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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, 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 »
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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

Louis Malle shot his lead actress Jeanne Moreau in close-up and natural light and often without make-up. Moreau, an icon of French film, had never been seen like this before, to the extent that lab technicians, reportedly appalled at how unflatteringly she was photographed, refused to process the film. Once they were persuaded to, however, it soon began clear that Malle had captured every nuance of Moreau's performance. See more »

Goofs

Julien's plan to pretend suicide is foolish. Missing gunpowder residue on Carala's hand would instantly reveal that he was murdered. And since Julien was one of the last who left the building, he would be the one the first to be suspected. The police would find the camera with the shots of him and Florence, and there he goes... By the way: There is not a single drip of blood...very unlikely. See more »

Quotes

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


Soundtracks

Dîner Au Motel
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

My Friend before Dinner
18 June 2007 | by tedgSee all my reviews

I never physically met the man, but I consider Malle an old friend.

He made two films that I think are among the most perfect and intellectually adventurous I know. He also made some good films that aren't life-changing but that show insight. This is one of them.

There are no new ideas here. It unfolds as one expects. The drama is muted to the point of homeopathy.

And yet we like it because it is so economical. Its bare, honest, true. So we like it, just like we gravitate to an open person regardless of whether she is dumb. I appreciate Bresson for this, his economy which blesses the viewer with a mind that necessarily filters what we see. But Bresson goes too far and presses into the impress of abstraction. Malle is real because it is overtly untheatrical.

Its worth seeing because it is seamless bamboo and because it informs "Vanya" and "Dinner." But in terms of its effect; its callow post-noir noir. And it has that hint at the end of a "film" within that condemns the couple.

Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.


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