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



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

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 Moreau, as Florence Carala, gives an astonishing performance, perverse but naive as she leads her young lover down a path that can only lead to doom for both of them. Malle and his cinematographer Henri Decae make extensive use of Paris at night, giving the film … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Romance, Art House & International, Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By: Louis Malle, Roger Nimier
In Theaters:
On DVD: Apr 25, 2006
Rialto Pictures


as Florence Carala

as Julien Tavernier

as Simon Carala

as Insp. Cherter

as Subervie

as Veronique

as Mme. Bencker

as Genevieve

as Inspector Cherier's ...

as Attorny of State

as Garage owner

as Horst Bencker

as Chess player at mote...
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Ascenseur pour l'échafaud (Elevator to the Gallows) (Lift to the Scaffold) (Frantic)

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Critic Reviews for Ascenseur pour l'échafaud (Elevator to the Gallows) (Lift to the Scaffold) (Frantic)

All Critics (50) | Top Critics (17)

Efficient but soulless.

Full Review… | April 1, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | March 23, 2007
Miami Herald
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | October 5, 2006
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | April 7, 2006
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic

A straightforward but classy thriller.

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | October 14, 2005
Denver Post
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Ascenseur pour l'échafaud (Elevator to the Gallows) (Lift to the Scaffold) (Frantic)

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 those very elements - Jeanne Moreau's haunting performance, the brilliant camerawork and Miles' genius score to carry it. What am I saying? Never mind.

Bob Stinson

Super Reviewer

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 told everything that it is going on, but there's still a lot of suspense. All of the performances are very good especially Jeanne Moreau. Miles Davis' score is fantastic and suits the movie well. When people say, "they don't make them like they used to;" this is the type of movie that they are referring to.

Melvin White

Super Reviewer

Clever, atmospheric thriller with a fine Miles Davis score.

jay nixon

Super Reviewer

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

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