ASCENCEUR POUR L’ECHAFAUD (1958)
A film by Louis Malle
Cast: Jeanne Moreau, Maurice Ronet, Georges Poujouly, Lino Ventura
English title: Elevator to the Gallows.
Yes it is cult Thursday and here is a great film noir from Louis Malle and it became a cult film. The film opens where Jeanne Moreau (Florence) is on the telephone saying” Je t’aime, Je t’aime “ Its set up the film and you know that a murder is going to happen. Florence is a wife of a business man arms dealer Simon Carala (Jean Wall). Her lover, Julien Tavernier (Maurice Ronet), is a paratrooper who served in Indochina and Algeria, in wars that made Carala rich. Julien is about to commit the perfect crime so he thinks. unfortunately shit is going to happen.
Moreau plays Florence not with frantic anxiety, but with a kind of masochistic despair, not expecting to find Julien, well she is the femme fatale here who are usually cold-hearted. Of course while Julien goes on his business there is a parallel story that is going to develop that is the beauty of this film noir. It is new wave cinema here at its best. French cinema abandoned the very formality of the traditional crime film and decided to experiment with something else. The murder is carefully plan here and Louis Malle has thought out every details possible. The Jazz tunes by Miles Davis play perfectly in each scene here it is amazing to hear that in a film. The light, the cigarette smoking , the shadows, are well filmed. The fact that one of my favorite actor Lino Ventura is in this film makes my day. Do not miss this master piece.