Monday, February 22, 2016

Elevator to the Gallows

Elevator to the Gallows is a 1958 French film, the debut film of Louis Malle. It stars Jeanne Moreau (called "the greatest actress in the world" by Orson Welles and still acting at age 88) and Maurice Ronet (who died of cancer at age 55). The lovers plan to kill the woman's husband. Nothing goes as planned.

The score by Miles Davis is often called "groundbreaking".


I watched it at Hulu, free with commercials, but they've put it back behind the paywall now.

Slant Magazine praises the score. closes by saying, "much of the film is groundbreaking, not only in its juxtaposition of sight and sound but, in the angular editing style, serrated narrative, and of course the film’s influence on the noir genre." Bright Lights Film calls it "a fantastic period piece".

Roger Ebert gives it 3.5 out of 4 stars. Rotten Tomatoes has a critics score of 92%.


  1. This looks very noir, very elegant. I like Moreau, but was a bit disappointed when she had a completely disfiguring facelift some years ago. I hope the tatooed and pierced generation will handle the sign of aging better; when they offered the mum-in-law a portacath she refused for a long time, afraid of "permanent scarring". At 95... :-)

    1. I agree, some of the plastic surgery disfigurements in men and women make the person look so strange but no younger. I remember the people at the hospital treating mother in a very patronizing way when they heard her list eyebrow pencil as something she wanted me to bring her from her apartment. Yes, she was over 90, but she wanted to do what she could to maintain appearances.

      People judge us no matter what we do, and the pressure on the famous as they age must be severe.

  2. If Miles Davis scored it, it had to be good.

    Reading your message to Viktoria above reminded me of my friend Kathy, who is almost 80, and has her nails done (fancy) every two weeks, just got a new color put in her hair, and wears makeup every day. I don't care how young or old a person, if it makes them feel better, I say "right on." Of course, I'm one who believes no one should look down on anyone else.

    1. Yes! I agree completely. To each his or her own, and the condescension of folks to the elderly -treating them like children- irritates me.