Le silence de la mer Le silence de la mer

Le silence de la mer

Jean-Pierre Melville

 
Le silence de la mer (Criterion Blu-Ray)

Blu-Ray

1 Disc

SRP: $39.95

Criterion Store price:$31.96

  • France
  • 1949
  • 87 minutes
  • Black and White
  • 1.33:1
  • French
  •  
  • Spine #755

Jean-Pierre Melville began his superb feature filmmaking career with this powerful adaptation of an influential underground novel written during the Nazi occupation of France. A cultured, naively idealistic German officer is billeted in the home of a middle-aged man and his grown niece; their response to his presence—their only form of resistance—is complete silence. Constructed with elegant minimalism and shot, by the legendary Henri Decaë, with hushed eloquence, Le silence de la mer points the way toward Melville’s later films about resistance and the occupation (Léon Morin, Priest; Army of Shadows) yet remains a singularly eerie masterwork in its own right.

Cast

Werner von EbrennacHoward Vernon
The nieceNicole Stéphane
The uncleJean-Marie Robain
The fiancéeAmi Aaroe
The officer’s servantGeorges Patrix
The friendDenis Sadier
The GermansRudelle
Max Fromm
Claude Vernier
Max Hermann
Fritz Schmiedel

Credits

DirectorJean-Pierre Melville
From the novel byVercors
Adapted byJean-Pierre Melville
Director of photographyHenri Decaë
MusicEdgar Bischoff
Production directorEdmond Vaxelaire
Executive producerMarcel Cartier

Disc Features

  • New high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • The short 24 Hours in the Life of a Clown (1946), director Jean-Pierre Melville’s first film
  • New interview with film scholar Ginette Vincendeau
  • Code Name Melville (2008), a seventy-six-minute documentary on Melville’s time in the French Resistance and his films about it
  • Melville Steps Out of the Shadows (2010), a forty-two-minute documentary about Le silence de la mer
  • Interview with Melville from 1959
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Geoffrey O’Brien and a selection from Rui Nogueira’s 1971 book Melville on Melville

    Cover based on an original poster by Raymond Gid

Film Essays

Silence_essay_thumbnail

Le silence de la mer: Stranger in the House

By Geoffrey O'Brien May 01, 2015

In his first feature, Jean-Pierre Melville found subtly radical ways to adapt Vercors's underground French novel about quiet resistance against the German occupation. Read more »

On Five

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From the Melville Archives

October 20, 2016

Today, we’re celebrating what would have been Jean-Pierre Melville’s ninety-ninth birthday. In a filmography that ranges from psychosexual dramas and bracing chronicles of the French Resistance . . . Read more »


Film Essays

Silence_essay_thumbnail

Le silence de la mer: Stranger in the House

By Geoffrey O'Brien May 01, 2015

In his first feature, Jean-Pierre Melville found subtly radical ways to adapt Vercors's underground French novel about quiet resistance against the German occupation. Read more »


Interviews

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