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Malle Film with Davis Score Set for DVD Release

Elevator to the Gallows (Ascenseur Pour L’Echafaud), the 1958 film debut of Louis Malle featuring a score by Miles Davis (pictured), is scheduled to be released on DVD April 25.

The DVD contains a slew of extras, including archival footage of Davis’ recording sessions for the film; an interview with pianist Rene Urtreger, who is the only living musician from the sessions; and a short documentary about the score with music journalist and frequent JazzTimes contributor Gary Giddins and trumpeter Jon Faddis.

Louis Malle was 24 years old when he made Elevator to the Gallows, a film noir about two lovers’ plan to kill one of their spouses. It starred Jeanne Moreau and contained the cinematographic work of Henri Decae.

Davis was touring France in 1957 when he recorded the film’s melancholy soundtrack. Davis used Urtreger, saxophonist Barney Wilen, drummer Kenny Clarke and bassist Pierre Michelot for the sessions.

Davis’ complete recording sessions from Elevator to the Gallows are available on CD from Polygram/Universal.

Originally Published