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The Lower Depths

The Lower Depths

A Feature film by Jean Renoir

Produced by Les Films Albatros

Release in France : 11/12/1936

  • Contents

Actors (20)

Production and distribution (3)

Associate production company :

Les Films Albatros

French distribution :

Les Distributeurs Français

Film exports/foreign sales :

Roissy Films

TV Broadcasts: Cumulative total

TV broadcasts: details by country


Louis Jouvet plays The Baron, forced by circumstance to give up his life of luxury and to set up residence in the slums of Paris. As Jouvet observes the passing parade, he bears witness to the frustrated romance between Jean Gabin and Junie Astor, the thwarted dreams of actor Robert Le Vigan, and the oppressive cruelties of landlord Vladimir Sokoloff.

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Voted 1936's best picture by a circle of prestigious French critics, Jean Renoir's The Lower Depths (Les Bas-Fonds) is based on the "gutter" play by Russian author Maxim Gorky.

The Lower Depths surprised Renoir's admirers, who weren't used to seeing the director involve himself in so sordid and depressing a tale. Actually, the project was brought to Renoir by a producer friend of his, who secured the director's services by promising to provide Louis Jouvet and Jean Gabin as the leading actors. Renoir's The Lower Depths would make a fascinating companion piece to Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa's 1957 adaptation of the same Gorky play.

Source :

Full credits (11)

Assistant Director :

Jacques Becker

Dialogue Writer :

Charles Spaak

Producer :

Alexandre Kamenka

Sound Recordist :

Robert Yvonnet

Editor :

Marguerite Houllé-Renoir

Music Composer :

Jean Wiener

Adapters/dialogue writers :

Evgueni Zamiatine, Jacques Companeez, Jean Renoir, Charles Spaak

Author of original work :

Maxime Gorki

Director of Photography :


Camera Operator :

Jacques Mercanton

Production Designer :

Eugène Lourie

Technical details

Feature film

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Runtime :

1 h 30 min

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Black & White

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