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La maison sous la mer (1947)

A stranger named Constant, disrupts life of Flora who is seemingly happy with her husband, Lucien. She suddenly experiences a passionate love, taking refuge with her lover in a cave they call "home under the sea."


Henri Calef


Jacques Companéez (adaptation), Paul Vialar (novel)


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Viviane Romance ... Flore
Clément Duhour ... Constant
Guy Decomble Guy Decomble ... Lucien
Roland Armontel ... Dial (as Armontel)
Santa Relli ... Mme Djal (as Santa-Relli)
Guy Favières Guy Favières ... Le syndiqué
Anouk Aimée ... Anouk (as Anouk)
Paul Faivre Paul Faivre ... Maresquier
Max Dalban Max Dalban ... La cafetier
Gabrielle Fontan Gabrielle Fontan ... La commère
André Carnège André Carnège ... Le patron du bistrot
Marcel Delaître Marcel Delaître ... Kappel
Dora Doll ... La fille
Albert Glado Albert Glado ... Le gosse
Zélie Yzelle Zélie Yzelle ... La mère (as Yzelle)


A stranger named Constant, disrupts life of Flora who is seemingly happy with her husband, Lucien. She suddenly experiences a passionate love, taking refuge with her lover in a cave they call "home under the sea."

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

based on novel | See All (1) »









Release Date:

10 December 1947 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Tragico incontro See more »

Filming Locations:

Flamanville, Manche, France

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Anouk Aimée's film debut at the age of fourteen. See more »

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User Reviews

I'd like to be under the sea....
29 December 2008 | by dbdumonteilSee all my reviews

...not in an octopus's garden ,but in a huge cave beneath the waves.

Henri Calef was an underrated director:after "Jericho" and "Les Chouans" ,he achieved a hat trick with "La Maison Sous La Mer".All of these movies deserve to be watched by people interested in the oldies of the French cinema ,provided that they are not New Wave die-hards of course.

Based on a Paul Vialar novel,the movie depicts the iron miners' tough life (they do not even have showers ).The first ten minutes is almost documentary:silent scenes show the miners at work,then they return home or to the café where they talk solidarity (" we've got to help our fellow man's widow,the bosses want to throw her out of her house "),women or trade unionism.

Flore has married Lucien ,a minor.He is a pretty good man,a bit indolent mainly in bed.The ticking of an alarm clock comes back several times,insistent ,and Flore feels that time is passing her by.She's a good housewife :Ginette Leclerc had begun to be sick and tired of her parts of bitches and she had already played a cast against type role in "Nuit Sans Fin" (1946).In "La Maison Sous La Mer" she used a sweet wistful voice,and her eyes were longing to find true romantic love .When Constant ,a newcomer to the village,takes her beneath the sea ,to a cave he calls "his house",it's love at first sight.Flore is not a bad woman,she does not want to hurt her husband ,but she can't help it.Lucien and Constant become friends too,and there is a wonderful scene when they talk about the woman of their dreams without knowing they have the same person in mind.

Claude Renoir's black and white cinematography is also an asset.The cable-cars ,under an ominous sky and over a sea so dark we hardly see it ,are filmed in a way that gives goose-flesh (one thinks of Jacques Tourneur's scenes on the derricks in "nightfall" (1956)).The final scene when the horizon seems to go up in smoke is one of these Renoir's tours De force.

Yes Henri Calef is definitely a director whose works should be rediscovered.

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