DOWN IN THE DEEP (1904)
aka Le Pecheur de perles, The Pearl Fisher
Article 2284 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 6-26-2007
Posting Date: 11-13-2007
Directed by Ferdinand Zecca
A vision of beautiful women causes a man to dive into the ocean in search of pearls. There he encounters a variety of sea beasties, and hunts for his treasure in a giant clam.
This early silent fantasy may lack the wit of a film by Melies, but it does have a charming fairy-tale quality somewhat similar to that of THE GOLDEN BEETLE. Still, there are a few laughs, usually from his encounters with some of the ocean beasties (including a big-eyed octopus, a shark, and giant lobster). I don’t know who played the fisherman, but he does a nice job of pantomiming a walk on the ocean floor, and the gentle sense of fantasy is what really brings this one to life. This is one of the more interesting early fantastically-themed silents that was not brought to us by Melies.