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5,358 Ratings

Elevator to the Gallows

Ascenseur pour l'échafaud

Directed by Louis Malle
France, 1958
Drama, Thriller, Crime


Femme fatale Florence recruits her lover, Julien, to murder her husband in his office. The man does the dirty deed eagerly, but gets trapped in an elevator when he returns to remove a key piece of evidence. Julien’s unfortunate oversight will unintentionally provoke an ill-fated chain of events.

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Elevator to the Gallows Directed by Louis Malle
The way that Louis Malle shoots Jeanne Moreau—those are some of the most beautiful walking scenes I’ve seen. She’s walking in the rain with her head held high, lost in herself, mumbling, and with that amazing score being played by Miles Davis. There is something so modern about the film, and it feels like it opens so many doors.
June 01, 2018
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Malle appeared to be torn between a hyper-controlled aesthetic that’s reminiscent of artists like Alfred Hitchcock, and an open and chaotic kind of drama that anticipates the concerns of Malle’s later films. The characters are components of a formal and political schematic rather than living and breathing creations, though Malle also captures Paris with a docudramatic volatility that hints at the greater films that would follow from him and the blossoming French New Wave.
February 06, 2018
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The movie utilizes an effortlessly suave musical score by Miles Davis to conjure up an overall feeling of chaos that surrounds the characters’ every move. Blistering trumpet notes rain down from the heavens as Florence wanders the streets of Paris suffocating in doubt over her lover’s disappearance… Malle spins new webs around typical noir conventions, giving darker implications of fate and comeuppance a fresh verve.
September 13, 2016
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