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Elevator to the Gallows(Ascenseur pour l'échafaud)

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France · 1958
1h 31m
Director Louis Malle
Starring Jeanne Moreau, Maurice Ronet, Georges Poujouly, Yori Bertin
Genre Crime, Drama, Thriller

An interesting, modern film noir with the classic theme of lovers plotting to kill the husband and make it look like suicide. But their plans on running away together go awry when another young couple steal their getaway vehicle.

Stream Elevator to the Gallows

What are people saying?

Zoe Rogan Profile picture for Zoe Rogan

Unsurprisingly, the legendary Jeanne Moreau gives the standout performance in Elevator to the Gallows as the surprisingly sympathetic femme fatale, but everyone and everything is in top form in Louis Malle's impressive feature film debut. Like his French New Wave contemporaries, Malle knew exactly what made American film noir so great, and he impeccably replicates that magic while bringing his own movement's innovations and style.

What are critics saying?


Salon by Andrew O'Hehir

A tightly structured thriller with a brilliantly moody performance by Jeanne Moreau, and depending on your point of view, it's either one of the few genuine French noir films or an early entry in the New Wave.


The New Yorker by David Denby

Moreau's nocturnal wanderings are made unbearably poignant by an exquisite Miles Davis jazz score that became famous in its own right.


Los Angeles Times by Kenneth Turan

A consummate entertainment rich with the romantic atmosphere of Paris in the 1950s. Coming at a turning point in French cinematic history, it drew upon several major talents - director Louis Malle, star Jeanne Moreau, cinematographer Henri Decaë, musician Miles Davis - and achieved near-legendary results with all of them.


Village Voice by Melissa Anderson

It's precisely Malle's omnivorous appetite that makes his first feature, adapted from a policier, so delectable, one stuffed with many sumptuous sights and sounds.


Chicago Sun-Times by Roger Ebert

These 1950s French noirs abandon the formality of traditional crime films, the almost ritualistic obedience to formula, and show crazy stuff happening to people who seem to be making up their lives as they go along.


Boston Globe by Wesley Morris

The film's look makes a divine accessory for its music, which Miles Davis composed. There's not even 20 minutes of it in the film, yet it still defines the atmosphere, transforming a crime yarn into a bebop noir.

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