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The Blue Lagoon
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The Blue Lagoon More at IMDbPro »

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137 out of 160 people found the following review useful:

THIS IS NOT BAD ACTING!! Please remember this...

Author: djson1 from Orange County, California
23 December 2000

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

After reading all the critiques and reviews, there's just one thing that all of you have to remember: THE ACTORS WERE SUPPOSED TO BE PORTRAYING TEENS WITH THE SOCIAL MENTALITY OF 7 OR 8 YEAR OLDS. Many critics were saying that the dialogue and the acting was bad, but in actuality, the acting is very good for what the plot called for. Brooke Shields and Christopher Atkins were supposed to portray young adults who were 'cut off' from the rest of the world at a very young age. That's why they were supposed to portray two people with the limited education, mentality, vocabulary and speech of 7 or 8 year olds. It would really have been unrealistic if they had more developed dialogue, since they had nobody to further their speech skills on an island with only two people...who were still both mentally children! That is why they show scenes where they sing very incomplete songs, refer to San Francisco as "Sanfarisco", and forget their daily prayers.

In light of all this, I think they did a very good job of acting and the writers did a very decent job of limiting the dialogue to the speech abilities of young children.

However, there are some unbelievable and unexplained scenes, such as the giving birth scene. How do they cut the umbilical chord off?? And some other minor details should have been explained, but overall: A very beautiful and romantic story with a happy ending.

An 8 out of 10.

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139 out of 167 people found the following review useful:

Critically underrated film that resonates with global audience

Author: Red66 from Los Angeles
18 February 2001

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.

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110 out of 136 people found the following review useful:

simply wonderful

Author: fallenangel3 from Holland
5 April 2004

This movie is simple, it captures what life is really about. Without the many special effects that is used in movies now and even in the past it is a absolutely wonderful movie.

A young romance blossoming between two kids who have known nobody else but themselves. They discover everything in life without all the interference of the rest of the world.

The low rating on this movie is unjust, it deserves a lot more then it is given, this is possibly one of the best movies I have ever seen.

It is absolutely wonderful for a romantic night just you and the television. And the nudity? it was exciting when I was younger, it becomes a bit too much as I am getting older, but it does not bother me. It fits the movie, the pure soul of the movie.

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83 out of 97 people found the following review useful:


Author: larrysmile1 from Illinois
5 February 2002

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The Blue Lagoon (1980) is so very close to the book, Blue Lagoon: A Romance, written in 1907 by H. de Vere Stacpoole and published in January 1908. The actual book is on the Internet and the dialog in the movie is faithful to the book.

Some dismiss the movie as trivial. However, consider this. Brooke Christa Shields was 14 years old (born 1966) when she played Emmeline LeStrange. She had already appeared in 12 prior films. Christopher Atkins was making his movie debut at the age of 18 years (born 1962) playing Emmeline's cousin, Richard LeStrange (referred in the book by the diminutive name, Dicky LeStrange). In the book, Emmeline is 8 years old and Dicky is 8 years "and a bit" when the story starts.

Emmeline's father died before she was born. Two years later her mother died. Her uncle and father's brother, Arthur LeStrange, (veteran actor William Daniels) took guardianship of Emmeline in Boston. Mr. LeStrange purchased a small estate in Los Angeles and was in route by clipper ship to San Francisco around South America. The ship, named Northcumberland, had departed from New Orleans bound for San Francisco. Having rounded the Cape of South America and going off course during a calm, a fire breaks out in the hull of the ship.

The cook, Paddy Button, played expertly by veteran Australian actor Leo McKern took Emmeline and Dicky aboard a dinghy launch and attempted to row a safe distance away from the ship before it exploded from gunpowder stored on board. Mr. LeStrange and ships' compliment were separated in the fog from Paddy, Emmeline, and Dicky after the ship blew up. Mr. Button and the children drifted in the South Pacific Ocean for about three days and nights until they were brought by the tide to an island named in the book as Palm Tree Island somewhere in the ocean southeast of the Marquesas Islands. In the movie we see a Boston newspaper with a date that appears to be 1893 floating in the water.

The children and Paddy Button are saved and set up housekeeping as shipwrecked survivors. For the first 45 minutes of the movie, child actors Elva Josephson and Glenn Kohan play Emmeline and Dicky. Elva only acted in three movies and two TV appearances while Glenn appeared in this film only and acted no more. However, they did a good job playing themselves as eight-year-olds. On the island Paddy tries to be father and mother to the children. He teaches them the basics of survival, gathering fresh water, harvesting bananas from trees, catching fresh ocean fish, capturing small rabbits, knot tying, hut building, making a signal fire, making a tree calendar to mark the days, and exploring the flora and fauna and caves of the island. They had rescued a trunk of clothes that the children use as dress up and play items. Also, there were three-dimension view photos of the day of adults in social activities. These photos would be useful to educate Emmeline and Dicky in some social graces of civilized people.

Emmeline had found a keg of rum and a skeleton of another shipwrecked sailor when they first arrived on the island. After two years on the island, Paddy, drinks himself to death. It is curious that this small keg would have lasted for two years being the rummy that Paddy was as he tells the children that he has many children in ports around the world. However, the children discover Paddy's dead body and conduct a burial ceremony as best as they could. Don't look for this on the TBS "edited for content" version, as it's not there. TBS spoils the movie by cutting out what they feel are "sensitive" parts of the movie, albeit, necessary for continuity of the story to retain its TV 14 rating.

(This is not a children's movie. This is a young adult's movie. The rudimentary scenes are necessary to be faithful to the book! If the rating ends up being "R", so be it. Also, this is far from being a "soft porn" movie as some reviewers suggest. This is a story about how people can survive in the late 1800s on a deserted South Pacific Island without the niceties of the then civilized western world.)

Enter teens Brooke Shields and Christopher Atkins at about the age of 14 years. The story picks up as the children have entered into puberty. Brooke (Emmeline) begins to become aware of her changing body turning her into a woman and she experiences these changes alone and confused without another woman to help educate her. Likewise, Chris (Dicky) is becoming a man and Brooke, although the same age in the story is more mature than Chris and is becoming sexually attracted to Chris' emerging manhood. What was once child's play and tickle-touch between children, is now, sexually sensitive to young emerging teens. Critics -- this is Nature at work! The moviemakers did a wonderful job of portraying this on film.

Of course, they discover sex. But, they do not know that it produces children. Emmeline and Dicky marry each other in a ceremony they devise to show that they are "civilized." They begin to live together as husband and wife. Ultimately, Emmeline becomes pregnant and finally is aware that there is something growing within her.

Fast forward to the "Bogeymen" on the other side of the island. A tribe of natives had, from time to time, come by boat to the other side of the island. Here they had a stone idol and sacrificial alter. At least six times during the film, even when Paddy was still alive, the survivors heard distant drumbeats. Paddy knew the danger and passed a "law" warning the children never to go to the other side of the island. After Paddy's death, Emmeline and Dicky do go to the other side and discover the idol. Emmeline thinks it is God. The edited version leaves out the night spying and confrontation of Dicky with a native. Get the full version for this "humane" meeting of East meets West. Oh, these are not African peoples. This is a South Pacific movie. The natives are supposed to be "Polynesians."

In the book, Emmeline has her child all alone on the floor of the forest while Dicky is returning from spying on the Natives. In the movie, Dicky returns, "in the nick of time," to witness the child's birth. No matter. That's Hollywood's movie license.

Of course, Uncle Richard has continued to pursue finding his son and niece. The book explains how he comes to know where the children might be. He hires a ship to search the area of the Palm Tree Island. Ultimately, Emmeline, Dicky, and baby Paddy (now about 2 years old -- in the book she names the boy child a girls name, Hannah because she likes the name) put out to sea in the dinghy that is still seaworthy after being shipwrecked for eight years and five months. After losing their oars during a shark attack, the survivors, without food or water, drift in the ocean for three days before Uncle Richard discovers them. The movie ends as faithful to the book ending. The trio is rescued. When the rescue boat rows out to intercept the dinghy, Mr. LeStrange asks, "Are they dead?" The ship's crewman replies, "No, they're asleep."

Beautiful Brooke and handsome Chris are not to be made fun of. They acted remarkably well portraying children with limited education and vocabulary. The island scenery is beautifully photographed. There is a wonderful special effect when Brooke baths in the ocean. Get the video as TBS took a hatchet to these frames. If you were living in that era and shipwrecked and survived, you would want your eight plus years on the island to be like Brooke and Chris spent in this film. Get the video and enjoy. It's an adult film for mature teens and older adults.

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102 out of 136 people found the following review useful:

Never Forget!!

Author: s.k.-3 from usa
14 August 2000

This is one of my favorite films. I was 14 when it was released and I could really relate to it. It's really hard to describe but it just brings me back to a time in life when everything was new and exciting. The storyline is something that you dream about especially when you're 14 years old. The beautiful scenery and sound track just puts you in the perfect mindset. Sure there are some things in the movie that are a little hard to believe but that's all part of the whole "fantasy" thing. I've probably watched it every chance I've had. I've always thoroughly enjoyed this movie and always will. It makes me feel like I'm 14 years old again. The Blue Lagoon is probably the most beautiful film ever made. I just love the movie! Just give it a chance sometime. But I guess that's just my opinion.

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82 out of 110 people found the following review useful:

Great Entertainment!

Author: E. Catalan ( from United States
19 December 2004

I was a young kid when I saw THE BLUE LAGOON and yes, I remember all the hoopla about the "nude" scenes of Brooke Shields and all that jazz. I must confess that, being in my early teens at the time I saw this, there was an inherent morbidity which compelled me to want to watch Brooke Shields in the nude. After all, she was probably THE hottest "teen" actress of the early 80's (and damn, she DID look terrific!). But now I'm in my late 30's and I have recently seen the film once again and I must confess, BLUE LAGOON is a darn good movie. Yeah, it might be corny in some parts, but so what?!?! It's a cute love story that's very well done and done in a very realistic and believable way. It's the story of two kids who are stranded on a supposedly deserted island in the middle of the pacific ocean and that they have to grow up and learn the things of life by themselves. Yes, there's plenty of nudity but that's not the charm of this movie (which I recall, was nominated for best cinematography in 1981). The real deal is the story of these 2 kids growing up and reaching adulthood on their own primitive terms. The soundtrack is rich and heartfelt (by maestro Basil Poledouris) and only enhances the overall grandeur of this film. I think Chirs Atkins did a great acting job and I have to wonder why his acting career has faded into near obscurity. And Brooke Shields looks like a total goddess; she is REALLY beautiful in this movie and I doubt she's looked better elsewhere. I fully recommend this movie, especially to young couples, the recently married or just plain love birds. younger audiences might find it a bit corny, but like I said, this movie is pure entertainment and despite not being an action flick, it never bores. You'll do no wrong in watching or better yet, owning THE BLUE LAGOON on DVD!

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50 out of 66 people found the following review useful:

good movie, some moments of greatness

Author: hoaembezzler from los angeles
8 February 2004

i have not seen this film in many years, and saw it unedited last week on TCM. when i was a boy, the film's main appeal was in its edenic milieu, its charged moments of wonder and terror, and brooke shields' extraordinary beauty and gamine charm. those qualities are all still there. But the film tells another story that i missed before: two children ripped from civilization struggle to make sense of the world and themselves. this is no rousseau inspired romp. the pulse and power of natures' force wrecks them, engulfs them, confines them and finally asserts itself through em and dick. the question is begged: where does human will and intellect figure in chaos of pubescence, sexuality and love? how helpless or powerful are we to control the furies of love or sex? more helpless than not, the filmaker seems to be saying. kleiser interposes the stereopticon pictures of the staid victorian couple with similar scenes of em and dick to highlight this point. naked or clothed, in a drawing room or on a beach, we all experience the torrent of love in very much the same way. instinct races ahead, sense chases behind in confusion. "blue lagoon" tells a timeless human story in a very simple style. this movie is better for talking to kids about growing up than any 10 sex education pamphlets. and if an adult cannot remember how this felt when they were young, a little part of them has already died. a good movie

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62 out of 98 people found the following review useful:

So much more than a movie

Author: Etooze from United States
25 December 2004

Last year I watched The Blue Lagoon for the first time and thought it was absolutely amazing. When I tell people this they usually laugh in my face and say that I only like it because of Chris Atkin's sex appeal, but that is not the only reason. This movie epitomizes Freud's theories of the id, ego and super ego- explaining these three branches of the human mind very effectively and creatively. It actually raised my interest in the subject of human psychology and sociology so much that I am considering it as a major in college. And who would have ever thought a buff man running around in a loin cloth could have given me direction in life?

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30 out of 36 people found the following review useful:

Always enjoyable, sweet and moving film

Author: ehoshaw from Trenton, MI
12 January 2001

I have always liked this film, and don't like it when it is criticized so much. Brooke Shields and Christopher Atkins did a wonderful job, they were excellent. Brooke is a beautiful, talented actress. The scenery was just gorgeous, it makes you want to fly off to Fiji where they filmed most of the movie to see what it is really like. The music is also very good. The story starts out with a ship which catches fire, and everyone is forced to abandon ship. Two young children, Richard and Emmeline, as well as a drunken cook named Paddy, get on a lifeboat together and drift on the sea for many days, until they discover land, a bunch of little remote tropical islands. They build a home there. Time passes, and Paddy passes away, but Richard and Emmeline continue growing up together. They get older, and new feelings come over them. They discover many things about adolescence and sex. This is a great love story, sweet and lovable. Brooke and Chris make a great onscreen couple. The sex/nudity scenes are not really that bad at all, they're rather mild. There is more nudity in the underwater swimming sequences, but mostly all of that was done by Brooke's stand-in, a professional diver. I really like this movie, and even though there are a few logic loopholes, it is still enjoyable. My only complaint: I think this film could've gone on for about 5 more mins. or so and explained things a little bit better.

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43 out of 63 people found the following review useful:


Author: Shari ( from United States
28 February 2003

I received this movie for Christmas back in 8th grade by my best friend at the time. I had seen it first on tv and fell in love with it regardless of the major chopping on tv's part with editing. The movie was and still is my favorite movie. The ending's a little too ambiguous for my tastes, but the music....oh gosh! Basil Poledouris (pardon the bad spelling) made this film shine. The concept is great of two people alone growing up without civilization to guide them. Most people's issue with this movie is the dialogue. Come on! They were left alone at like 8. Your body matures people, but not so your mind. Would it have made any sense if they were speaking like intelligent teenagers without benefit of education? No. The movie was realistic with the constant nudity and the childlike innocence of the two characters. Brooke Shields is awesome. I loved her in this movie. This was when she was at her best. Atkins did a great job as well. I know if I was on that island, I'd be naked a lot as well. It was just really put together nicely. The scenes with the water and the aquatic life was really gorgeous. Love this movie!

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