Lift To The Scaffold

Starring Jeanne Moreau, Maurice Ronet and  Georges Poujouly
Screenplay by  Noël Calef
Louis Malle and Roger Nimier
Directed by Louis Malle
France 1958
88 mins

We have lost a number of notable actors and filmmakers over the summer - from George Romero to Roger Moore and John Heard to Jonathan Demme but none has more iconic status than the great French actress Jeanne Moreau who passed away aged 89 in July.

Moreau's long, rich and varied career included such titles as 'Les Amants', 'The Bride Wore Black', 'Diary Of A Chambermaid' and 'Jules et Jim'. She was internationally admired and appeared in a number of English language films over the years. Her sometimes complex private life included being married to the director William Friedkin as well as numerous affairs with among others Francois Truffaut and the director of this film - Louis Malle. Moreau was a great theatre performer and a talented producer and director. She was also an accomplished vocalist - releasing a number of albums and once singing alongside Frank Sinatra at Carnegie Hall...

'Lift To The Scaffold' was an early movie in her career - in it she worked with one of the directors in the 'nouvelle vague' (New Wave) of French cinema - Louis Malle. Malle went on to be one of the great directors of the modern era - his other work includes 'Lacombe Lucien" and 'Atlantic City". 'Lift To The Scaffold' was his debut and is a film noir  - telling the story of Florence and Julien - two lovers who plot to murder Florence's husband but fate is against them and soon their plans go terribly wrong...

Shot in a realistic style and in black and white the film features a dynamite performance by Moreau and a fabulous jazz score by the great Miles Davis (with whom she also had an affair) A marvellous combination of elements and a fitting tribute to this great actress.