Under the Seas

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Deux Cents Milles sous les mers ou le Cauchemar du pêcheur
A scene from near the end of the film.
Directed by Georges Méliès
Based on Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea 
by Jules Verne
Release date(s)
  • 1907 (1907)
Running time 286 meters/930 feet[1]
18 minutes
Country France
Language Silent

Under the Seas (French: Deux Cents Milles sous les mers ou le Cauchemar du pêcheur)[2][a] is a silent film made in 1907 by the French director Georges Méliès. It was released by Méliès's Star Film Company and is numbered 912–924 in its catalogues,[1] where it was advertised as a grande féerie fantaisiste en 30 tableaux.[4] The film survives as an incomplete fragment; some scenes are presumed lost.[4]

The film, a parody of the novel Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne,[5] follows a fisherman, Yves, who dreams of traveling by submarine to the bottom of the ocean, where he encounters both realistic and fanciful sea creatures, including a chorus of naiads.[5]

The actor Manuel, who had appeared in Méliès's 1906 drama A Desperate Crime and who would go on to direct some films for Méliès's studio in 1908,[6] plays Yves the fisherman;[4] the chorus of naiads are played by dancers from the Théâtre du Châtelet.[5] The ballet in the film was choreographed by Madame Stitchel, the director of the Châtelet corps de ballet.[7] Méliès's design for the film includes cut-out sea animals patterned after Alphonse de Neuville's illustrations for Verne's novel.[5] Like at least 4% of Méliès's entire output,[8] some prints of the film were hand-tinted frame by frame by female factory workers.[9]


  1. ^ These are the original English and French titles, respectively, as listed in the earliest available Méliès catalogues. The film is also known as Deux cent mille lieues sous les mers ou le cauchemar d'un pêcheur[1] and as 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.[3]
  1. ^ a b c Hammond, Paul (1974). Marvellous Méliès. London: Gordon Fraser. p. 145. ISBN 0900406380. 
  2. ^ Malthête, Jacques; Mannoni, Laurent (2008). L'oeuvre de Georges Méliès. Paris: Éditions de La Martinière. p. 351. ISBN 9782732437323. 
  3. ^ Young, R. G. (1997). The encyclopedia of fantastic film: Ali Baba to Zombies. New York: Applause. p. 154. ISBN 1557832692. Retrieved 4 July 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c Malthête & Mannoni 2008, p. 215
  5. ^ a b c d Hammond 1974, p. 64
  6. ^ Malthête & Mannoni 2008, p. 196
  7. ^ Malthête & Mannoni 2008, p. 332
  8. ^ Yumibe, Joshua (2012). Moving Color: Early Film, Mass Culture, Modernism. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press. p. 73. ISBN 9780813552965. Retrieved 1 August 2013. 
  9. ^ Barnwell, Jane (2004). Production design: architects of the screen. Wallflower Press. p. 106. ISBN 1-903364-55-8. 

External links[edit]