The 'flood' of the title refers to the threat of nuclear war which at the time in which this film is set seemed a distinct possibility with the Korean War raging.
Who among us has not fantasised about escaping from grim reality to a tropical island paradise? The five adolescents in this decide to do just that but being short of funds they plan a burglary to finance the trip. What could be simpler? Needless to say everything goes horribly wrong..........
Former lawyer Andre Cayatte has never been one to shy away from contentious topics and here he has again collaborated on the script with Charles Spaak. Cayatte's searching camera means there is no hiding place for his characters and although the youths are on trial for murder it is their parents who are in the dock. Cayatte regards these parents as being equally culpable either through their blindness, neglect, possessiveness, prejudice or self-obsession.
One can be sure that Cayatte will always draw the very best from his cast and every performance is spot on. According to Marina Vlady this was a stressful film for her to make as she felt that her relative inexperience was a liability and that Cayatte had regretted hiring her. She comes through with flying colours however and having survived the nickname 'Miss Body 1960' went on to give some stunning performances. Ironically she was denied entry to the screening at Cannes as the film was considered unsuitable for those under 16!
Representing the seniors are Bernard Blier, Isa Miranda, Paul Frankeur, Line Noro and Antoine Balpetre. The latter's character is virulently anti-Semitic which does not bode for one of the youths whose name is Daniel Epstein!
This is one of Cayatte's longer films and although slowly paced with wordy exchanges and little camera movement it succeeds in holding one's attention.
Some reviewers at the time found it too dark and gloomy but it received the International Critics prize at Cannes and did very well commercially. Let us hope this caused Cayatte to feel that there is some justice after all!