Repertory Picks

A French Crime Classic Goes to Princeton

Tonight, the Princeton Garden Theatre in Princeton, New Jersey, will present Louis Malle’s 1958 Elevator to the Gallows. Starring Jeanne Moreau and Maurice Ronet as an adulterous couple who carry out a carefully plotted murder only to see their plan go awry, the film marked the feature debut of Malle, who was just twenty-five upon its release. A dazzlingly atmospheric crime thriller, Elevator anticipated the soon-to-arrive nouvelle vague in its sense of weary modernity, vividly conveyed by Henri Decaë’s nighttime location photography and Miles Davis’s haunting jazz score. And the movie paved the way for Moreau to become one of the icons of the heady years of French cinema to follow. In his essay included in our release of the film, critic Terrence Rafferty writes that Malle “did justice, for the first time, to that amazing, imperious, gravelly sexy walk of hers—which would, over the next couple of decades, come to seem the defining movement of the New Wave, the embodied rhythm of freedom.”

You have no items in your shopping cart