Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Lower Depths (1936)

screenshot from Hulu

"A little tea in a family setting now and then is just the thing."

The Lower Depths is a 1936 award-winning Jean Renoir film, the 2nd of many adaptations of the Gorky play. This stars Jean Gabin, an actor I love. The film explores class differences, with Gabin as a thief who lives in a flophouse. In the scene above, the landlords (at far left and far right) are using the wife's innocent sister as a bribe to get the inspector to call off a search that will expose their operation as a fence for stolen goods. The inspector is smitten by the young woman and hopes to build a happy home life with her as wife. Tea eases business transactions at times, but the sister is none too happy at being used this way. She has dreams for the future, but what hope is there that her life will be anything but drudgery at these lower depths.

I watched it via Hulu (with commercials) when it was one of their free offerings. At this point you need a paid subscription to watch it there. I can't even find a trailer or a clip online now.

Rotten Tomatoes has a critics score of 88%. TCM links to some reviews.

Please check out the other T Tuesday offerings over at Bleubeard and Elizabeth's weekly gathering. Our host is celebrating Halloween early with treats.


  1. Interesting tea scene. Too bad the film is no longer offered for free

  2. I must look for this movie and hope to see it on TCM as I love movies of the 30's and 40's especially. We subscribe to the TCM 'Now Playing' Guide so I will def. look for it there. Thanks for sharing and a happy T day!

  3. Nice tea scene, but I wouldn't really want to drink anything with my family! Happy T day and have a good week, hugs Valerie

  4. Another vintage gem you've turned up for us! Hulu is on our Netflix, but we haven't paid to watch anything on it...amazing technology that could end up taking all of my time...kind of like the computer! lol Happy T day!

  5. Must be an interesting film for sure!
    Happy T-Day!

  6. I know what you mean about Hulu offering "limited time" viewings, then charging once you get interested in a movie or a TV series. Seems they've gotten worse in the past few months, too. It looks like an interesting movie, anyway and I enjoyed the screen shot.

    Thanks for sharing this tea related movie with us for T this Tuesday. You find the most amazing shows to review!

    1. I wouldn't see a lot of these movies if they didn't offer them free. I don't have cable/satellite service or any subscriptions. I track Hulu's free offerings through this blog: https://www.criterion.com/current/posts and there are always more than enough there to keep me happy.

  7. Interesting screen shot.
    Looks like they put quite a lot into the set as well as the plot and actors.
    Black and white films have a whole different feel to them.
    I am not checked out on Hulu. I seem to spend so much time already being "plugged in" LOL
    Happy T Day oxo

  8. Another interesting thing about some of these old movies are the beautiful sets! Much more formal and elaborate than anything around today!

  9. Thank you for sharing a tea scene from this movie. The story sounds interesting.
    Happy T day

  10. Don't have Hulu, but this sounds like an interesting movie.
    Happy T Day! :)

  11. i like this Screen shot and the movie sounds interesting. happy t-day for the rest of the week!

  12. Thanks for the movie tip and Happy T-Day!

  13. Thanks for sharing the movie.It must be amazing!Happy T Day! :)