Louis Malle (born October 30, 1932, Thumeries, France—died November 23, 1995, Beverly Hills, California, U.S.) French motion-picture director whose eclectic films were noted for their emotional realism and stylistic simplicity.
Malle’s wealthy family resisted his early interest in film but allowed him to enter the Institute of Advanced Cinematographic Studies in Paris in 1950. After studying at the institute, he worked as an assistant to filmmaker Robert Bresson and codirected the documentary Le Monde du silence (1956; The Silent World) with underwater explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau.
Malle’s first feature film, Ascenseur pour l’échafaud (1957; Frantic), was a psychological thriller. His second, Les Amants (1958; The Lovers), was a commercial success and established Malle and its star, Jeanne Moreau, in the film industry. The film’s lyrical love scenes, tracked with exquisite timing, exhibit Malle’s typically bold and uninhibited treatment of sensual themes. Social alienation… read more
Amen to what Joey said. Elevators to the Gallows was 2 years before 400 Blows and Breathless....who was jealous for not having him an equal of Godard or Truffaut?
One of the, if not THE most, under-rated directors ever. As much as I love Truffaut, Malle was so much better than any other French directors of his era. I don't know if there's a single director that made more different kinds of films that were still, not always, but a lot of the time, so personal. He also had HUGE balls. Kubrick-sized, Bunuel-sized balls for tackling ready-made social conventions. The guy made a sublime beautiful comedy about incest! C'mon! But he really feels for his characters a lot more than either of those guys. It sounds weird, but I've never felt closer to any other director than I do to Louis Malle. The themes he dealt with, his choice of images, the way his movies moved, the way his young characters relate to the world, and especially to how they relate to women... the way he tried not to repeat himself. I really really love this guy. ALSO, he wasn't afraid to fall flat on his face and start over again.