Ascenseur pour l'échafaud (Elevator to the Gallows) (Lift to the Scaffold) (Frantic)
Ascenseur pour l'échafaud (Elevator to the Gallows) (Lift to the Scaffold) (Frantic) (1958)

The feature-film debut of famed director Louis Malle is an interesting, modern film noir with the classic theme of lovers plotting to kill the husband and make it look like suicide (reminiscent of The Postman Always Rings Twice). Jeanne… More

Directed By:
Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: June 24, 1958
DVD Release Date: April 25, 2006
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Critic Score: 92% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader

Efficient but soulless.

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Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News

Henri Decaë's black-and-white cinematography brings out the melancholy mystery of Paris' boulevards and cafes, and Ms. Moreau, shot with natural lighting and without make-up, is like a mournful goddess of glamour.

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Kate Muir
Times (UK)

Lift to the Scaffold (Ascenseur pour l'échafaud) was the perfect opening to the French New Wave in 1958, sashaying in to a jazz score from Miles Davis and starring Jeanne Moreau as a mistress-in-peril.

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Marta Barber
Miami Herald

Elevator to the Gallows is a treat for the film buff. Watching Moreau and Malle as they discover each other and a new trend in filmmaking, and listening to Miles Davis during their quest will remind you of what movies are all about.

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Geoff Andrew
Time Out

A straightforward but classy thriller.

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Geoffrey Macnab
Independent (UK)

Louis Malle's supremely stylish New Wave thriller combines Miles Davis's music, Henri Decae's wonderfully evocative black-and-white cinematography of Paris and plenty of close-ups of a young Jeanne Moreau looking very anguished.

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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune

A suspense thriller with a tense, jazzy score and a rich undercurrent of fatalistic irony.

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Michael Booth
Denver Post

The plot crackles with energy and misdirection, while the black-and-white film sharpens angles and amplifies the shadows lurking in every hallway.

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David Parkinson
Radio Times

Malle made his feature directorial debut with this assured thriller, which recalled both the poetic realism of Marcel Carné and the brooding menace of American films noirs.

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Flixster Audience Score: 91% Flixster User Reviews
Bob Stinson
Many elements of this film were breakthroughs - and it is a wicked cool film. But... I can't help thinking it was a little slight and really relied on… More
danny d
a hitchcockian thriller that was not only malle's first film but an anomaly in that he never touched the genre again. what he accomplished with this film… More
Melvin White
Elevator to the Gallows is a solid French thriller, that is very similar to Hitchcock movies. There's a lot of suspense, but no twists and turns. We are… More
Randy Tippy
Exquisite crime drama that kept me in suspense from beginning to end. It's really three stories seamlessly interwoven and simultaneous, topped off by a… More
jay nixon
Clever, atmospheric thriller with a fine Miles Davis score.
El Hombre Invisible
One of the craftiest films in the history of cinema, Elevator to the Gallows marked the start of the French New Wave. This film is just cool, not only… More