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

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

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Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 3
Fresh: 2 | Rotten: 1

audience

79

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Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 882

My Rating

Movie Info

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 circumstance to give up his life of luxury and to set up residence in the slums of Paris. As Jouvet observes the passing parade, he bears witness to the frustrated romance between Jean Gabin and Junie Astor, the thwarted dreams of actor Robert Le Vigan, and the oppressive cruelties

Aug 10, 2004

Criterion Collection

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All Critics (8) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (7) | Rotten (1) | DVD (1)

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

May 9, 2007 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

May 9, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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.

August 30, 2006 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

March 20, 2014 Full Review Source: ReelTalk Movie Reviews
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

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

February 14, 2010 Full Review Source: CinePassion
CinePassion

The result is powerful, if frequently uncomfortable, viewing.

May 9, 2007 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

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.

August 30, 2006 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

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.

August 30, 2006 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Audience Reviews for Les Bas-fonds (The Lower Depths) (Underground) (Underworld)

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 hero as ever. i still need to see kurosawa's version which is said to be grittier but i can't help but forgive renoir for loving his characters too much to see them suffer in the end
May 11, 2011
rubystevens
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

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 characters are interesting and the story was told well. you really admire some of these people, and others come across as almost happy and peaceful despite thier circumstances. really good film.
April 24, 2007
sanjurosamurai
danny d

Super Reviewer

Looks good, but is missing a punch.
March 4, 2008
threefolddado

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Les Bas Fonds (1936) (DE)
  • Les Bas-fonds (UK)
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