Escalier de service (1954)
aka: Service Entrance
A film directed by Carlo Rim

Genre: Comedy / Drama


Escalier de service photo
Photographer Léo meets the solitary Marie-Lou in the streets of Paris. Full of tears and despair, Marie-Lou is immediately taken in hand by Léo's friends. Everyone wants to know what happened to her, so she starts to recount her experiences of working as a housemaid for several different people. First, she worked for a lawyer and his snobbish wife who were always at each other's throats. Their two uncouth children were no better. Unable to stand all this unpleasantness, Marie-Lou left and found a new position with the Delecluse family, a far quieter household. After a short time, Marie-Lou noticed something very strange in this house. The Delecluses seemed to spend most of their time going to funerals. When Marie-Lou learned the truth, she decided that she had to leave that sinister house as quickly as possible. A new experience was waiting for her when she began her third job, for the Grimaldis, an Italian family. It was here that she fell in love, with eldest son Benvenuto, but the affair did not last. When Benvenuto had to go on the run from the police, Marie-Lou left and found employment with the Bechard couple. This also ended badly when Madame Bechard became aware that her husband, her son and her brother had all fallen in love with the new maid. Marie-Lou's last job was in the chic apartment of Monsieur and Madame Berthier. This couple were used to living the high life, since Madame Berthier was once a famous actress. But times had changed and the household was in decline. Marie-Lou did everything for her new employers, but they gave her nothing in return. When the Berthiers finally regained their wealth and fame, Marie-Lou wasn't good enough for them and so had to go. But life is still full of surprises and a big one is waiting for her...
© Willems Henri (Brussels, Belgium)

Film Review

Escalier de service is a French film comedy-drama first released in France on 16th August 1954, directed by Carlo Rim. The film stars Etchika Choureau, Danielle Darrieux, Robert Lamoureux, Sophie Desmarets and Jean Richard. It has also been released under the title: Service Entrance.   It is a Société des Etablissements L. Gaumont production, produced by Alain Poiré and distributed by Société Nouvelle des Établissements Gaumont.  

Our overall rating for Escalier de service is: good - passable entertainment.

Other recommended films that have been directed by Carlo Rim include: La Maison Bonnadieu (1951), Les Sept péchés capitaux (1952), Les Truands (1956) and Ce joli monde (1957). The actor Danielle Darrieux has also appeared in: Mayerling (1936), Landru (1963), Le Lieu du crime (1986) and Persepolis (2007).

Other comedy/drama films of the 1950s from France that are recommended viewing include: René Clair's La Beauté du diable (1950), Henri Verneuil's Maxime (1958), Max Ophüls's Le Plaisir (1952), Christian-Jaque's Souvenirs perdus (1950) and Yves Ciampi's Un grand patron (1951).

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Film Credits

  • Director: Carlo Rim
  • Script: Carlo Rim
  • Photo: Robert Juillard
  • Music: Georges Van Parys
  • Cast: Etchika Choureau (Marie-Lou), Danielle Darrieux (Béatrice Berthier), Robert Lamoureux (François Berthier), Sophie Desmarets (Mme. Dumény), Jean Richard (Jules Béchard), Saturnin Fabre (M. Delecluze), Mischa Auer (Nicolas Pouchkoff), Alfred Adam (Albert), Junie Astor (Aline Béchard), Marc Cassot (Benvenuto Grimaldi), Louis de Funès (Cesare Grimaldi), Denise Grey (Mme. Thévnot), Héléna Manson (Mme. Delecluze), Marthe Mercadier (Hortense), Jacques Morel (Georges Dumény), Yves Robert (Courbessac), Fernand Sardou (Scarfatti), Jean-Marc Thibault (Léo), Albert Michel (Le sacristain), Marcelle Arnold (Mme Courbessac), René Berthier (Le docteur), Estella Blain (Une copine de Léo), Agnès Caprille (Carlotta Grimaldi), Jacques Charon (Le majordome), René Dupuy (Un cousin)
  • Country: France
  • Language: French
  • Support: Black and White
  • Runtime: 94 min
  • Aka: Service Entrance

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