Lift to the Scaffold

Film, Drama
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Lift to the Scaffold

This first film from French director Louis Malle, who went on to make ‘Les Amants’ and ‘Au Revoir Les Enfants’, is a contained, pulpy crime story from 1958 that plays out over one night in Paris. Julien (Maurice Ronet) has planned the perfect murder: he’ll kill a tycoon and make off with his wife, Florence (Jeanne Moreau). But things go wrong when a young hoodlum steals his car and another parallel murder unfolds instead, while Julien finds himself stuck overnight in a lift. It’s no masterpiece, but it’s slick and tense, and the camerawork has something of the in-the-moment, on-the-ground immediacy of the French New Wave films. The late-night and early-morning shots of Paris, coupled with the improvised Miles Davis score, are reasons enough to catch it.

By: Dave Calhoun


Release details

Rated: PG
Release date: Friday February 7 2014
Duration: 89 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Louis Malle
Screenwriter: Roger Nimier, Louis Malle
Cast: Maurice Ronet
Elga Andersen
Yori Bertin
Lino Ventura
Jeanne Moreau
Ivan Petrovich
Georges Poujouly