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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 »

Writers:

Vercors (short story), Jean-Pierre Melville (adaptation)
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Cast

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

France

Language:

French | German | English

Release Date:

22 April 1949 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Le Silence de la Mer See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Melville Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to French cinema scholar Denitza Bantcheva, who wrote a book about the filmmaker, Jean-Pierre Melville first read the 1942 novel by Vercors (Jean Bruller), upon which this film is based, not in the original French, but in a hastily-prepared English translation in 1943 in London, to which Melville had temporarily fled due to his activities in the French Resistance. He immediately decided that his first feature film would be an adaptation of this book. In France itself, the book had to be distributed clandestinely, due to the fact that Vercors was himself a member of the Resistance. See more »

Quotes

Werner von Ebrennac: There's a lovely fairy tale that I've read, that you're read, that everyone has read. I don't know if the title is the same in your country. We call it, "Das Tier und die Schöne", "Beauty and the Beast". Poor Beauty, she is at the mercy of the Beast, powerless and imprisoned. She is subjected to his implacable, heavy presence all day long. Beauty is proud, dignified, she has become hard. But the Beast is better than he seems. He doesn't have the finest manners. He is tactless, brutal. He seems ...
See more »

Connections

Featured in Melville Steps Out of the Shadows (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Simple and powerful
19 January 1999 | by spechaxSee all my reviews

I am surprised that this movie is so little known (I must confess I did not know much about it either when I first went to see it). I think it is one of the best movies made in Europe in the first years after the WW2. It is quiet and simple, but very powerful at the same time. Without any killing or death in it, this film shows the absurdness and tragedy of war better than any other I have seen. At the same time, for me this was a very good insight in the spirit of French resistance. But above all, it is about a collapse of dreams, a conflict between one's conscience and ideology, and a realisation of how senseless human feelings, aspirations and the whole existence is made by the war. Very deep and impressive. I felt like crying at the end.


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