Ascenseur pour l'échafaud (Elevator to the Gallows)

The French "new wave" loved the Hollywood crime movies of the '40s, with their perennially wet streets, shadowy velvet cinematography, antiheroic leading men and amoral leading ladies. In 1957, Louis Malle, fresh from directing oceanographer Jacques Cousteau's startling documentary Silent World, shook the water out of his ears and made his fiction film debut with Ascenseur pour l'échafaud (Elevator to the Gallows). Maurice Ronet stars as a man who's trapped in an elevator as he leaves the scene of a murder. Ironically, he manages to escape undetected, only to be accused of committing another crime, leaving him with an impossible choice: Does he accept punishment for a crime he didn't commit, or admit to a murder he got away with? The jazz score by Miles Davis is a knockout, but the real discovery is Jeanne Moreau as the dead man's unfaithful wife. Malle gave her a part that lit up those rambling saunters through Paris - see the movie and you'll understand. 8:30 p.m. Domy Bookstore, 1709 Westheimer. For information, call 713-523-3669 or visit Free.
Thu., July 23, 8:30 p.m., 2009
KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
D.L. Groover has contributed to countless reputable publications including the Houston Press since 2003. His theater criticism has earned him a national award from the Association of Alternative Newsmedia (AAN) as well as three statewide Lone Star Press Awards for the same. He's co-author of the irreverent appreciation, Skeletons from the Opera Closet (St. Martin's Press), now in its fourth printing.
Contact: D. L. Groover