IMDb > Dead Calm (1989)
Dead Calm
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Dead Calm (1989) More at IMDbPro »

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Dead Calm -- This edge of your seat suspense thriller tells the story of an Australian couple (Nicole Kidman and Sam Neill), whose private yacht cruise is violently interrupted by the mysterious lone survivor (Billy Zane) of a ship whose crew has perished.
Dead Calm -- A mass-murderer kidnaps and seduces a young woman after leaving her husband to die on the vessel whose crew he's just slaughtered.


User Rating:
6.8/10   29,273 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Down 5% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Terry Hayes (screenplay)
Charles Williams (novel)
View company contact information for Dead Calm on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
7 April 1989 (USA) See more »
A Voyage Into Fear. See more »
After a tragedy, John Ingram and his wife Rae spend some time isolated at sea when they come across a stranger who has abandoned a sinking ship. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
5 wins & 6 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Slow-burning and well-acted, sure to give you both thrills and chills. See more (139 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Directed by
Phillip Noyce 
Writing credits
Terry Hayes (screenplay)

Charles Williams (novel)

Produced by
Terry Hayes .... producer
George Miller .... producer
Doug Mitchell .... producer
Original Music by
Graeme Revell 
Cinematography by
Dean Semler (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Richard Francis-Bruce 
Casting by
Liz Mullinar 
Wallis Nicita  (as Wally Nicita)
Production Design by
Graham 'Grace' Walker 
Art Direction by
Kim Hilder 
Costume Design by
Norma Moriceau 
Makeup Department
Noriko Watanabe .... head of makeup department (as Noriko Spencer)
Production Management
Narelle Barsby .... production manager
Marcus D'Arcy .... post-production supervisor
Barbara Gibbs .... production manager: opening sequence
Neville Mason .... unit manager
Claire O'Brien .... post-production supervisor
Phillip Roope .... unit manager: opening sequence
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Ian Astridge .... second assistant director
Colin Fletcher .... first assistant director
Ian Freeman .... second assistant director
Stuart Freeman .... assistant director
Keith Heygate .... first assistant director: opening sequence
George Miller .... second unit director
Vincent Monton .... second unit director (as Vince Monton)
Murray Robertson .... first assistant director
Charles Rotherham .... first assistant director
John Titley .... second assistant director
Tony Wellington .... first assistant director
Art Department
Ian Allen .... props buyer (as Ian Allan)
Ian Allen .... set dresser (as Ian Allan)
Trevor Badger .... construction assistant
Terry Barton .... construction assistant
Rick Best .... set builder
Peta Black .... set finisher
Ty Bosco .... storyboard artist
Walter Bron .... set builder (as Wolter Bron)
Martin Bruveris .... set finisher
Michael Calvin .... construction assistant
Andrew Chauvel .... leading hand (as Andy Chauvel)
Leah Cocks .... art department coordinator
Matt Connors .... set finisher
Anthony Croft .... construction assistant
Don Croft .... construction assistant
Garth Croft .... set builder
Tom Davies .... construction assistant
Wayne Dawson .... construction assistant
Judith Ditter .... art department coordinator
Mont Fieguth .... additional set dresser (as Monty Fieguth)
David Field .... construction assistant
Jan Flint .... soft furnishings
Daniel Flowers .... set builder
Peter Forbes .... art department runner
Kevin Asher Green .... construction assistant (as Kevin Green)
Ken Hannan .... construction assistant
Peter Harrison .... construction assistant
Guido Helmstetter .... special propmaker (as Guido Helstetter)
Robert Higham .... construction assistant
Bill Howe .... construction manager
Steve Huxtable .... construction assistant
Grant Longley .... set builder
Billy Malcolm .... head scenic artist
Billy Malcolm .... sculptor
Gerald Marr .... construction assistant (as Jerry Marr)
Bob McCarron .... prosthetics artist
Karan Monkhouse .... stand-by props
Philip Murchie .... construction assistant
John Nornede .... construction assistant
Michael Ormorod .... construction assistant
Tom Overton .... construction assistant
Bronwyn Parry .... set builder
Ray Pedler .... scenic artist (as Ray Pedlar)
Simon Pooley .... construction assistant
John Rann .... construction manager
Tony Read .... construction assistant
Jane Richter .... art department runner
Clive Roberts .... construction assistant
Rob Robinson .... assistant designer
Larry Sandy .... set builder
Dennis Smith .... construction supervisor
Marcus Smith .... leading hand
Hugh Wade .... construction assistant
Nick Walker .... construction assistant
George Zammit .... stand-by props: opening sequence
Sound Department
Nick Breslin .... assistant sound editor (as Nicholas Breslin)
Steve Burgess .... foley editor
Lloyd Carrick .... additional sound recordist
Julius Chan .... multi-track engineer
Julius Chan .... sound effects editor
James D'Arcey .... multi-track engineer (as James D'Arcy)
Philip Dickson .... sound transferer (as Phil Dickson)
Philip Dickson .... transfer operator
Antony Gray .... assistant sound editor
Tim Jordan .... dialogue editor
Phil Judd .... sound mixer
Gerard Long .... foley editor (as Gerry Long)
Gerry Long .... foley editor
Jane Maguire .... assistant sound editor
Ian McLoughlin .... sound mixer
Susan Metcalfe .... dialogue editor
Gerry Nucifora .... boom operator
Ben Osmo .... sound recordist
Angus Robertson .... dialogue re-recordist
Roger Savage .... sound mixer
Annabelle Sheehan .... dialogue editor
Lee Smith .... sound designer
Joe Spinelli .... additional boom operator
Peter Townend .... sound effects editor
Noelleen Westcombe .... assistant adr editor
Noelleen Westcombe .... assistant sound editor
Special Effects by
Brian Cox .... special effects coordinator
David Hardie .... special effects technician
Chris Murray .... special effects technician
Reece Robinson .... rain effects: opening sequence
Wilson Starr .... special effects technician
David Young .... special effects technician
Visual Effects by
Roger Cowland .... special visual effects & opticals
Glenn Boswell .... stunt coordinator (as Glen Boswell)
Richard Boué .... stunts
Tony Lynch .... stunts
Joe Pampanella .... stunt performer
Michael Read .... stunts (as Michaele Read)
Glenn Ruehland .... stunt coordinator (as Glen Ruehland)
Lyddy Van Gyen .... stunts
Camera and Electrical Department
Grant Atkinson .... best boy: opening sequence
Bruce Barber .... key grip: opening sequence
Ross Berryman .... additional cinematographer
Brian J. Breheny .... additional focus puller (as Brian Breheny)
Dean Bryan .... additional electrician
Geoff Burton .... director of photography: opening sequence (as Geoff Burton)
Geoff Burton .... photography: second unit
Colin Deane .... focus puller
Alan Dunstan .... best boy
Lindsay Foote .... additional gaffer
Tex Foote .... generator operator
Tony Holtham .... additional gaffer
Kerry Jackson .... assistant grip
Ian Jones .... Steadicam operator
Ian Jones .... additional cinematographer
Ian Jones .... aerial camera operator
Ian Jones .... underwater camera operator
Darrin Keough .... first assistant camera: opening sequence
Kevan Lind .... additional camera operator
David Lindsay .... clapper loader
Danny Lockett .... assistant grip
Kyle T. MacDowell .... electrician
Ian McAlpine .... assistant grip
Sean McClory .... additional clapper loader
Sean McClory .... camera maintenance
Irvine G. McLaughlin .... key grip
John Morton .... gaffer
Paul Moyce .... additional electrician
Paul Moyes .... lighting technician
Ian Plummer .... gaffer: opening sequence
Trevor Ripper .... additional electrician
Gary Shearsmith .... assistant grip: opening sequence
Jim Sheldon .... still photographer
Craig Sykes .... additional electrician
David Thomas .... grip rigger
Ross Williams .... additional camera maintenance
Casting Department
Joanne Zaluski .... casting associate: USA
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Jenny Campbell .... wardrobe supervisor
Jenny Campbell .... wardrobe supervisor: opening sequence (as Jennifer Campbell)
Suzy Carter .... additional stand-by wardrobe (as Suzie Carter)
Annie McCarthy .... seamstress
Susan Pullen .... costume supervisor
Editorial Department
Sue Blainey .... first assistant editor
Sue Blainey .... first assistant editor: opening sequence
Arthur Cambridge .... color grader
Miriam Cortes .... negative matcher
Jenny Hicks .... assistant editor
Louise Innes .... associate editor
Location Management
Peter Lawless .... location manager: opening sequence
Stephen Saks .... location manager
Other crew
Nick Alimede .... caterer
Janelle Ambrose .... caterer
Catherine Barber .... financial controller
Dixie Betts .... production coordinator: opening sequence
Lynda Collings .... additional personnel
Clair Crowther .... additional personnel (as Claire Crowther)
Wayne Dunstan .... laboratory liaison
Zev Eleftheriou .... safety supervisor
Alison Ely .... additional continuity
Janeen Faithfull .... production accountant
Karen Freeman .... additional personnel
Serena Gattuso .... additional production staff
Lynette Harding .... additional personnel
Bob Hicks .... safety officer: opening sequence
Alistair Jenkins .... additional personnel
Fiona King .... additional production staff
Fiona King .... production coordinator
Maggie Lake .... production secretary
Solomon J. LeFlore .... production financing
David Lucas .... additional personnel
David Marshall .... caterer
Paul Martin .... additional production staff
John May .... accounting assistant
Laura McKinley .... dog wrangler
Stuart McNorton .... additional personnel
Pat Nash .... boat wrangler
Barbara Nolan .... liaison: Sydney
Jeff Powis .... double
Jenny Quigley .... script supervisor
Kate Quinn .... double
Jacquie Robertson .... unit nurse (as Jacqueline Robertson)
Vicky Satterwhite .... additional personnel
Mark Taylor .... production runner
Julie Tulloch .... caterer
Cassie Vaile .... caterer
David Vaile .... caterer
Alfonso Valencia .... additional personnel
Owen Williams .... additional personnel
Denise Wolfson .... laboratory liaison
Christine Woodruff .... additional personnel
Mary Jane 'M.J.' Yates .... production coordinator (as Mary-Jane Yates)
Mickey Cottrell .... publicist (uncredited)
Jaime Fowler .... electronic press kit editor (uncredited)
John Lelko .... very special thanks

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Dead Calm: A Voyage Into Fear" - USA (poster title)
See more »
96 min | Turkey:83 min (TV version)
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

For the scene where Hughie rips off Rae's shorts, Billy Zane really did rip off Nicole Kidman's shorts through his own sheer strength without any alterations made to the shorts to make them easier to rip.See more »
Crew or equipment visible: When Rae goes to open the closet in which the shotgun is hidden, a close-up on the brassy door knob reveals a technician in the background wearing a red tee shirt, whereas she is supposed to be alone on the deck, Billy Zane's character being locked in a cabin, and her husband rowing towards the other boat.See more »
[assuming it's her husband that is washing her hair]
Rae Ingram:You know what I'd love for lunch? Fresh asparagus, then, um, pasta - angel hair pasta with heaps of basil, garlic, olive oil and, um, apple pie. Yeah. Uh, John, have you got a towel?
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Patriot Games: Up Close (2002) (TV)See more »
Who Stole the Isopropyl AlcoholSee more »


What happened to the passengers on Hughie's ship?
What is 'Dead Calm' about?
How much sex, violence, and profanity are in this movie?
See more »
20 out of 20 people found the following review useful.
Slow-burning and well-acted, sure to give you both thrills and chills., 24 February 2016
Author: Andrew Gold from United States

After reading the plot for Dead Calm I was expecting an edge-of-your-seat boat massacre thriller, and in a sense that's exactly what Dead Calm is. I was always on the edge of my seat, anxious to know what would happen next and terrified for the characters in their respective situations, but there was much less violence than I was expecting. And I'm not complaining. Most of the violence is implied rather than shown, and the movie not only deals with physical abuse but emotional and mental abuse as well. The story is basically that this couple goes out to sea on a getaway to forget about a recent tragedy, and while they're out in the middle of the ocean they encounter a strange boat and a strange man who claims that his crew was killed by food poisoning. The way the pieces come together is very satisfying, especially when the truth slowly reveals itself and both the husband and wife are going through equally scary dilemmas as this stranger is roaming freely around their boat.

The acting is really what sells this movie. A boat movie with only three characters can get boring quickly, but thanks to the cast, I was totally in it. Sam Neil is separated from the others for a good amount of the film, but when he needs to shine, he does. The anchors of this movie are Nicole Kidman and Billy Zane. Kidman is excellent as the emotionally distraught wife who is doing everything she can to keep it together while desperately trying outsmart the stranger. Billy Zane had me worried for a bit - I could tell he was acting, and at times he was a bit cartoonish, but by the end you come to realize that the character is an absolute nutcase so his erratic acting makes sense. You're not sure if he's just a guy who had a rough week, or a sympathetic victim of circumstance, or a straight up maniacal psychopath. This uncertainty helps keep the thriller afloat (yeah) and keeps you anxious to see whatever happens next.

The only real complaint I have about Dead Calm is that it does get a little slow at times. It's very atmospheric and moody for a majority of the film and there's no problem with that, but I couldn't help but be distracted during some of the longer quiet moments. Regardless, it all builds up to the movie's exciting climax which doesn't disappoint. The music is great as well - haunting and subtle. Keep in mind Dead Calm is not a jump-scare type of horror thriller. It's slow-paced, grounded and completely plausible, which for me is the scariest kind.

Was the above review useful to you?
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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Dead Calm (1989)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Who seduced who? hughiewarrinerorpheus
Why have sex with Zane? queendarkjewel
The sex scene? pryscilla_paille1
Rae *spoilers* Aly1984
Links with Alien/Aliens andykasmith58
What's up with Synopsis's depiction of sex scene lakitu2000
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