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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Up 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:
Marginal recommendation due to attractive features, original screenplay, and some fascinating characters. *** out of **** See more (218 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)
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?

This is the 1st film adaptation from a Nicholas Sparks novel.See more »
Continuity: In his final letter to Catherine, Garret writes that he regrets watching Theresa get into a plane and fly away, but when she left him she drove away in a rental car (the airport scene was deleted).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:
I Will Know Your LoveSee more »


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17 out of 30 people found the following review useful.
Marginal recommendation due to attractive features, original screenplay, and some fascinating characters. *** out of ****, 20 September 1999
Author: Blake French ( from Michigan, USA


Starring: Kevin Costner, Robin Wright Penn, Paul Newman, Ileana Douglas, Jesse James Director: Luis Mandoki 126 minutes Rated PG-13 (for sexuality)

By Blake French:

What do you do when somebody asks you a question? Well, if you're like any normal person, you'd answer it. How do you form romantic chemistry between two characters in a movie? If there isn't already dramatic fire when you look at two characters, then you have to form it will dialogue.

In the new romantic drama "Message in a Bottle," all that the two main love birds do is ask each other and respond to questions. They meet when a Chicago newspaper worker named Theresa finds a bottled up note on the shore while jogging. She becomes curious as her friends find more evidence leading to this man that she deeply wants to meet. When she does meet him, a boat worker named Garret Blake, (hey, Blake is my first name, isn't that neat) romantic music instantly surrounds them. And the questioning begins.

Theresa asks Garret many questions, but all Mr. Blake does is answer. Is that a bad thing? Not really, but when a movie is trying to form romance chemistry, well, this is not the way to do it. The only character who seems to be at all alive here is Paul Newman, as Blake's father, who masters every scene he is in.

The scenery in "Message in a Bottle" is absolutely stunning. From the busy landscape of Chicago to the blue sea waters and crystal clear waves. This kind of material sweeps me away every time I see it in the movies. I would compare this film to the beautiful Montana countryside's in "The Horse Whisperer," one of the best movies of 1998.

The performances in this film are mostly quite good, but none are Academy Award material. Robin Wright Penn is realistic and well-casted. She uses confusion and sorrow to build up momentum for the Costner character. As for Costner himself, however, he is surprisingly bad. I mean, just recovering over last year's "The Postman," this man should be rebuilding his career, not destroying it even more. He gives another "Waterworld" type of performance, acting dumfounded throughout most of the film. It's Paul Newman who is the real surprise. He adds comic relief from all the ineffective melodrama which permits most of the movie.

The characters themselves are indeed likeable. Some are a bit stubborn and bull-headed, others are freewheeling and care-free. This is okay because variety is good, you know. I liked Newman the most, but Robin Wright Penn is right up there with him.

A major flaw in the film, however, is the ending, which is completely out of place and disappointing. I have nothing against this type of closing, but I have already seen this in material in last years "City of Angels," sorry if that gives anything away. It leaves the audience with a feeling of depression and disappointment as they walk out of the theater.

In the end, "Message in a Bottle" is a close call, but I do recommend it. Thanks to some attractive features, original screenplay based on a Nicholas Sparks novel, and some fascinating characters, Luis Mandoki has created a satisfactory movie that I did enjoy for most of the way.

Brought to you by Warner Bros.

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