Les Bas-fonds (The Lower Depths) (Underground) (Underworld)
Les Bas-fonds (The Lower Depths) (Underground) (Underworld) (1936)

Voted 1936's best picture by a circle of prestigious French critics, Jean Renoir's The Lower Depths (Les Bas-Fonds) is based on the "gutter" play by Russian author Maxim Gorky. Louis Jouvet plays The Baron, forced by… More

Directed By:
Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: August 10, 2004
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Rotten Tomatoes™
Critic Score
88%
Flixster
User Score
81%


Critic Score: 88% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Time Out

Gabin and Jouvet are their usual glorious selves, though the tendency towards pessimism makes this one of Renoir's less rewarding films.

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Donald J. Levit
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

Gabin did not attain the international status of American counterparts or later countryman Belmondo, though his Pepel here is a thing of beauty.

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Jake Euker
Filmcritic.com

The Lower Depths both gains and loses by its proximity to Renoir's later masterpieces: It's not one of them them, but the same guy made it.

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Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader

It carries some interest in its curious blend of tones and styles -- it oscillates between vaudeville turns and stark tragedy.

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Fernando F. Croce
CinePassion

The text is Gorky's, the names and the whiskers are Russian, yet the world here is wholly French, or, rather, wholly Jean Renoir's

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TV Guide's Movie Guide

The relationship between Gabin's Pepel and Jouvet's Baron is a brilliant one -- Renoir pointing to their internal similarities by stressing their external differences.

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Michael Atkinson
Village Voice

Renoir sought out balance and humanistic sympathy, reshaping the narrative so the thief (Jean Gabin) and the Baron (Louis Jouvet) bond over their mutual rebellion against the social system.

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Film4

The result is powerful, if frequently uncomfortable, viewing.

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Flixster Audience Score: 81% Flixster User Reviews
Stella Dallas
it may well be a bastardization of gorky's play but i found it completely charming. louis jouvet is wonderful as the dissolute baron and jean gabin is my… More
danny d
i watched this film after i saw kurosawas japanese version, and this one was just as good. this is a french film about people who live in poverty. the… More
Anthony Valletta
Looks good, but is missing a punch.