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.


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6.8/10   27,539 votes »
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Up 3% 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 »
A mass-murderer kidnaps and seduces a young woman after leaving her husband to die on the vessel whose crew he's just slaughtered. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
5 wins & 6 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Highly Recommended Thriller See more (134 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
Judy 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
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
Peter Lawless .... location manager: opening sequence
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)
Stephen Saks .... location manager
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?

Sam Neill met his wife, Noriko Watanabe, in the making of this film.See more »
Factual errors: When Rae pulls John aboard, it is dark, yet the side of the yacht is brightly lit.See more »
[first lines]
sailor #1:Merry Christmas, Captain Ingram.
John Ingram:[returning salute] Merry Christmas, Eric.
sailor #2:Merry Christmas, sir...
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Clerks (1994)See more »
The Itsy Bitsy SpiderSee more »


How does the movie end?
Was Hughie's boat actually sinking?
What is 'Dead Calm' about?
See more »
27 out of 38 people found the following review useful.
Highly Recommended Thriller, 30 March 2003
Author: dragoneyez01 from USA

I've seen this several times over the years, and I must say this is a really good thriller. It always keeps me interested. Also, since I'm interested in the sea and ships, that's probably part of the reason why I like the movie so much.

A young Nicole Kidman plays Rae, the wife of John Ingram (Sam Neill), who are taking a sailing trip in the Pacific after losing their only son in an automobile accident. They are having fun sailing through the ocean when they come to a sinking schooner with a man paddling frantically towards their boat in a lifeboat. The man, Hughie Warriner (Billy Zane), turns out to be a crazed lunatic, and when John goes off to check the schooner, Hughie kidnaps his wife and his ship. They are in the fight of their life.

Nicole Kidman is both beautiful and talented. She doesn't say much in the movie, but her expressions and actions are well portrayed. Billy Zane is a convincing psychopath and Sam Neill is a good actor also. The cinematography is great and the scenery is really beautiful. The only real problem with the movie is the plot.

The movie's conflict could've easily been resolved had it not been for stupid mistakes. The script relies too heavily on these stupid mistakes. Nicole's character gets numerous chances to kill the psychopath, but she never takes them. And anyone in their right mind wouldn't leave their wife with a stranger to check out a strange ship. The characters' lack of common sense is really what keeps the story moving.

But, these plot holes can be forgiven. The acting is great, the direction is great, the cinematography is great. The script could've used more work, but that is forgivable. If you enjoy thrillers or are interested in the sea and ships, I suggest you check this movie out. You won't be disappointed.

Rating: 8/10

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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
Rae getting pregnant watcher101
Found another subliminal message watcher101
Why have sex with Zane? queendarkjewel
George Miller returns with Mad Max: Fury Road (related to Dead Calm) BmanCrawler
'Cold and distant to her husband, yet willing to her captor' jackjokercostello
Rae *spoilers* Aly1984
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