Les Bas-fonds (The Lower Depths) (Underground) (Underworld) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

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

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June 1, 2016
good version of this play turned big screen adaptation.
½ May 23, 2016
Renoir's most accessible comedy/drama providing some interesting insights into human behavior and some excellent acting on the part of Jean Gabin and Louis Jouvet.
April 21, 2015
My experience with Renoir has been a bit hit and miss. Generally, I find I don't connect very well to a certain kind of humanist film-making that's pretty common in France in the 30s and 40s. "The Rules of the Game", for example, leaves me kind of cold and I have never really been able to see what people love about a film like "L'Atalante". I'm pretty convinced this is largely a failing on my part and that I should revisit these films until something clicks.

When I do connect with them, however, I connect pretty strongly. I love "Grand Illusion", for example, and I absolutely adored this film. This feels like a classic Hollywood film in the best way possible. If Jean Gabin had been American or British, he would have been a huge star. His interplay with Louis Jouvet in this film reminds me of classic pairings like Bogart with Walter Brennan in "To Have and Have Not". I could watch the two of them banter for hours.
December 20, 2011
Jean Gabin + Jean Renoir nunca podem ser menos que fantásticos. :-)
November 28, 2011
Tragedy set against the happiness of others; this is a lovely film showing how happiness can be found in the most unlikely places. Louis Jouvet and Jean Gabin made a wonderful pair of ill-matched friends, the film didn't really need anyone else....
½ November 11, 2011
I found this early Renoir film much more engaging and rewarding than Kurosawa's rendition. It has some great performances by Gabin, Jouvet, Kostileff, and Vigan. I was immersed in this world that felt authentic while at the same time being light hearted. It's not as much a commentary on poverty as it is about life and the events in our lives that are out of our control. It crafts some lovable characters and engages the audience all the way through.
Super Reviewer
May 11, 2011
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
½ February 9, 2011
The French take on the Russians was interesting. I especially liked the ho-yay between Petel and the Baron. Good stuff.
½ January 18, 2011
It might be unevenly paced but The Lower Depths features charming characters and intriguing interactions between them.
½ January 17, 2011
a slow wind up, but the last act is a thing of beauty. taken from maxim gorkys play, we get another great performance from jean gabin, all of renoirs excellent technique, and a great story to boot.
½ December 17, 2010
This was quite a film by Jean Renoir. But I think Kurosawa's adaptation was a little better. Jean Gabin was very good, along with the rest of the cast. Maybe, the film was not as good for me because I knew what would happen for the most part. Overall, a good film for it's time that should not be missed!
August 2, 2010
I wish I was as calm and collected as Louis Jouvet in this film...but, you know, without the gambling issues.
July 30, 2010
Fantastic. La Grande Illusion I admired, but this I really connected to. Gabin is astonishing, as is the bulk of the cast, and Renoir's direction, while offbeat at first, really serves the material well. The duality of the story really appealed to me, and it's handled quite deftly. There's also a wonderful sense of place, and there are so many memorable characters - each of them is distinct, which is surprising given that the film runs for only an hour and a half, and some of them only appear in passing. Looking forward to seeing what else Renoir has to offer.
½ December 6, 2009
Une belle et touchante histoire d'amitie entre un baron ruine (Jouvet) et un cambrioleur au grand coeur (Gabin), inspiree d'une piece de Maxime Gorki. La sequence ou ces deux hommes de milieux si differents se rencontrent est absolument magique. La complicite est immediate, les dialogues savoureux et droles, les comediens exquis. Le baron a tout perdu et se desinteresse totalement des choses materielles. A son contact, le voyou va changer et tenter de donner un autre sens a sa vie. De son cote, l'aristo dechu, abandonne par les siens, va retrouver parmi le petit peuple une famille, des amis. En plein Front Populaire, Jean Renoir offre avec "les Bas-Fonds" une lecture interessante des rapports de classes et un message de fraternite a portee universelle.
August 10, 2009
Humanist humour in a search for redemption and escape from the ghettor. a powerful critique of divided societies and our common ground. Marked by a great performance from Jean Gabin and Jean Renoir's eternal optimism
May 19, 2009
Renoir's trademark mixture of lightheartedness and moral honesty marks this film. This is comedy of manners masquerading as serious social criticism - the same combination that he takes to such a precipice in Rules of the Game. Well worth a viewing.
May 4, 2009
Un drame à l'ambiance très particulière, due à la non-transposition des lieux et des personnages russes en français, qui donne une intemporalité au film. Petit coup de coeur à la scène où Louis Jouvet joue avec un escargot en parlant avec Gabin.
December 13, 2008
Saw it Dec 13, 2008

Great acting... saw the French versio and loved the dialogue.
Super Reviewer
July 9, 2008
nominated for best foreign film by NBR
June 13, 2008
Renoir revisits a familiar theme of class struggle and relation in the Lower Depths. He uses some excellent camera work and character development to show that people may be more similar than they think.
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