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Courtesy of Rialto Pictures

Law Building
1001 Bissonnet
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Directed by Louis Malle

1958, in French with English subtitles



92 minutes




Elevator to the Gallows

The directorial debut of French filmmaker Louis Malle, Elevator to the Gallows is an atmospheric thriller that brings together the beauty of actress Jeanne Moreau (in the role that catapulted her to international stardom), rich black and white cinematography by Henri Decaë (who also lensed films by François Truffaut and Claude Chabrol); and an improvised musical score by jazz great, Miles Davis. This classic Noir-meets-New Wave film signaled a turning point in French cinema, just as the now-legendary score signaled new musical directions for Davis. Jazz critic Phil Johnson described one scene’s music as having "the loneliest trumpet sound you will ever hear…Hear it and weep."