Photo of Louis Malle Louis Malle

Descended from nobility and wealth, director Louis Malle was born Oct. 30, 1932, in Thumeries, France. He broke into films as marine explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau's cameraman, earning his first directing credit for The Silent World (1956).

Malle's first solo effort was the 1957 thriller Frantic; his next movie, The Lovers (1958), contained graphic erotic content and established the director's reputation for courting controversy. Part of the French new wave movement, Malle tackled other taboo topics with A Very Private Affair (1962) and The Fire Within (1963).

His American film debut came in 1978 with Pretty Baby, followed in 1980 by the acclaimed Atlantic City, for which he received an Oscar nod as Best Director; his later works continued to push the envelope, including 1992's Damage. Married to actress Candice Bergen since 1980, Malle died Nov. 23, 1995, in Beverly Hills, Calif.

Louis Malle in Elevator to the Gallows

Elevator to the Gallows

1957 NR

When the bewitching Florence (Jeanne Moreau) and her lover, Julien (Maurice Ronet), plot to kill Florence's unsuspecting husband (Jean Wall), they don't count on a technical glitch -- a broken elevator -- getting in the way of the perfect murder. Louis Malle directs this haunting French thriller in his feature film debut, an impressive achievement heightened by the film's memorable improvisational score composed by jazz legend Miles Davis.

  • Louis Malle in Pretty Baby Pretty Baby
  • Louis Malle in Atlantic City Atlantic City
  • Louis Malle in Au Revoir Les Enfants Au Revoir Les Enfants
  • Louis Malle in The Lovers The Lovers
  • Louis Malle in Murmur of the Heart Murmur of the Heart
  • Louis Malle in Vanya on 42nd Street Vanya on 42nd Street
  • Louis Malle in Black Moon Black Moon
  • Louis Malle in My Dinner with André My Dinner with André
  • Louis Malle in The Fire Within The Fire Within
  • Louis Malle in Zazie dans le Métro Zazie dans le Métro
  • Louis Malle in Calcutta Calcutta
  • Louis Malle in Lacombe Lucien Lacombe Lucien
  • Louis Malle in Documentaries of Louis Malle: Vive Le Tour Documentaries of Louis Malle: Vive Le Tour
  • Louis Malle in Phantom India Phantom India
  • Louis Malle in God's Country God's Country
  • Louis Malle in ... And the Pursuit of Happiness ... And the Pursuit of Happiness