Keeping one step ahead of the Nazis, German director Kurt (Curtis) Bernhardt fled to Paris to film this French-language adaptation of Bernard Kellerman's novel The Tunnel. Jean Gabin heads the cast as two-fisted engineer Mac Allen, whose sole ambition in life is to build a Transatlantic tunnel from New York to Europe. It takes him 15 years to achieve this goal, thanks to the crooked machinations of his own boss, among many others. His ultimate success is bittersweet, inasmuch as Allen's wife Mary (Madeleine Renaud) dies in an accident just before the tunnel's completion. Threatened with expulsion from the French film industry, director Bernhardt was obliged to film a German version of The Tunnel in Munich, resulting in his arrest by the Gestapo, from which he escaped by the skin of his teeth. An English-language version of the film, directed by Maurice Elvey and retitled Transatlantic Tunnel, was completed in 1935, utilizing a wealth of stock footage from Bernhardt's original.
by Hal Erickson synopsis