One of the most consistently innovative and risk-taking filmmakers of his generation, Louis Malle directed a number of critically acclaimed films both in his native France and the United States, but rarely received the attention that his work commanded. Malle first made a splash for his award-winning documentary with Jacques Cousteau, "Le Monde du silence" (1955), and made an effective transition to narrative filmmaking with "Elevator to the Gallows" (1957) and the controversial drama "The Lovers" (1958). He went on to helm the masterful character drama "The Fire Within" (1963) and had a major international success with the one-of-a-kind documentary series "Phantom India" (1969). After oscillating between French-made documentaries and features throughout the 1970s, Malle made his American debut with the highly charged, but ultimately mundane "Pretty Baby" (1978), before faring much better with the atmospheric crime drama "Atlantic City" (1980), which earned him his only Best Director nomination at the Academy Awards. From there, he directed his most creatively daring film, "My Dinner with Andre" (1984), returned to France for the explicitly autobiographical "Au Revoir les enfants" (1987), and ended his career - which was cut short by cancer - with the clever "Vanya on 42nd Street" (1994). From undersea documentaries to romantic thrillers; from exposés on poverty to extended dinner conversations, Malle's work could hardly have been more diverse, challenging and worthy of the highest praise.