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The Lower Depths (1936)

Les bas-fonds (original title)
Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Romance | 10 September 1937 (USA)
A charismatic thief makes friends with a bankrupt baron who comes to live in the thief's slum. Meanwhile the thief seeks the love of a young woman, who is held emotionally captive by her slumlord family.

Director:

Jean Renoir

Writers:

Maxim Gorky (play), Yevgeni Zamyatin (as E. Zamiatine) | 5 more credits »
Reviews
2 wins. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jean Gabin ... Pepel Wasska
Suzy Prim ... Vassilissa Kostyleva
Louis Jouvet ... Le baron
Jany Holt ... Nastia
Vladimir Sokoloff ... Kostylev
Robert Le Vigan ... L'acteur alcoolique
Camille Bert Camille Bert ... Le comte
René Génin René Génin ... Louka - le philosophe (as René Genin)
Paul Temps Paul Temps ... Satine - le télégraphiste
Robert Ozanne Robert Ozanne ... Jabot de Travers
Henri Saint-Isle Henri Saint-Isle ... Klestch - le cordonnier (as Saint-Iles)
Alex Allin Alex Allin ... Tatar
André Gabriello André Gabriello ... Toptoun - l'inspecteur des garnis
Léon Larive Léon Larive ... Felix - le valet du baron
Nathalie Alexeeff Nathalie Alexeeff ... Anna - un pauvresse qui se meurt
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Storyline

The winner of the Louis Delluc Prize as the most outstanding French photo-play of 1936, as selected by the Young Independent Critics of France (an organization and not a description.) The film treats the imprisoning hold of poverty; the disheartening odds of people rising from such social despair, and the ease in which those in the upper spheres of Society may descend. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Awarded the French Critics Prize as the "Best Film of the Year" See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French

Release Date:

10 September 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Lower Depths See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Films Albatros See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (Tobis-Klangfilm)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film is part of the Criterion Collection, which is included with The Lower Depths (1957), spine #239. See more »

Goofs

As Kostylev lies dead on the anvil, the shadow of the camera can be seen approaching on the ground. See more »

Quotes

Vassilissa Kostyleva: One day, everything will be ours. We'll go away together. To live the good life where no one knows us.
Wasska Pepel: Stop it.
Vassilissa Kostyleva: You don't love me anymore. Why not?
See more »

Crazy Credits

The last scene zooms out and fades away to the end title: 'FIN'. See more »

Connections

Version of The Lower Depths (1957) See more »

Soundtracks

Title unknown
Lyrics by Charles Spaak
Sung by Irène Joachim
See more »

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User Reviews

Another excellent Renoir/Gabin Collaboration
19 July 2004 | by gkbazaloSee all my reviews

Jean Renoir's version of Gorky's Lower Depths is less faithful to the original than Kurosawa's film, but has its own charm. The film centers on Jean Gabin's character, the thief, and Louis Jouvet's character of the gambling baron, recently reduced to poverty through his embezzling and gambling losses. The scenes with Gabin and Jouvet together are tremendous, including their first meeting where Gabin is robbing Jouvet's mansion, later on lying in the summer grass recalling their past lives and their final parting. The other inhabitants of the flophouse, with a few exceptions, are not as delineated as in the Kurosawa version. This is not an ensemble acting piece like Kurosawa's, but very much a Gabin star vehicle. He and Jouvet really carry the film and make it one of Renoir's best. It's not in the same league as Grand Illusion and Rules of the Game, but very good. Four of 5 stars.


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