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The Big Blue (1988)

Le grand bleu (original title)
The rivalry between Enzo and Jacques, two childhood friends and now world-renowned free divers, becomes a beautiful and perilous journey into oneself and the unknown.

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(story), (screenplay) | 4 more credits »
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3 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Director: Luc Besson
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Johana
...
...
...
Dr. Laurence
...
Novelli
...
Uncle Louis
...
Roberto
...
Duffy
...
Priest (as Andreas Voutsinas)
...
Bonita
...
Sally (as Kimberley Beck)
Patrick Fontana ...
Alfredo
Alessandra Vazzoler ...
La Mamma
Geoffrey Carey ...
Supervisor (as Geoffroy Carey)
Bruce Guerre-Berthelot ...
Young Jacques
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Storyline

Enzo and Jacques have known each other for a long time. Their friendship started in their childhood days in the Mediterranean. They were not real friends in these days, but there was something they both loved and used to do the whole day long: diving. One day Jacques' father, who was a diver too, died in the Mediterranean sea. After that incident Enzo and Jacques lost contact. After several years, Enzo and Jacques had grown up, Johanna, a young clerk in an insurance office, has to go to Peru. There she meets Jacques who is being studied by a group of scientists. He dives for some minutes into ice-cold water and the scientists monitor his physical state that is more like a dolphin than human. Johanna can not believe what she sees and gets very interested in Jacques but she's unable to get acquainted with him. Some weeks later back in her office, she finds out that Jacques will be competing in a diving championship that takes place in Taormina, Sicily. In order to see Jacques again she ... Written by Reiner Rosin <rosin@mi-lab.fh-furtwangen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

diver | dolphin | diving | sea | italy | See All (121) »

Taglines:

Danger...Like Passion...Runs Deep See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

19 August 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Big Blue  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

FRF 80,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$14,234 (USA) (14 July 2000)

Gross:

$3,500,000 (USA)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(director's cut) | (original cut) | (edited)

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)

Color:

| (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Luc Besson: One of the divers. See more »

Goofs

In the first competition, Jacques reaches 110 meters (360 feet). However, the slab he brings back with him says 108 meters. See more »

Quotes

Johanna: 6'3", 6'1", maybe 5'9" - You can't be sure, you know the flippers, they add height or they take it away, or something. Anyway short dark hair... Not punk or anything, just short. And the cutest smile. He wasn't smiling at me, I don't think - just smiling. And he thought he saw me in the lake. I mean that was a figure of speech... They're so romantic, the French.
Sally: [bored] I thought you said he was Peruvian?
Johanna: Haven't you been listening?
Sally: ...Since eight o'clock last night...! You're in love.
Johanna: Don't be ...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

MY LADY BLUE
Lyrics by Luc Besson
Composed by Éric Serra
Performed by Éric Serra
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Cult Movies 47
6 November 1998 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

47. THE BIG BLUE (adv.-romance, 1988) Mayol (Jean-Marc Barr) is determined to dethrone current world-free diving champion Enzo (Jean Reno). Childhood friends, they share a fierce rivalry that, nonetheless, has kept their friendship alive. Both of them share an almost spiritual affinity with the sea, especially Mayol who lost his father. His love for his sport, however, is put on hold when he meets Joanna (Rosanna Arquette). But as Mayol and Enzo's competition become more fierce, Joanna slowly feels herself drifting away from Mayol, as his fascination with the sea takes on an obsessive turn.

Critique: Marvelouslly filmed underwater adventure from master-Frenchman Luc Besson, who has specialized on action films. This is his most personal work to date, thus taking on a uniquely surreal quality. The exquisite camera-work is very special, at times almost documentary in quality.

This mix of 'art' cinematography and romance made it a big money earner all over Europe but, not surprisingly, only gained critical acclaim elsewhere. Adding to its failure is a somewhat downbeat ending that, I think, complements the film's mythic storyline.

Besson's 'epic masterpiece' has yet to reach many viewers who would embrace his visionary talents.


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