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The Blue Lagoon (1980)

R  |   |  Adventure, Drama, Romance  |  2 July 1980 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.7/10 from 47,875 users  
Reviews: 136 user | 36 critic

In the Victorian period, two children are shipwrecked on a tropical island in the South Pacific. With no adults to guide them, the two make a simple life together, unaware that sexual maturity will eventually intervene.


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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Elva Josephson ...
Glenn Kohan ...
Alan Hopgood ...
Gus Mercurio ...
Lookout (as Jeffrey Means)
Bradley Pryce ...
Chad Timmerman ...
Infant Paddy (as Chad Timmermans)
Gert Jacoby ...
Alex Hamilton ...
Richard Evanson ...


On a journey to San Francisco, Richard, his father and cousin Emmeline find themselves on a ship about to explode. Rushed to a lifeboat with Paddy Button, the two children escape while their father (and uncle) are on another lifeboat. In the chaos following, the lifeboats are separated. Paddy, Richard and Emmeline find themselves with no food and no water stuck in the middle of nowhere. After some time, the three come across an uncharted paradise, where Paddy quickly teaches the children fishing, hunting and building. After maybe a month or two, Paddy gets very drunk off a barrel of rum found on the island when they first arrive, and drowns in the middle of the night. Emmeline and Richard, now alone and very scared, move location and rebuild their island home. Many years later, the two young teenagers have developed a very real home, but hormones and feelings between the two strain their friendship, until Richard, who is still very determined to reach San Francisco, is let down by ... Written by Bree Pearson

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Two children are shipwrecked alone on a lost tropical island. Nature is kind to them. They thrive on the bounty of the jungle and the lagoon. The boy grows tall. The girl beautiful. They swim naked over coral reefs. They run in a cathedral of trees. And the warm winds, the tropic moon, the silk sand conspire to enchant them. When their love happens, it is natural as the sea, and as powerful. Love as nature intended to be. See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

2 July 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La laguna azul  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$4,500,000 (estimated)


SEK 2,450,217 (Sweden)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| (70 mm prints)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


John Belushi was considered for the role of Richard but he was "too funny" for the part. See more »


After Paddy dies, and the children pack up the dinghy, the handmade toy boat is prominently displayed on top of their belongings. Years later, when they return to the original hut, Richard is digging through the rubble and finds what is left of the toy boat that he clearly took with him. See more »


[first lines]
Young Emmeline: Richard, don't go out too far.
Young Richard: Em's a fraidy cat!
Arthur Lestrange: Richard! Emmeline! Come back here! This minute! And be careful!
See more »


Referenced in Just Broke Up (2008) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Critically underrated film that resonates with global audience
18 February 2001 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

I've never understood the critical slam this film has received. Then I saw the widescreen dvd version and understood; everyone has been watching it in pan and scan! The film is a visual poem. So much of the story telling is done through visual information. The impact of this is lost when the cinematography is altered. Remember that Nestor Almendros received an Academy Award nomination for his work on this film. The film has resonated with global audiences for so long for this very reason. I suggest people watch the dvd commentary with Randal Kleiser and Brooke Shields to get a better understanding of why this film is still such a popular one.

People attack the acting, but these are children left alone with no one to guide them into adult sophistication. Their interaction and reactions to situations are very consistent with this scenario. Yes, the birth scene is a little rushed, but do we really need to see the umbilical cord? Not all films need to be about gritty reality, ala "Taxi Driver." No one asks to see the bloody guts of the smashed witch in "The Wizard of Oz."

It is a beautiful, romantic film that speaks to millions of people. It seems that only the most skeptical cynics cannot embrace this film.

123 of 148 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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