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Elevator to the Gallows (1958)

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

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

Gross USA:

$374,671

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$431,784
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

The tiny camera is Minox. It was originally developed as a luxury item, but it gained notoriety from its use as a spy camera. See more »

Goofs

Lift and stairs end on the 10th floor, where Julien, Geneviève and Maurice enter the lift. But Carala's office is one floor above. The board in the lobby also shows: "10 Direction Générale". 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 »


Soundtracks

Ascenseur Pour L'Échafaud (Générique)
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

 
This film should be widely available on DVD
3 June 2004 | by jbinfoSee all my reviews

This film is a master piece. Miles Davis's music is superb. It is an object lesson on the art of combining sound and vision. The tension and the brooding Parisian atmosphere are heightened with cool and poignant playing. It is surprising (to the best of my knowledge) that this is the only complete original film score he produced.

The story of the crime is clever. It has reasonable human motivation and plot, and is steadily revealed. But, it is the study of 'being in the wrong place at the wrong time' that makes this film a classic. The series of chance events that will dramatically effect the characters' lives, give this film a similar feel to 'Run Lola Run' or 'Irreversible', dispute this film's linear structure and age. The dark cinematography is excellent.

I have only had an opportunity to see it once (I only just caught it because BBC4 listed it under its English title), but I would like to see it again.

The soundtrack is widely available, but I can not find the film on DVD or PAL VHS. This film should be available to a wider audience, for me, preferably in French with English subtitles.

P.S. This wonderful film is now available on DVD as part of the Louis Malle Collection: Volume 1. (Updated 11/10/2006.)


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