September 01, 2009
I only have a few more Dirk Bogarde films left to watch before I run out of available movies. (Curse you, PAL/NTSC system!!!) so for the first night in over a week I took a Dirk Bogarde break and watched Elevator to the Gallows.
This is officially my new favorite foreign film.
I always watch movies right before I go to sleep, and nine times out of ten I either fall asleep while it's on or as soon as it's over. After Elevator to the Gallows, I was wide awake. This was one of the most suspenseful films I've ever seen.
The story starts out pretty simple: two lovers are conspiring to kill the woman's rich husband. Jeanne Moreau plays the woman, Florence Carala, and Maurice Ronet plays the man, Julien Tavernier. Everything goes according to plan until Tavernier gets stuck in an elevator when he should have been meeting Florence at a cafe for a post-murder rendevous. This one hitch in the plan triggers a whole series of events that you NEVER will see coming. Up until the very last minute of the film, I had no clue what to expect. Usually I find myself trying to guess, trying to figure out what the twist will be. But I was so caught up in each moment of the film that I wasn't even trying to figure it all out!
I was a little hesitant to watch this at first because of the description. I have a huuuuge elevator phobia -- whenever we stay at a hotel or go anywhere, I always take the steps while my family goes up in the elevator. So a movie about being stuck in an elevator sounded like torture! Well, suffice it to say, watching this didn't make me any more likely to ride in an elevator! But it didn't give me nightmares or anything :)
Also, I think this is a great introduction to both Jeanne Moreau and Louis Malle if you haven't seen one of their films yet.
ps. How great is this movie poster?! I want a copy!