The Lower Depths

Synopsis: 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.
Genre: Crime, Drama, Romance
Director(s): Jean Renoir
Production: Criterion Collection
  2 wins.
Rotten Tomatoes:
90 min

THE LOWER DEPTHS was awarded

the 1936 Louis Delluc Prize

for Best French Film of the Year.


Id never ask you for accounts.

We aren;t shopkeepers.

You serve your country, dear Baron,

with true patriotic zeal.

But money is missing. Too much.

I know it was used

for the common good,

but the loss of 30,000 rubles

is quite regrettable.

Someone less tolerant

might ask for explanations,

or be shocked that you have

no memory of the loan.

You've something in mind,

but it's still quite worrying.

A secret matter, you may insist.

But my dear Baron,

our secret funds

are not inexhaustible, alas.

Despite our long friendship,

I fear I can no longer turn a blind eye.

My dear Baron, I trust

you will not take this amiss.

Thank you.

Is that you, Pepel?

Yes, it's me.

I thought Kostylyov

would never go to sleep.

Does the money he cheats us out of

keep him awake?

You'll be glad to have him tomorrow.

- Why tomorrow?

- As if you didn't know.

Your big job is tonight, isn't it?

At the mansion.

That's none of your business.

Are you hiding something from me?

You're wrong.

I give you good advice.

What would you do without us

to buy what you steal?

You and your husband profit as well.

I take the risks,

and you get the money. Right?

You know it'll all be ours one day.

Kostylyov's old.

He won't live forever.

We'll go somewhere nice,

just the two of us.

We'll start a new life.

And no one will know our past.

There's no point

in daydreaming about us.

- You don't love me anymore.

- Me?

Im warning you,

don't you dare leave me!

Id rather see you rot in prison

than go off with someone else.

If I go to jail, you and your husband

won't be far behind me.

No one will believe you.

We have friends on the police force.

Good night, Pepel.

- Good night.

Be careful tonight.

Don't worry.

We northerners aren't easy to catch.

Don't treat it like a walk in the park.

Alyoshka's coming.

- So what?

He'll wake up the old man.

I told that rascal

to never come back.

Come on.

Hey, lodgers!

Hey, lodgers!

Hey, lodgers!

Is that you, Natasha?


Im a polite guy.

I meant to wake old Kostylyov.

He gets the money,

but I got you!

You've been out boozing again.

- You know me.

- Aren't you ashamed?

You know, I am who I am.

If people don't like it, too bad.

My boss gave me the sack,

but I don't give a damn.

What's a boss, anyway?

A simple misunderstanding!

Go to bed.

Wait. Not yet.

I wrote a jolly little funeral march.

Wanna hear it?

- Be quiet!

- I want to tell the world!

No one's listening right now.

Tell them tomorrow.

I won't be drunk then.

Ill have nothing to say.

No one will mind.

Go downstairs.

Go on.

Natasha, your eyes are like stars.

Off to bed you go.

Is that you?

Were you looking for me?

Yes, it's me.

And here you are, the two of you.

Nice and cozy.


B*tch! Damned b*tch!

Forgive me, Lord.


you drive me to sin.

You make me angry.

You make me swear.

Ive looked everywhere for you.

You should be in bed,

but you're out here on the stairs.


Filthy animal!

Clear out.

Clear out, I said.

Im the boss around here.

You clear out, thief,

or Ill have you arrested.

Clear out, or Ill strangle you!

Help me! Help!

One more dent.

If the boss grumbles,

Ill get you another.

You dropped it on purpose.

- No, Im just clumsy.

- You're clumsy, eh?

Lucky for me.


the way I was choking him -

Don't touch me! You're revolting.

Sleep with my sister, I don't care.

Steal if you want.

But don't touch me.

You're too young to understand.

One thing I do know:

Men like you are despicable.

Id like to explain,

but Ive got a job waiting.

I hope you get caught.

You know,

God doesn't favor

the prayers of his saints.

Good night, Natasha.

Still up and about, Nastia?

I get my rest on my feet.

Aren't you fed up, out here all alone?

- Aren't you fed up with what you do?

- No.

It's when Im here that it gets me.

Everything seems fine,

and then suddenly,

it's like a chill comes over me

and Ive had enough.

It's about time.

Stand up straight.

- You stood me up last night.

- You're still thinking about that?

You asked me to dinner.

I didn't have enough left

to buy you a sandwich.

- How about tonight?

- Tonight is different.

Ill win, and we'll go

wherever you like.

Lend me 1,000 rubles.

At the moment I need them myself.

But if you win?

Later, dear child.


- Good evening, Baron.

- Good evening.

I regret to say this,

but perhaps you shouldn't play tonight.

Why is that?

Please understand, your debt is -

That's precisely why Im here.

We'll settle that tonight.

He who pays his debts grows rich.

You're dining with him?

What about me?

Silly, when that guy has money,

he throws it around.

He's crazy.

- And if he loses?

- I won't go.

- How will you know?

It's easy to tell.

Whether he wins or loses,

he always leaves calmly.

He takes out a cigarette

and puts it in his mouth.

If he's won, he lights it.

If not, he's so nervous he can't light it.

Baron, may I give you a bit of advice?

Please do.

Don't gamble anymore.

lmpossible, my dear sir.

Banco tonight, my dear Baron?

Certainly, my dear Count.

- Shall we play?

- Id love to.

Allow me to repay -

It was 10,000 rubles, correct?

- There's no hurry.

- Debt of honor.

The bank has 16,000.

- Shall we, Count?

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Maxim Gorky

Alexei Maximovich Peshkov (Russian: Алексе́й Макси́мович Пешко́в or Пе́шков; 28 March [O.S. 16 March] 1868 – 18 June 1936), primarily known as Maxim (Maksim) Gorky (Russian: Макси́м Го́рький), was a Russian and Soviet writer, a founder of the socialist realism literary method and a political activist. He was also a five-time nominee for the Nobel Prize in Literature. Around fifteen years before success as a writer, he frequently changed jobs and roamed across the Russian Empire; these experiences would later influence his writing. Gorky's most famous works were The Lower Depths (1902), Twenty-six Men and a Girl, The Song of the Stormy Petrel, My Childhood, Mother, Summerfolk and Children of the Sun. He had an association with fellow Russian writers Leo Tolstoy and Anton Chekhov; Gorky would later mention them in his memoirs. Gorky was active with the emerging Marxist social-democratic movement. He publicly opposed the Tsarist regime, and for a time closely associated himself with Vladimir Lenin and Alexander Bogdanov's Bolshevik wing of the party, but later became a bitter critic of Lenin as an overly ambitious, cruel and power-hungry potentate who tolerated no challenge to his authority. For a significant part of his life, he was exiled from Russia and later the Soviet Union. In 1932, he returned to USSR on Joseph Stalin's personal invitation and died there in June 1936. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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