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.
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.
The movie's most compelling element of all is Moreau, wandering the nighttime streets trying to find her lover. It's as if she's blown from one cafe to the next on a blended wind of passion, dread and the lonely trumpet wail.
These 1950s French noirs abandon the formality of traditional crime films, the almost ritualistic obedience to formula, and show crazy stuff happening to people who seem to be making up their lives as they go along.
What turns it fabulous, indeed mythical, is the presence of another entity: Paris at night in the '50s, to the tune of Miles Davis's score as realized in the dappled hues of Henri Decae's gorgeous poetic cinematography.