Berlinale: Programme

Film file


Le tunnel

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Philanthropic engineer Mac Allan is planning to build an undersea tunnel connecting the US and Europe. At a meeting of wealthy investors in a New York hotel, his idea receives unanimous support. However, speculator Mr Woolf has his own interests at heart and, as the president of the tunnel syndicate, he embezzles large sums of money. Three years later, a leak that lets in water leads to unrest among the tunnel-building crew. Mac Allan fails to realise that Woolf has hired agents provocateurs in an effort to halt construction. In trying to cover up his financial crimes, the syndicate boss does not even stop at a bomb attack ... The film was shot at Bavaria Studios near Munich in both a German and a French version. Establishing shots of New York’s skyscrapers lent legitimacy to the technical optimism that tunnelling under the Atlantic might be possible in the not-too-distant future; the equipment could be considered modern. The film’s forward-looking thrust was also reinforced by the appearance of Mac Allan’s adversary, who blocked progress dressed in costumes that were strikingly “yesterday” – top hat, spats, tailcoat and white tie.

Kurt Bernhardt

France / Germany 1933


76’ · Black/White · 35 mm


Jean Gabin
Madeleine Renaud
Edmund van Daële
Gustaf Gründgens
André Nox
Raymonde Allain
Robert Le Vigan
André Bertic


Kurt Bernhardt
Kurt Bernhardt, Reinhart Steinbicker, adapted from the novel “Der Tunnel” (1913) by Bernhard Kellermann
Alexandre Arnoux
Carl Hoffmann
Rudi Fehr
Walter Gronostay
Set Construction
Karl Vollbrecht, Heinz Fenchel
Heinrich Beckmann, Max Rauffer

Produced by

Vandor Films/Bavaria-Filmkunst

Copy: Bundesarchiv-Filmarchiv, Berlin