Incredible black-and-white cinematography? Check. A Miles Davis score? Check. The lovely Jeanne Moreau at the height of her beauty? Check. The suave and cool nature of Maurice Ronet and Lino Ventura? Check.
The 1958 French classic, Elevator to the Gallows, is the story of a businessman who kills his employer and takes his wife. But what was supposed to be a perfect murder sparks a series of unfortunate events for the lead character.
The film is short on plot, which explains its brief 89-minute run time. But filmmaker Louis Malle successfully maximizes the film's entertainment value with the aforementioned masterful characteristics of the picture.
Let's face it: We could watch Moreau walk around Paris with the sweet sounds of Miles Davis accompanying her stroll all day long. What's more, we could also watch Ventura solve a murder case just as long. And, who knows? With the right script, perhaps we could also observe Ronet try to escape an elevator for about an hour and a half.
And only a legendary filmmaker like Malle (The Fire Within and The Lovers) could make such quotidian scenes engrossing....