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Information

A.k.a.
Le Silence de la Mer
Year
1949
Runtime
87 min.
Director
Jean-Pierre Melville
Genres
Drama, Romance, War
Rating *
7.7
Votes *
2,426
Checks
1,007
Favs
118
Dislikes
9
Favs/checks
11.7% (1:9)
Favs/dislikes
13:1
* View IMDb information

Top comments

  1. Dieguito's avatar

    Dieguito

    Very poetic! Magnificent movie, definitely should be on more lists. 11 years 11 months ago
  2. Siskoid's avatar

    Siskoid

    The great Jean-Pierre Melville's first feature was Le silence de la mer (The Silence of the Sea), based on a book published at no small perild during World War II in occupied France. It tells an unusual story of resistance as an older gentleman and his niece are forced to take a German officer as a boarder. They decide they will simply not acknowledge him and never speak a word in his presence. The Francophile German is quite talkative however, and his head in the clouds, believes the result of the war will be beneficial for France as much as Germany, so it's right that this often plays as a ghost story, because he's a relic in his romantic notions and divorced from the tangible world of Nazi atrocity. We understand the French characters through the uncle's narration, pulled directly from the book's precise and elegant prose, and though Howard Vernon's Werner is magnetic and memorable as a kind of blind man who thinks he is good despite his complicity with evil, a lot of the more subtle acting is on the shoulders of Nicole Stéphane and Jean-Marie Robain. We feel their fear, their resolve, their growing sympathy for the insidious intruder over the months, and thus their moral and patriotic dilemma. As a lesson in resistance that still works today, it's about not engaging with false premises, which modern society has completely failed to do. A great piece of spare Spartan cinema. 4 years 6 months ago
  3. ClassicLady's avatar

    ClassicLady

    Howard Vernon looks a lot like Boris Karlof. Very moving movie. 9 years 8 months ago
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In 6 official lists

  1. This movie ranks #46 in iCheckMovies's 1940s Top 100
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    iCheckMovies's 1940s Top…

    46
  2. This movie ranks #77 in Eureka!'s The Masters of Cinema Series
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    Eureka!'s The Masters of…

    77
  3. This movie ranks #394 in David Thomson's Have You Seen?
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    David Thomson's Have You…

    394
  4. This movie ranks #474 in Doubling the Canon
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    Doubling the Canon

    474
  5. This movie ranks #831 in Time Out's 1000 Films to Change Your Life
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    Time Out's 1000 Films to…

    831
  6. This movie ranks #913 in The Criterion Collection
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    The Criterion Collection

    913
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