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Elevator to the Gallows

  • Film
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Ascenseur pour l'Echafaud
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Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

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.

Written by Dave Calhoun

Release Details

  • Rated:PG
  • Release date:Friday 7 February 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
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