I watched this Fantasy movie, in French, about half a dozen years ago. It was shortly after it was first released in France, probably not so long after it was first released in English speaking countries since I am almost sure it was originally in English.

It is about a humanoid being that had been captured and kept in a huge tank of water in some research facility.

IIRC, there was a cleaning woman who worked there who fell in love with him. The water creature was in fact extremely powerful. With the help of the cleaning woman, he escaped.

I don't remember the ending well enough but there was a decidedly oneiric aspect to it.


2 Answers 2


Is this The Shape of Water (2017)...?

From Wikipedia:

The Shape of Water is a 2017 romantic fantasy film directed and co-produced by Guillermo del Toro and written by del Toro and Vanessa Taylor. It stars Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, Doug Jones, Michael Stuhlbarg, and Octavia Spencer. Set in 1962 Baltimore, Maryland, the film follows a mute custodian at a high-security government laboratory who falls in love with a captured humanoid amphibian creature and decides to help him escape from death at the hands of an evil colonel.

Image of the captured creature, from "The Shape of Water" (2017).

  • 5
    It's worth noting that this movie won the Best Picture Oscar, and Guillermo Del Toro won the Oscar for Best Director.
    – DMfiend
    Commented Jun 20 at 17:16

Honorable mention: Amphibian Man (1961).

Soviet movie, based on 1928 novel from Alexander Belyayev. According to plot, he falls in love with pearl-fisher's daughter, gets captured, and kept in cage under water. The story is set in Argentina.

Amphibian Man

Also some info from Wikipedia:

Amphibian Man is little-known in the West, but has become a cult classic. Hollywood filmmaker Quentin Tarantino cited Amphibian Man as one of his favourite Russian films, stating that he grew up watching an English dubbed version often shown on American television in the 1970s.

There have been accusations that the 2017 Hollywood film, The Shape of Water, plagiarised Amphibian Man. Indie Cinema Magazine noted that both have a similar plot, the use of the name "Amphibian Man" in both films, the Soviet connection in both stories, and the 1962 setting.

  • Thanks for the info, but no. The movie I saw in French was "La Forme de l'Eau". One never sees the capture of the amphibious man, he is already in the "scientific" facility when one first learns about his existence.
    – Alfred
    Commented Jun 21 at 8:51
  • I'm not sure how seriously one can take that review that is cited as evidence of plagiarism on Wikipedia. The author, besides seeming very preoccupied with the "perversion" and "zoophilia" of the film, throws a bunch of plagiarism accusations at the wall to see what sticks, including mentioning the Dutch film The Space Between Us, while making certain to assure us that the opinion of the makers of that film is irrelevant. No attempt is made to explain how The Shape of Water apparently was plagiarised from both plots despite apparently having the exact same plot as the Dutch film.
    – Adamant
    Commented Jun 21 at 10:55
  • That is not to say that it is impossible that plagiarism was involved, of course, but there seems to be a certain argument from incredulity that two works could independently have similar plots, even though whole scientific theories can be discovered independently, and even though the author of that review identifies at least two separate works with a similar plotline which they do not seem to think have any direct relation to each other.
    – Adamant
    Commented Jun 21 at 11:09
  • Obviously, at least two of these films are self-admittedly based on The Creature from the Black Lagoon, so it is probably worth noting that if you take the sequel, The Revenge of the Creature, you already have the basic point of the aquatic humanoid monster captured for study and falling for a woman among his captors, which only needs the modern trend toward reinterpretion of classic signs of villainy to give one something much like the plots of both The Space Between Us and The Shape of Water.
    – Adamant
    Commented Jun 21 at 11:16
  • Though one does have to admit that the precise name "Amphibian Man" (only in the credits?) does seem to possibly be a nod to the Soviet film or the book it was based on. Which of course does not mean much, as their plots don't really have much in common; really, The Shape of Water has more in common with Revenge of the Creature than either does with Amphibian Man, seeing as the latter features an ordinary man with gills who is exploited by fishers in order to dive for pearls, as opposed to an aquatic monster captured for scientific experimentation.
    – Adamant
    Commented Jun 21 at 11:31

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