Are you me?
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.
Louis Malle is one of my favorite directors for a few simple reasons. He always finds an interesting exterior shot to pull you into the location for the scene. He is also very good at making his lens catch objects around his characters to further bring you into his realm and back to the place he wants you. His characters; whether in his documentaries or his fictional pieces are always very interesting. Lastly his masterpieces (Murmur of The Heart) are truly masterpieces, and his lesser works (Alamo Bay) are still so good that I'd never think of walking away from the screen.