French Cinema

The Lower Depths (1936)

Written by Jean Renoir and Charles Spaak. Directed by Jean Renoir. 1936.

Is the love of the right woman enough to set a crooked man straight? Is forty rubles enough for two people starting over? I don't know, but Gabin believes yes and yes. And, as an old man says of a dying girl's picture of heaven, "If she believes it, it is true." This --the tenuous alliance between fear and hope, what some of us would call faith -- is the truth of Renoir's beautiful movie.