Watch Elevator to the Gallows
- 1 hr 28 min
Elevator to the Gallows is a French crime film directed by Louis Malle and released in 1958. The movie is a gripping noir thriller that revolves around a murder plot and the subsequent events that unfold over a single night. The film features a talented cast of actors, including Jeanne Moreau, Maurice Ronet, Georges Poujouly, and Yori Bertin.
The story of Elevator to the Gallows takes place in Paris, and it begins with Julien Tavernier (Maurice Ronet), a businessman who is trapped in an unhappy marriage and has fallen in love with his employer's wife, Florence Carala (Jeanne Moreau). They hatch a plan to get rid of Florence's husband, the wealthy industrialist Simon Carala, so they can be together. Julien, a former soldier, sneaks into his boss's office to steal his gun and make it look like a suicide. Julien then slips out of the building and heads for his car outside. Unfortunately, the elevator malfunctions and traps the driver on the upper floor, leaving Julien stranded in the building with no escape.
Meanwhile, Florence is eagerly waiting for Julien to call her so they can arrange their new life together. But when he fails to call, she becomes increasingly anxious and ventures out into the Parisian streets to search for him. She unwittingly picks up a young delinquent Antoine (Georges Poujouly) who steals Julien's car, thinking it is abandoned.
As Julien tries to find a way out of the building, Florence becomes more and more desperate as the night wears on. At the same time, the police launch an investigation into Simon's death and is seemingly closing in on Julien, believing him to be the prime suspect. The combination of suspense, intrigue, and complex characters creates an incredible narrative that keeps the viewer on the edge of their seat throughout the movie.
One of the most striking elements of Elevator to the Gallows is the soundtrack, composed by jazz legend Miles Davis. The highly stylized score is a major highlight of the film, perfectly capturing the mood and tone of the various scenes. The music adds an incredible layer of depth and atmosphere, elevating the film beyond a standard crime thriller.
Louis Malle's direction is also noteworthy, as he expertly uses the lighting and camera angles to create a moody and atmospheric look that perfectly captures the sense of desperation and tension in the movie. The film presents a stark portrayal of the Parisian streets and the nightlife, which is often presented as beautiful on the exterior but dark and toxic beneath the surface.
Jeanne Moreau, who plays the lead character of Florence Carala, is the standout of the movie. Her performance as a woman caught in a dangerous love triangle is incredible, conveying a complex range of emotions that keeps the audience invested in her fate. Florence is both a victim and a predator in the story, and Moreau perfectly balances her vulnerability and strength.
Maurice Ronet also delivers a strong performance as Julien, the tragic anti-hero who finds himself trapped in a deadly spiral of events. He managed to convey the character's inner turmoil and desperation, effectively conveying his sense of hopelessness and regret.
In conclusion, Elevator to the Gallows is an outstanding example of the French New Wave movement of the 1950s and 1960s. The film is a masterful blend of sophisticated cinematography, a thrilling plot, and a powerful soundtrack that has cemented its place in history as one of the best French noir films ever made.
Elevator to the Gallows is a 1957 crime movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 28 minutes. It has received outstanding reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.9 and a MetaScore of 94.