Monday, December 12, 2016

TCM Noir Night--Elevator to the Gallows

Saturday night I watched Elevator to the Gallows--a film I recorded last year as part of TCM's Summer of Darkness film noir course.

Elevator to the Gallows has subtitles. I'm not anti-subtitles per se, but it means that I have to pay close attention.

Overall, I liked the film. I was originally going to describe it as a "What could go wrong?" plot. But the meticulously planned murder hinges on a rope climb outside an office building on a busy street in Paris in broad daylight. It's such a foolish move--it takes me out of the movie.Then the murderer leaves the rope hanging from the window after he makes his "getaway." His attempt to retrieve the rope leads to him being trapped in the elevator in the title.

A series of seemingly random acts follow that complicate and jeopardize the original plan.This is the part of the movie that I liked--the things that could go wrong.

I had a few other issues. Why did the accomplice wander the streets of Paris asking if anyone had seen the murderer? Isn't that suspicious?

There's a final twist that will take too long to describe in detail--there are enough spoilers in the post as it is. At the end of the film, the policeman tells the accomplice--a woman--that she will serve more time than the man who actually pulled the trigger. At this point, there's only circumstantial evidence against the woman. I'm no expert on French law, but that just didn't seem right--and more than a little sexist.

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