IMDb > Message in a Bottle (1999)
Message in a Bottle
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Message in a Bottle (1999) More at IMDbPro »

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Message in a Bottle -- Kevin Costner as Garret and Robin Wright Penn as Theresa bring high-voltage star power to Message in a Bottle, a tale of love lost and found based on Nicholas Sparks' bestseller.
Message in a Bottle -- A woman discovers a tragic love letter in a bottle on a beach, and is determined to track down its author.


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Down 2% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers (WGA):
Nicholas Sparks (novel)
Gerald Di Pego (screenplay)
View company contact information for Message in a Bottle on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
12 February 1999 (USA) See more »
A story of love lost and found.
A woman discovers a tragic love letter in a bottle on a beach, and is determined to track down its author. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
5 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
It's all the parts put together to give a message See more (221 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Kevin Costner ... Garret Blake

Robin Wright ... Theresa Osborne (as Robin Wright Penn)

Paul Newman ... Dodge Blake

John Savage ... Johnny Land

Illeana Douglas ... Lina Paul

Robbie Coltrane ... Charlie Toschi

Jesse James ... Jason Osborne

Bethel Leslie ... Marta Land

Tom Aldredge ... Hank Land

Viveka Davis ... Alva

Raphael Sbarge ... Andy
Richard Hamilton ... Chet

Rosemary Murphy ... Helen at the B&B

Steven Eckholdt ... David Osborne
Susan Brightbill ... Catherine Land Blake

Patricia Belcher ... Annie
Steve Mellor ... Man on Dock
Lance Gilbert ... Man on Sinking Boat

Jennifer Lamb ... Woman on Sinking Boat

Hayden Panettiere ... Girl on Sinking Boat
Walt MacPherson ... Pete the Cop
Justin DiPego ... Typewriter Repairman
Meagan Riley-Grant ... Mary
Karen Fowler ... Sleepover Mom

Caleb Deschanel ... Man at the B&B

Mauricio Ochmann ... Mail Boy

Anthony Genovese ... Photographer
Elizabeth Guindi ... Christine

Donald Watson ... Diner Patron #1
W. Clapham Murray ... Diner Patron #2 (as Clapham Murray)
Gregg Trzaskowski ... Johnny Friend #1
Robert Sauvayre-Tarlow ... Johnny Friend #2 (as Robert E. Tarlow)
Philip Traynor ... Boy in Car
Daniel V. Trefts ... Policeman on Boat
Christina Bergstrom ... Office Worker #1
Norman Fessler ... Office Worker #2
David Paris ... Helicopter Pilot #1 (as David W. Paris)
Robert Kenney ... Helicopter Pilot #2
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ayana Cahrr ... (uncredited)

Sally Fay Cottingham ... Inn Guest (uncredited)

Yasmine Delawari ... (uncredited)
Sherry Koftan ... Girl on the Boat (uncredited)

Marcello Robinson ... El Boy (uncredited)

Darla Rothman ... Flight Attendant (uncredited)

Directed by
Luis Mandoki 
Writing credits
Nicholas Sparks (novel)

Gerald Di Pego (screenplay) (as Gerald DiPego)

Produced by
Kevin Costner .... producer
Denise Di Novi .... producer
Leslie Weisberg .... associate producer
Jim Wilson .... producer
Original Music by
Gabriel Yared 
Cinematography by
Caleb Deschanel (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Steven Weisberg 
Casting by
Amanda Mackey Johnson 
Cathy Sandrich 
Production Design by
Jeffrey Beecroft 
Art Direction by
Steve Saklad 
Mark Zuelzke 
Set Decoration by
Dorree Cooper 
Elaine O'Donnell 
CC Perkinson 
Costume Design by
Bernie Pollack 
Makeup Department
Elle Elliott .... hair stylist: Mr. Costner
Kathrine Gordon .... key hair stylist
Katherine James .... key makeup artist
Anne Morgan .... hair department head
Francisco X. Pérez .... makeup artist: Mr. Costner (as Francisco Perez)
Monty Westmore .... makeup artist: Paul Newman (as Monte Westmore)
Scott Hersh .... assistant makeup artist (uncredited)
Production Management
Daniel R. Chavez .... executive in charge of post production
Todd Lewis .... production supervisor: second unit
Mark Marshall .... post-production supervisor
Mark Scoon .... executive in charge of production
David Siegel .... production manager
Forrest Sloan Wright .... production supervisor: pre-production
Bill Daly .... post production executive (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Gary Capo .... second unit director
David Hyman .... assistant director: Los Angeles
Emily McGovern .... second assistant director
Bruce Moriarty .... first assistant director
Nick Satriano .... second assistant director
David J. Negron Jr. .... third unit director (uncredited)
Art Department
Jonathan Askew .... construction grip
Todd Bennett .... plaster foreman
Randy L. Childs .... propmaker foreman
Mike Cukers .... set designer
Marc Martin Del Campo .... set dresser
Nancy Deren .... set designer
Andrea Dopaso .... set designer
Harmony Gosbee .... set dressing production assistant
Jeff Khachadoorian .... carpenter
Mark A. Mancinelli .... plasterer gang boss
John Mann .... storyboard artist
Masako Masuda .... assistant art director
Masako Masuda .... set designer
Larry Misselhorn .... key greensman
Alexander 'Sandy' Nesbitt .... prop maker
Michael O'Donnell .... set dresser
Jeff Ogg .... carpenter
King Orba .... property assistant (as Mark Wallace)
Kris Peck .... property master
Eugene Pope .... carpenter
Helen Rasmussen .... buyer
Natalie Richards .... illustrator
Richard Robinson .... propmaker
Liza Rudolph .... art department coordinator
Kevin Sciotto .... scenic artist
Jim Scott .... carpenter
Gregg Singer .... set dresser
John J. Slove Jr. .... construction coordinator
Theodore Suchecki .... propmaker
Timothy W. Tiedje .... property master: Chicago
Robert Van Dyke .... construction coordinator
Robert Van Dyke .... general foreman
John Villarino .... construction coordinator
Mike Villarino .... construction general foreman
Peter Wilcox .... carpenter
David Brace .... set dresser swing (uncredited)
Michael Goss .... hod carrier (uncredited)
Peter Letzelter-Smith .... set dresser (uncredited)
Cameron Matheson .... carpenter (uncredited)
Quentin Matthys .... set dresser (uncredited)
Sound Department
Paul Aulicino .... first assistant sound editor
Bob Beher .... foley editor
Lance Brown .... sound designer
David E. Campbell .... sound re-recording mixer
Marc Deschaine .... adr assistant
Michael Dressel .... supervising foley editor
Bruce Fortune .... sound editor
Jonathan Fuh .... boom operator
Jessica Gallavan .... adr supervisor
José Antonio García .... production sound mixer
Lance Laurienzo .... assistant sound editor
Steve Nelson .... sound effects editor
Jay Nierenberg .... sound editor
John T. Reitz .... sound re-recording mixer
John Roesch .... foley artist
Gregg Rudloff .... sound re-recording mixer
Bruce Stambler .... supervising sound editor
Shawn Sykora .... foley editor
Bernard Weiser .... sound editor
Richard E. Yawn .... supervising sound editor
Mark Johnston .... sound recordist (uncredited)
Chris Pinkston .... sound technician (uncredited)
Carolyn Tapp .... foley recordist (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Casey Cavanaugh .... special effects
Alden Wayne Dumas .... special effects
Scott Garcia .... special effects
David P. Kelsey .... special effects supervisor
Rodman Kiser .... special effects: Chicago
Ron Macinnes .... special effects
Mark Noel .... special effects foreman
Michael Rifkin .... special effects
Michael Roundy .... special effects
Tim Walkey .... special effects technician
Aaron Walters .... special effects
Visual Effects by
Jonathan Alvord .... Avid editor
Ted Andre .... visual effects compositor
Shawn Broes .... visual effects editor
Erin M. Cullen .... roto artist
Charles Darby .... matte painter
Kevin Elam .... visual effects producer
Gokhan Kisacikoglu .... technical director
Karen Klein .... rotoscope supervisor
Vincent Lavares .... digital asset manager: Cinesite Hollywood
Gregory D. Liegey .... visual effects composite supervisor
David Lingenfelser .... digital compositor
Craig Mathieson .... digital compositor
Valerie McMahon .... digital artist
David J. Negron Jr. .... visual effects supervisor
Corinne Pooler .... digital artist
Liz Radley .... video & computer graphics supervisor
Herbert Dwight Raymond IV .... visual effects editor (as Dwight Raymond)
Craig A. Simms .... digital compositor
Thomas J. Smith .... digital effects supervisor: Cinesite
Amy Tompkins .... visual effects editor
Pat Tubach .... compositor
David Watkinson .... computer artist
Ronnie E. Williams Jr. .... digital compositor
Tom Zils .... digital compositor: Cinesite
Tim T. Cunningham .... visual effects coordinator (uncredited)
Kevin LaNeave .... digital asset coordinator (uncredited)
Tricia Bonomo-Guertel .... stunts
Lance Gilbert .... stunt coordinator
Troy Gilbert .... stunts
Norman Howell .... stunt coordinator
Erik Rondell .... stunts
John Rottger .... stunts (as John C. Rottger)
Mark Vollmer .... stunt double
Paul Williamson .... stunts
Glen Yrigoyen .... stunts
Camera and Electrical Department
Jamie Barber .... first assistant camera
Alison Barton .... grip
Arnold F. Brown .... grip
Colin J. Campbell .... gaffer (as Colin Campbell)
Gary Capo .... director of photography: second unit
Chris Culliton .... lighting technician
Jerry C. Deats .... key rigging grip
Paul DeMarte .... key second assistant camera
Sean Devine .... second grip
Michael DiIeso .... rigging best boy
Matt Floyd .... best boy rigging grip
Stefan Forbes .... second assistant camera: "b" camera
Ben Glass .... still photographer
Bill Greenberg .... best boy electric
Barry Gross .... electrician
Frank R. Jimenez Jr. .... lamp operator
Eric K. Jones .... assistant camera: second unit
Tim Metivier .... second assistant camera
James R. Mitchell .... set electrician
Brad Peterman .... first assistant camera: "a" camera, second unit
P. Scott Sakamoto .... Steadicam operator
P. Scott Sakamoto .... camera operator
Frank Scheidbach .... rigging gaffer
Val Schubert .... grip
Sam Taybi .... grip
Joseph D. Urbanczyk .... camera operator: "a" camera
Chuck Whelan .... additional assistant camera (uncredited)
Casting Department
Kevin Beard .... extras casting
Sally Jackson .... location casting
Mercedes Kelso .... casting associate (as Mercedes Danforth)
Elizabeth Lang .... casting associate
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Marie Boller .... costumer
John Patrick Doyle .... costumer
Jorge J. González .... costumer
Barbara Gordon .... costumer: Kevin Costner
Sabrina Rosen .... costumer
Rita Salazar .... key costumer
Nancy Smytka .... costumer
Editorial Department
Samuel Craven .... additional editor
Jordan Dawes .... assistant editor
Stephen Heslin .... post-production assistant (as Stephen Koncelik)
Gershon Hinkson .... assistant editor
Bob Kaiser .... color timer
Janet Ogletree .... assistant editor
Herbert Dwight Raymond IV .... first assistant editor (as Dwight Raymond)
Greg Dean .... assistant editor (uncredited)
Music Department
John Bell .... orchestrator
Michael Blakey .... music producer
David Campbell .... arranger, orchestrator, conductor
Peter Davies .... musician
Dan DiPrima .... music editor: temp music
David Foster .... song producer
Isobel Griffiths .... orchestra contractor
Andy Hill .... music supervisor
Tod Holcomb .... music editor
Lisa Jaime .... music editor
Allan Jenkins .... synthesizer programmer
Ling Ling Li .... producer: London orchestral sessions
Jenny O'Grady .... choir mistress
Harry Rabinowitz .... conductor
Robert Randles .... supervising music editor
John Richards .... music engineer
Georges Rodi .... score programmer
James Thatcher .... musician: french horn
Kirsty Whalley .... synthesizer programmer
Gabriel Yared .... orchestrator
Transportation Department
Denise Avallon .... driver
Linda Cipperley .... transportation coordinator
Alan Kaminsky .... driver generator operator
Robert Martini .... transportation captain
William O'Brien .... transportation coordinator
Marty Radcliff .... driver
Jonathan A. Rosenfeld .... transportation coordinator
Brian Steagall .... transportation captain
Jeff Verdick .... transportation captain
Richard Vincent .... driver
Robert Wallace .... driver
Kevin Wilson .... picture car scout
Other crew
Judith M. Brown .... studio teacher
Alison Cannon .... production accountant
Tami Cassell .... adr loop group
Daniel R. Chavez .... executive in charge of post
Alex Daniels .... adr loop group
Demetra Diamantopoulos .... location manager
Maureen Poon Fear .... assistant: Denise Di Novi
Richard Franceschini .... production resources executive
Karen Golden .... script supervisor
Wendy Goldfisher .... payroll accountant
Rick Hicks .... assistant marine coordinator
Pam Jack .... location assistant (as Pamela Polhemus)
Arik Johnson .... second assistant accountant
Ilt Jones .... location scout
Samantha C. Kirkeby .... script supervisor: second unit
Renee Kitterman .... production secretary
Ross L. Kulma .... first aid: Chicago
Ernest H. Lauterio .... craft service (as Ernie Lauterio)
Jim Lipman .... boat captain
Judy Malinoski .... first aid
James Mitchell-Clyde .... water safety: marine unit (as James Mitchell Clyde)
Stefan Nikolov .... production assistant
Peter J. Novak .... location manager
Ed Nyerick .... marine captain
Shaun O'Banion .... set production assistant: Los Angeles
Darice O'Mara .... assistant: Paul Newman
George Patterson .... assistant production coordinator
Bob Pitto .... first assistant accountant
Burton Sharp .... adr group coordinator
Matt Smith .... production assistant
Mark Thomason .... photo double: Garret
Bill Vergos .... office production assistant
Kirsty Whalley .... synthesizer programmer
J. Wilfrid White .... marine crew
Victoria A. Zamora .... construction accountant
Don Dailey .... stand-in (uncredited)
Margaret J. Orlando .... assistant production coordinator: Chicago Unit (uncredited)

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated PG-13 for a scene of sexuality
131 min
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Argentina:13 | Australia:PG | Canada:PG (Alberta/British Columbia/Manitoba/Nova Scotia) | Canada:AA (Ontario) | Canada:G (Quebec) | Chile:TE | Denmark:7 | Finland:S | France:U | Germany:6 (bw) | Hong Kong:IIA | Iceland:L | Netherlands:AL | Netherlands:6 (re-rating) | Norway:11 | Philippines:PG-13 | Portugal:M/12 | Singapore:PG | Singapore:PG13 (re-rating) | South Korea:15 | Spain:13 | Sweden:7 | Switzerland:12 (canton of Geneva) | Switzerland:12 (canton of Vaud) | UK:12 | USA:PG-13
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

The sites that were finally chosen for most of the shooting of the scenes of Garret's hometown were Northport and Popham Beach, Maine. Over $250,000. of renovations were done to the seasonal home in Popham that became Garret's house, including the addition of the room which held Catherine's artwork and the adjacent living room with fireplace (faux). At the end of filming the owner of the house demanded that it be returned to its original state costing the production company nearly as much to undo.See more »
Continuity: When Theresa and Garrett are at Garret's house for the steak dinner, he offers to pour her a glass of wine, which she accepts, but then begins to walk around his house empty handed. All of a sudden, while exploring, a glass of wine appears in her hand.See more »
[first lines]
Jason Osborne:[disembarking] Where are they?
Theresa Osborne:Um... You know, they're probably just running late, they'll be here baby.
Jason Osborne:I see 'em. Daddy! Daddy!
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in "The Office: Lotto (#8.3)" (2011)See more »
Let Me Let GoSee more »


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8 out of 14 people found the following review useful.
It's all the parts put together to give a message, 4 April 1999
Author: Girlie Amoranto from Manila, Philippines

Message in A Bottle packages the strength of a love story about finding love again, with the breathtaking beauty of the sea, and seasoned actors who make endearing characters come alive to bring an unforgettable romance to the screen.

It reminisces of "Bridges of Madison County" but with a stronger and more real-life appeal. Theresa Osborne (Robin Wright Penn) is from the city, quite happy in her work as a Chicago Tribune researcher, and as a mother to Jason. But in her moments alone, she has to deal with the reality of her husband leaving her for another woman, sometimes forced to face the two of them and their own toddler when she brings Jason to visit with him. Garret Blake (Kevin Costner) restores sailboats in a seaside town, he looks after his father Dodge (Paul Newman), and keeps a shrine for his wife Catherine in his house, even after her death 2 years ago. He has left every brush, oil, pastel crayon and easel where it was as when she died. It was through the letter he wrote to Catherine which Theresa found in a bottle at the beach that brought him and Theresa together.

I thought the development of the story was fast paced at the start, when the mystery of the letter sender was quickly revealed in the first quarter of the movie that I wondered what was to be expected to happen for the rest of the story. And after that initial, exciting build-up leading to the meeting of Garret and Theresa, the pace slackened - a bit too slow for my taste as the pair discovers their attraction. What added relief to the intense, romantic, but sometimes, dragging moments is the appearance now and then of Paul Newman's character Dodge. Dodge has his own hurts to heal, but his stubbornness not to let Garret go through the same path he did, and his curt but witty remarks brings out laughter and makes him truly endearing. One notable scene is in the diner when he flared up when asked why he chose a particular seat. The romantic scenes are also complimented by the scenery. The glorious backdrop of the sea - you'll almost feel relaxed as you hear the breeze rustling the leaves, the lapping of the waves on the shore and the cry of the seagulls.

Kevin Costner as Garret could have done better. He convinces us that Garret is a simple unassuming man, but I was hoping to see the same man who wrote with such sensitivity and passion to his wife and I just couldn't find it in Kevin. Robin Wright Penn however, is very inspiring. She shows you just what it is like to fall in love in these times. She shows both the vulnerability and the strength of which Theresa is made of. She draws the viewers into feeling for her - her courage to go into something so unsure, her excitement, her joy in letting go and loving again, and then, her fear of expecting too much.

Another character who brings comic relief is Theresa's editor Charlie. Robbie Coltrane couldn't be more perfect for the role. He leaves the audience on guard, wondering if he is really the big bully which he seems to be or someone with a soft heart. Anyway, I end up laughing at his antics whenever he comes on screen. Best scene is when he gave Theresa a framed picture of himself. In all of the movie, I think it is Charlie who is the most unreal, as I find it hard to believe that there could be editors who are genuinely caring for their staff in this way.

Perhaps it is also the script that adds to the magic of the story - the dialogue was written so cleverly and the scenes made just so that I can say, hey, this is real life, this is what everyday people say and feel and think. No false pretensions. You will especially be drawn to it if you were broken yourself. You will recognize the same words that you said and the same odd things that you did and only you understand that is right. You will also not miss the glaring contrast of the two lifestyles - Garret in slickers, literally smelling of grease and sea salt in his beach home; and Theresa in her power suits, in a modular office and a sea of computers. How they are able to bridge this difference gives me hope. I'm not really sure myself if this kind of relationship will work, but who knows what can happen if we really try?

The message of love in Message in a Bottle is courage. To go on, in spite of, despite of. In spite of the hurt in the past, in spite of the uncertainty of the future. There will be others who have been broken too and their courage will inspire and sustain you.

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Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Message in a Bottle (1999)
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The writer should have known better masonnett
My Only Problem with this movie... (Spoilers) Timescrew
Why shot in Maine? johnfrayne
Bethel Leslie - Where is she? boweasel
I should have guessed...... Miaowlicious
Drop Dead Gorgeous ? affromma
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