Combustible Celluloid
 
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With: Jeanne Moreau, Maurice Ronet, Georges Poujouly, Yori Bertin, Lino Ventura
Written by: Louis Malle, Roger Nimier, based on the novel by Noel Calef
Directed by: Louis Malle
MPAA Rating: NR
Language: French with English subtitles
Running Time: 88
Date: 01/29/1958
IMDB

Elevator to the Gallows (1958)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

The Big Lift

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Like a black-and-white Hitchcockian tour of hell, Louis Malle's feature debut, Elevator to the Gallows (1958) introduces Julien (Maurice Ronet), who murders his boss so that he can skip town with the boss's wife (Jeanne Moreau). But on his way to meet her, he gets trapped in an elevator! Beautiful, brooding Moreau wanders around Paris in the rain, wondering what could have happened, while two bored, attractive teens (Georges Poujouly and Yori Bertin) steal her lover's car and his identity. Malle (Vanya on 42nd Street marries suspense with bourgeoisie ennui, which works quite effectively for most of the film's running time. Best of all is the glorious, yet restrained, original score by Miles Davis at the height of his powers.

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