IMDb > The Silence of the Sea (1949)

The Silence of the Sea (1949) More at IMDbPro »Le silence de la mer (original title)

The Silence of the Sea -- An idealistic German soldier assigned to a French household during the Nazi occupation doesn't understand the hostility his hosts show him...until a visit to Paris changes everything.


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Vercors (short story)
Jean-Pierre Melville (adaptation)
View company contact information for The Silence of the Sea on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
22 April 1949 (France) See more »
In a small town in occupied France in 1941, the German officer, Werner Von Ebrennac is billeted in the house of the uncle and his niece... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
One Of The Best Debuts Of All Time! See more (9 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)
Howard Vernon ... Werner von Ebrennac
Nicole Stéphane ... The Niece (as Nicole Stephane)
Jean-Marie Robain ... The Uncle
Ami Aaröe ... Werner's fiancee (as Ami Aaroe)
Georges Patrix ... L'ordonnance
Denis Sadier ... L'ami
Rudelle ... German
Max Fromm ... German (as Fromm)
Claude Vernier ... German (as Vernier)
Max Hermann ... German
Fritz Schmiedel ... German (as Schmiedel)

Directed by
Jean-Pierre Melville 
Writing credits
Vercors (short story)

Jean-Pierre Melville (adaptation)

Produced by
Marcel Cartier .... delegate producer
Jean-Pierre Melville .... executive producer
Original Music by
Edgar Bischoff 
Cinematography by
Henri Decaë 
Film Editing by
Henri Decaë (uncredited)
Jean-Pierre Melville (uncredited)
Production Management
Edmond Vaxelaire .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Michel Drach .... second assistant director
Jacques Guymont .... first assistant director
Sound Department
Jacques Carrère .... sound (as Carrere)
Camera and Electrical Department
Agis .... still photographer
Magot .... electrician
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Traonouez .... costumes
Music Department
Paul Bonneau .... conductor: 'Grand Orchestre des Concerts Colonne'
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Le silence de la mer" - France (original title)
"Le Silence de la Mer" - UK (imdb display title), USA (imdb display title)
See more »
88 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Did You Know?

Melville began filming without the rights to Vercors' novel; when Vercors heard of this, he met with Melville, who told him that if he did not like the film, he would burn the negative. Melville was also not in the screenwriters' or directors' unions and had difficulty in employing people and getting distribution. However, the film was an immense success, both critically and commercially and Vercors loved it.See more »
Movie Connections:
Remade as Silence of the Sea (2004) (TV)See more »


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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful.
One Of The Best Debuts Of All Time!, 11 September 2013
Author: DexIMF from India

"Le Silence De La Mer" is a film based on the novel of the same name written by Jean Bruller which was published secretly in Nazi-occupied France. The film plays like a video-book of the novel as most of the story is told either through narration or monologues. The film's such patience-testing style is quickly suggested by its opening scene which plays as if it literally drops the viewer inside the novel.

The film is told through two point of views. An old french man, who lives with his niece, and seems to be quite content with wealth and art. The other viewpoint is the Nazi soldier who stays in their house for a quite period of time. The key to delve into the former's mind is by his narration, and the latter's is by his monologues. It's an interesting dynamic which really shines and gets its point across over the course of time.

"Le Silence De La Mer" is Melville's debut feature, and it's fascinating how clear he is about the subject and style of the film. It's no wonder that his later films grew to be even more tightly constructed.

The film opens with lines which suggest that the feature is in no way constructed to present as a solution to conflict between France and Germany, but I'm sure both Bruller and Melville, and the rest of us would have wondered, "..but what if?".

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