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Elevator to the Gallows

Elevator to the Gallows (1958 - Louis Malle)

Louis Malle's feature debut, and the prototype for the French New Wave. A Noirish tale about an elaborate killing and the four people caught up in the aftermath, including the murderer stuck in an elevator impeding his getaway, his lover wandering the streets wondering what happened to him, and the two teenagers who steal the man's car, assume his identity and get into deadly trouble of their own. Will the assassin have to confess to one crime to be cleared of another? Is there a way out? Will the police piece it all together before any of them can cover their tracks? All I know is don't leave cameras with undeveloped film in them lying around.

I hadn't seen this one in years, though I've probably listened to the Miles Davis soundtrack CD roughly two-hundred times in the interim. Seeing Ascenseur pour L'échafaud - Elevator to the Gallows (aka Lift to the Scaffold) on the big screen was a treat. The tension and the humor and the style really wash over the viewer in the theater. Jeanne Moreau was never lovlier, and I could watch two hours just of her walking the Parisian streets in the rain to Miles Davis. The clever twists and turns of the plot are still fun even when you know what's coming, but the genius of the movie is its simplicity and the obvious love of cinema.