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Le Silence de la Mer (1949)

Le silence de la mer (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, Romance, War | 22 April 1949 (France)
1941 in a small town in Nazi occupied France. Against the will of its elderly male and his adult niece residents, the Nazis commandeer a house for one of their officers, Lt. Werner von ... See full summary »

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(short story), (adaptation)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Howard Vernon ...
Nicole Stéphane ...
La nièce (as Nicole Stephane)
Jean-Marie Robain ...
L'oncle
Ami Aaröe ...
La fiancée (as Ami Aaroe)
Georges Patrix ...
L'ordonnance
Denis Sadier ...
L'ami
Rudelle ...
L'Allemand
Max Fromm ...
L'Allemand (as Fromm)
Claude Vernier ...
L'Allemand (as Vernier)
Max Hermann ...
L'Allemand
Fritz Schmiedel ...
L'Allemand (as Schmiedel)
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Storyline

1941 in a small town in Nazi occupied France. Against the will of its elderly male and his adult niece residents, the Nazis commandeer a house for one of their officers, Lt. Werner von Ebrennac, to live in for as long as he is in the area on Nazi business. As a figurative and literal silent protest against the Nazis and the officer, the uncle and niece do whatever is required of them while the officer is in their house, however they do not acknowledge his presence, living largely in silence whenever he is around. The officer treats the housing situation with care, like he is a guest. Although not a nightly occurrence, the officer begins an evening routine with his reluctant hosts: in his civilian clothes, he knocks on the door of the room in which they have convened for the evening, walking in shortly thereafter knowing that no acknowledgment will be made for him to enter, he visits with them for no more than five minutes before he bids them a good evening as he exits. During these ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

22 April 1949 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Le Silence de la Mer  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Partly because they used natural light whenever possible, and partly because they wished to emphasize, for thematic reasons, contrasts of light and shadow, Melville and his director of photography, Henri Decaë (whose first feature film assignment this was) shot many scenes much darker than was the rule in French cinema at the time. As a result, when the film was sent to be developed, the laboratory alerted Melville to the shadowy scenes, assuming a mistake had been made. See more »

Connections

Version of Das Schweigen des Meeres (1954) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Melville
12 May 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

In a small town in occupied France in 1941, the German officer, Werner Von Ebrennac (Howard Vernon) is billeted in the house of the uncle and his niece. The uncle and niece refuse to speak to him, but each evening the officer warms himself by the fire and talks of his country, his music, and his idealistic views of the relationship between France and Germany.

I am not terribly familiar with the work of Melville. More or less, beyond "Le Samourai", I know practically nothing about the man and his work. And, after seeing this, I will have to say "Samourai" is the better film, though this is not without its merits and quite decent for its humble origins.

Of particular interest to me was the casting of Howard Vernon, who was only known to me from the films of Jess Franco. Seeing him in something else, especially something so serious, makes me see he is a better actor than the films he is associated with. What went wrong, Howard?


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