Elevator to the Gallows / Ascenseur pour l'echafaud (1958) 2 x DVD9 Criterion Collection
The married Florence Carala (Jeanne Moreau) and her secret lover Julien Tavernier (Maurice Ronet), an ex - paratrooper now employed by arms dealer Simon Carala, decide to murder Carala (Jean Wall) by faking his suicide, in his own office at the end of the business day. The murder is intricately planned and flawlessly executed. However, fate is never on the side of film noir protagonists, and just before making his escape, Julien realizes that he has left behind an incriminating piece of evidence. He returns to the building only to find himself trapped in the elevator when the power is turned off for the weekend.
Outside, two young lovers steal Tavernier's car. When Florence sees Julien's car, she assumes he's cold feet and run off. The chain of events thus started leads to confusion, death, tragedy and despair.

Director: Louis Malle
Cast: Jeanne Moreau, Maurice Ronet, Georges Poujouly, Yori Bertin, Jean Wall
Country: France
Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller

Elevator to the Gallows (1958) Criterion Collection 2006 edition
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2 x DVD9 | NTSC 16:9 | 01:31:24 | 5.75 Gb + 5.92 Gb + 3% rec
Language: Francais, Russian
Subtitles: English, Russian

Extras:
• New interview with actor Jeanne Moreau (17:58)
• Archival interviews with Louis Malle (17:04), actors Maurice Ronet (4:36) and Moreau, and original soundtrack session pianist Rene Urtreger
• Malle and Moreau at Cannes (10:38)
• Footage of Miles Davis and Louis Malle from the soundtrack recording session
• New video program about the score with jazz trumpeter Jon Faddis and critic Gary Giddins (24:58)
• Malle's student film Crazeologie, featuring the title song by Charlie Parker (6:16)
• Theatrical trailers

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Elevator to the Gallows (1958) Criterion Collection 2018 edition
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BD50 + DVD9 | 1080p AVC, NTSC | 01:31:34 | 45 Gb + 7.25 Gb + 3% rec
Language: Francais
Subtitles: English

Extras:

Louis Malle - in this archival interview, Louis Malle discusses the early stages of his film career -- from his time at Ecole de cinema francaise and crucial relationship with Jacques-Yves Cousteau (Jacques Cousteau: The Silent World) and later on interactions with Robert Bresson until his bold decision to adapt Noel Calef's novel -- and the conception of Elevator to the Gallows as well as its visual style and tone. There are also some very good observations about the multiple identities that some of the main characters have. The interview was conducted in 1975, during the production of Black Moon, for Canadian television. In French, with optional English subtitles. (18 min, 1080i).

Jeanne Moreau - in this archival interview, actress Jeanne Moreau recalls how she was approached and offered to play the character of Florence Carala in Louis Malle's directorial debut and explains how she felt during the filming of the film. There are also very good comments about the evolution of her character, the different layers (background stories) of the narrative, and the Miles Davis' extraordinary score. The interview was conducted exclusively for Criterion in 2005 at the Brasserie La Lorraine in Paris. In English, not subtitled. (18 min, 1080i).

Malle and Moreau at Cannes - presented here is an archival filmed conversation between director Louis Malle and Jeanne Moreau in which the two discuss their long professional relationship with journalist Michel Field. A good portion of the exchanges address the production of Elevator to the Gallows. The conversation was conducted at the Cannes Film Festival in 1993. In French, with optional English subtitles. (11 min, 1080i).

Maurice Ronet - in this archival interview, actor Maurice Ronet discusses his image as "the romantic lead". The interview was conducted by Francois Chalais in May 1957 for the French television program Reflets de Cannes, before the actor played Julien Tavernier in Elevator to the Gallows. In French, with optional English subtitles. (5 min, 1080i).

The Miles Davis Score - on the night of December 4, 1957, at Le Poste Parisien studio in Paris, Miles Davis and his fellow musicians Kenny Clarke, Pierre Michelot, Rene Urtreger, and Barney Wilen joined director Louis Malle to record what would become the score for Elevator to the Gallows. Released in the the film's French title, Ascenseur pour l'echafaud, the soundtrack is recognized as a pivotal recording in the iconic musician's career. Presented here are interviews and documentary footage chronicling the recording season.

- 1. The Recording Session - rare studio footage filmed for the French television program Cinepanorama from the night when the score was recorded, plus a short interview with Louis Malle conducted by reporter Francois Chalais. In French, with optional English subtitles. (6 min, 1080i).

- 2. On Piano, Rene Urtreger - presented here is an archival interview with pianist Rene Urtreger, who worked on the score for Elevator to the Gallows. The bulk of the comments address the improvisational skills of Miles Davis and his 'feel' for the film as well as his professional relationship with various musicians that he toured and recorded with in Europe and the United States. The interview was conducted in 2005 and is presented courtesy of Arte France. In French, with optional English subtitles. (15 min, 1080i).

- 3. Miles Goes Modal: The Breakthrough Score for Elevator to the Gallows - in this archival program, jazz trumpeter and composer Jon Faddis and critic Gary Giddins discuss the legendary score of Elevator to the Gallows, the evolution of Miles Davis' career, and some of the ways in which he revolutionized jazz. The program was produced exclusively for Criterion in 2005. In English, not subtitled. (25 min, 1080i).

Crazeologie (1954) - presented here is Louis Malle's early student film Crazeologie. The film was inspired by the theater of the absurd and the work of such playwrights as Samuel Beckett and Eugene Ionesco, and features Charlie Parker's song "Crazeology". In French, with optional English subtitles. (7 min, 1080i).

Trailers - presented here are two trailers for Elevator to the Gallows.

- 1. Original theatrical trailer - in French, with optional English subtitles. (2 min, 1080p).
- 2. Rialto rerelease trailer - this trailer was created in 2005 for the U.S. theatrical rerelease of the film. In French, with optional English subtitles. (2 min, 1080i).

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