Le Silence de la Mer (1949)

Not Rated   |    |  Drama, Romance, War

Le Silence de la Mer (1949) Poster

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 »


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9 March 2017 | ironlion106
| A Good Start to a Great Career
And so Jean-Pierre Melville's career began with this very impressive feature debut. While not quite the same kind of film from him as I'm used to (keep in mind the only other Melville films I've seen are Le Deuxième Soufflé and Le Samouraï), it delivers every bit of quiet tension and restrained filmmaking I've come to love from this director. The vast majority of the film is either narration directly out of the book on which the film was adapted, or Howard Vernon delivering hauntingly beautiful monologues. Vernon's performance is flawless and never fails to draw you in. All of this great stuff aside,Le Silence de la Mer has some room to grow. Biggest issue being that it's basically a stage play. The medium is hardly utilized and it makes for a semi- dull viewing. This isn't the fault of Melville or anybody else, that's just what the source material calls for. As perfectly executed as Vernon's monologues were, I just can't help but feel that the story could have had so much more to offer. But this, again, is the fault of the author of the book, not Melville. All in all, Le Silence de la Mer is a very good start to Melville's career and definitely one not to let pass you by.

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