Elevator to the Gallows (1958)

Surely when twenty-six year old Louis Malle directed his "Elevator to the Gallows" (1958), he may not have been aware his film would, in time, hold significant historical weight. First, it had set precedent for French New Wave cinema, ancillary to the greats such as Jean-Luc Godard's "Breathless" (1960). Second, with its full, eight-piece jazz score performed by Miles Davis, "Elevator" had been the leavening agent to the rise of jazz scores, a dependable accomplice in Noir cinema to tense scenes of suspense, high-speed chases, and pointed guns and gazes alike. Overall, a smokey, suspenseful, and Noir-cool piece of film poetry.

Should you be in New York this week, the Film Forum is showing a new restoration of "Elevator to the Gallows" until Thursday, September 22nd. 

Below, take a look at our suggestions for documentaries about music.


1970 Woodstock 
1999 Genghis Blues
2008 Patti Smith: Dream of Life
2009 The Doors: When You’re Strange 
2015 Janis: Little Girl Blue 
2015 What Happened to Nina Simone