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

The Lower Depths

Critics Consensus

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89%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 9

81%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 905
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The Lower Depths Photos

Movie Info

Inhabitants of a flophouse struggle to survive under the harsh treatment imposed by the landlord, Kostyleva (Vladimir Sokoloff). One resident, young thief Wasska Pepel (Jean Gabin), ends his affair with the landlord's wife, Vassilissa (Suzy Prim), and takes up with her sister, Natacha (Junie Astor). Pepel also befriends the baron (Louis Jouvet), a former nobleman fallen on hard times, but Pepel's attempts at happiness are complicated when he's accused of murder by a spiteful Vassilissa.

Cast

Jean Gabin
as Wasska Pepel
Suzy Prim
as Vassilissa
Louis Jouvet
as The Baron
Jany Holt
as Nastia
Junie Astor
as Natacha
Camille Bert
as Le Comte
Rene Genin
as Le Vieillard
Paul Temps
as Satine
Leon Larive
as Felix le domestique
André Gabriello
as Le Commissaire
Maurice Baquet
as Accordeoniste
Lucien Mancini
as Patron de la guinguette
View All

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

All Critics (9) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (8) | Rotten (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…
    Time Out
    Top 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…
  • 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
  • ...beautifully acted by all, and very well directed by Jean Renoir. Just misses permanency.

    April 17, 2020 | Full Review…
  • 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…
  • 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…

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

  • Oct 05, 2009
    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
    Stella D Super Reviewer
  • Mar 04, 2008
    Looks good, but is missing a punch.
    Anthony V Super Reviewer
  • Apr 24, 2007
    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.
    danny d Super Reviewer

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