 8.29 p.m. Another minute later the clock in the garage reads 11.25 p.m. See more »

Quotes

Julien Tavernier: How many billions did the Indochina War bring you? And now Algeria, how much?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Pet miliónu svedku (1965) See more »

Soundtracks

Sur L'Autoroute
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 »

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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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