2 user 5 critic

World Without Sun (1964)

Le monde sans soleil (original title)
Fascinating underwater documentary filmed with hand-held cameras by frogmen and mostly filmed in deep-water seas from within a special designed batiscaff, by the Cousteau family of sea explorers.
Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins. See more awards »




Uncredited cast:
Jacques-Yves Cousteau ... Lui-même (uncredited)
Simone Cousteau Simone Cousteau ... Elle-même (uncredited)
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In this Oscar-winning documentary, legendary oceanographer Jacques-Yves Cousteau explores Continental Shelf Station Two, an early-1960s attempt at underwater living located 10 meters below the surface of the Red Sea off the coast of Sudan. Subjected to constant observation and medical experimentation, the six men taking part in the experiment have air, food, water, electricity and other life essentials, as well as a small two-man submarine that they can use for underwater exploration. Written by Jwelch5742

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From the creator of the Academy Award Winning "The Silent World"...a new incredible real-life story of the first man-made 'city beneath the sea"...... See more »




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Did You Know?


Jacques-Yves Cousteau: That is how we spied on a lazy fish that lived with two small crustaceans. He leaves the housekeeping entirely up to them.
[a crustacean shovels sand out of its hole with its claws]
Jacques-Yves Cousteau: The little fellow thinks he's a bulldozer. He even knows how to wedge a big stone with a smaller one.
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Referenced in Casino Royale (1967) See more »

User Reviews

Try to find a restored version of this film if you can....
1 April 2017 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

The copy of "World Without Sun" that I found on YouTube leaves a lot to be desired. Due to decomposition, the print is very washed out and it looks almost as if the movie was originally made in black & white. Considered how good the film SHOULD look, you might try finding a restored copy...it it's available. I sure would have LOVED to have seen this on the big screen!!

The film itself is a documentary showing what life was like aboard Continental Shelf Station #2--a small village, of sorts, made up of various submerged structures. The Cousteau team lived in this underwater base and it consisted of dorms, laboratories, rec rooms and more. Most of the buildings are near the surface (I am guessing 30- 40 feet deep) but one is very deep and was used to research the effects of extreme depths on men living there for a week at a time. Additionally, you see a very deep dive with their mini-sub, daily routines and the men pestering many fish species (it really DID look that way in many of the clips). I think much of this is because in the early days, Cousteau was interested more in exploitation of the ocean, whereas in the 60s, 70s and 80s he was known much more for conservation.

The overall film is very interesting and must have been quite a sensation when it was released. Nowadays, with the various Cousteau television shows, it's not so novel....but still is quite interesting and garnered an Oscar for Best Documentary.

By the way, I am a scuba diver and seeing the sharks avoiding the structures and a barracuda watching over them out of curiosity is NOT a surprise at all. Barracuda often watch during dives or hang out under the ships and are amazingly docile towards divers provided you aren't stupid and don't try to pet them!!

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France | Italy



Release Date:

22 December 1964 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El mundo sin sol See more »

Filming Locations:

Red Sea, Sudan

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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