Deep Blue Sea, The (1955): Anatole Litvak’s Screen Version of Terence Ratigan’s Play, Starring Vivien Leigh and Kenneth More

Anatole Litvak directed The Deep Blue Sea, a British romantic drama, starring Vivien Leigh and Kenneth More, based on Terence Rattigan’s play.

The movie tells the story of a woman unhappy in her passionless marriage to a noble gentleman, leaving her husband for a younger, more ardent, and impulsive lover.

Kenneth More was the only original cast member (he had also appeared in a BBC TV version in 1954) to be hired for the film, as Alexander Korda wanted to use more internationally recognizable names.

More, who did not like Vivien Leigh, felt that the use of Cinemascope and changes made to the original play detracted from the story’s intimacy.

In 2011, Sean O’Connor produced a much better screen version by Terence Davies. starring Rachel Weisz (in the Vivien Leigh role).


Vivien Leigh as Hester Collyer
Kenneth More as Freddie Page
Eric Portman as Miller
Emlyn Williams as Sir William Collyer
Moira Lister as Dawn Maxwell
Alec McCowen as Ken Thompson
Dandy Nichols as Mrs. Elton
Jimmy Hanley as Dicer Durston
Miriam Karlin as Barmaid
Heather Thatcher as Lady Dawson


Cinematography by Jack Hildyard
Edited by Bert Bates

Distributed by Twentieth Century Fox
Release date: August 23, 1955
Running time: 96 minutes