'Le Silence de la Mer' - Jean-Pierre Melville's debut film - is an adaptation of the novella of the same title by celebrated French Resistance author Vercors (the pen name of Jean Bruller). Clandestinely written in 1942 during the Nazi occupation of France and furtively distributed, it captured the spirit of the moment, and quickly became a staple of the Resistance. Melville's cinematic adaptation - partly shot in Vercors' own house - tells the story of a German officer, Werner von Ebrennac (Howard Vernon), who is billeted to the house of an elderly man (Jean-Marie Robain) and his niece (Nicole Stephane) in occupied France. Resisting the intruder, the uncle and niece refuse to speak to the German officer, who warms himself by the fire each evening espousing idealistic views about the relationship between France and Germany. These propagandised illusions are shattered, however, when a trip to Paris reveals the truth of what is really going on.