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Le monde sans soleil (1964)

Fascinating underwater documentary filmed with hand-held cameras by frogmen and mostly filmed in deep-water seas from within a special designed batiscaff, by the Cousteau family of sea explorers.
Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins. See more awards »
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In this Oscar-winning documentary, legendary oceanographer Jacques-Yves Cousteau explores Continental Shelf Station Two, an early-1960s attempt at underwater living located 10 meters below the surface of the Red Sea off the coast of Sudan. Subjected to constant observation and medical experimentation, the six men taking part in the experiment have air, food, water, electricity and other life essentials, as well as a small two-man submarine that they can use for underwater exploration. Written by Jwelch5742

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Plunge into astounding true adventure...with Jacques-Yves Cousteau and the earth's first Oceanauts! See more »




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Release Date:

22 December 1964 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El mundo sin sol  »

Filming Locations:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Jacques-Yves Cousteau: Starfish, despite their peaceful appearance, are carnivores specially adapted to eat shellfish. Scallops have many eyes to look out for their dreaded enemy.
[a starfish placed next to scallops sends the scallops jetting away]
Jacques-Yves Cousteau: Scallops travel by jet, like the diving saucer.
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Referenced in Casino Royale (1967) See more »

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User Reviews

Try to find a restored version of this film if you can....
1 April 2017 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

The copy of "World Without Sun" that I found on YouTube leaves a lot to be desired. Due to decomposition, the print is very washed out and it looks almost as if the movie was originally made in black & white. Considered how good the film SHOULD look, you might try finding a restored copy...it it's available. I sure would have LOVED to have seen this on the big screen!!

The film itself is a documentary showing what life was like aboard Continental Shelf Station #2--a small village, of sorts, made up of various submerged structures. The Cousteau team lived in this underwater base and it consisted of dorms, laboratories, rec rooms and more. Most of the buildings are near the surface (I am guessing 30- 40 feet deep) but one is very deep and was used to research the effects of extreme depths on men living there for a week at a time. Additionally, you see a very deep dive with their mini-sub, daily routines and the men pestering many fish species (it really DID look that way in many of the clips). I think much of this is because in the early days, Cousteau was interested more in exploitation of the ocean, whereas in the 60s, 70s and 80s he was known much more for conservation.

The overall film is very interesting and must have been quite a sensation when it was released. Nowadays, with the various Cousteau television shows, it's not so novel....but still is quite interesting and garnered an Oscar for Best Documentary.

By the way, I am a scuba diver and seeing the sharks avoiding the structures and a barracuda watching over them out of curiosity is NOT a surprise at all. Barracuda often watch during dives or hang out under the ships and are amazingly docile towards divers provided you aren't stupid and don't try to pet them!!

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