The Deep Blue Sea (1955 film)

The Deep Blue Sea is a 1955 British drama film directed by Anatole Litvak, starring Vivien Leigh and Kenneth More, and released by Twentieth Century Fox. The picture was based on the play of the same name by Terence Rattigan. The movie tells the story of a woman unhappy in her passionless marriage leaving her husband for a younger and more ardent lover.

The Deep Blue Sea
Theatrical release poster
Directed byAnatole Litvak
Produced bySir Alexander Korda
Written byTerence Rattigan
StarringVivien Leigh
Kenneth More
Eric Portman
Music byMalcolm Arnold
CinematographyJack Hildyard
Edited byBert Bates
Distributed byTwentieth Century Fox
Release date
  • 23 August 1955 (1955-08-23)
Running time
96 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom


Kenneth More was the only key member of the original cast (who had also appeared in a BBC Television version in 1954) to be hired for the film, as Alexander Korda wanted to use names that were more recognisable to movie goers. More always felt this was a mistake, particularly the casting of Vivien Leigh rather than Peggy Ashcroft. More did not enjoy filming, feeling that the use of Cinemascope and changes made to the original play detracted from the intimacy of the story. He also felt he had poor chemistry with Leigh.[1]

Currently unavailable on DVD, a rare screening of the film took place as part of the BFI Vivien Leigh Season in 2013 introduced by Sean O'Connor, producer of the 2011 version of the film by Terence Davies.[2]



The film was a box office disappointment in the US. "It was a tricky subject for American audiences," said More.[3]


  • 1956 Kenneth More was nominated for the BAFTA Awards' Best British Actor
  • 1956 Terence Rattigan was nominated for the BAFTA Awards' Best British Screenplay
  • 1955 Kenneth More won the Venice Film Festival "Volpi Cup" Best Actor award
  • 1955 Anatole Litvak was nominated for the Venice Film Festival "Golden Lion"

See also


  1. Kenneth More, More or Less, Hodder & Staughton, 1978 p 163-167
  3. Schallert, E. (18 August 1957). English star amazes in chaneylike portrayal. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File).

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