Beyond the Sea (2004)

PG-13  |   |  Biography, Drama, Music  |  29 December 2004 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 12,434 users   Metascore: 46/100
Reviews: 246 user | 113 critic | 35 from

A swooning study of "Mack the Knife" singer Bobby Darin (Spacey) specifically, and his relationship with his wife Sandra Dee (Bosworth).


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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 4 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
William Ullrich ...
Gary Whelan ...
1st Assistant Director


Consummate entertainer Bobby Darin (1936-1973) is making a movie about his life. He's volatile, driven by the love of performing, ambition, perfectionism, and belief that he's living on borrowed time. He begins in the Bronx: a fatherless lad learning music and dance from his mom. His career starts slowly, then "Splish Splash" puts him at the top of the charts and on "Bandstand." He wants to be an entertainer, not a pop star, so he aims for the Copacabana; then it's on to the movies, where he meets and marries Sandra Dee. After, it's balancing career, health, marriage and family life, balances he doesn't always keep. Throughout, conversations with his boyhood self give him perspective. Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The voice. The passion. The confidence. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some strong language and a scene of sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




| |


Release Date:

29 December 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bobby Darin Biopic  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$23,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£179,558 (UK) (26 November 2004)


$29,869 (New Zealand) (17 November 2006)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Andre Schneider auditioned for the part that later went to Vinzenz Kiefer. See more »


In reality Bobby Darin was with Robert F. Kennedy during the campaign when Kennedy was shot, and in fact in the same hotel where/when it happened. "Beyond the Sea" had him in his trailer at Big Sur when he gets the news on the radio. See more »


Sandra Dee: Bobby, why do you sing the same songs every night? Isn't it boring?
Bobby Darin: Well, honey, it's an act. What do you expect me to do, sing different songs every night?
Sandra Dee: Why not? I don't the same movies every time.
Bobby Darin: Well, actually, you do. Sweet little innocent Sandy.
Sandra Dee: Uh, excuse me. Excuse me, but I think I know what people want in the movies nowadays, okay? You may be the expert in music, but I... *I* have had years of movie experience.
Bobby Darin: Not bad, San. Would have been even better if you'd said it without the ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

"Andy Paterson and Kevin Spacey would like to thank the entire cast and crew from both the UK and Germany for their hard work and dedication. The film could not have been completed without their belief and effort. We are forever grateful to them for helping bring this film to the screen." See more »


Spoofed in Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (2007) See more »


Written by Joe South
Published by Sony/ATV Tunes LLC
Performed by Deep Purple
Courtesy of HEC Enterprises Ltd./EMI Records Ltd.
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User Reviews

Beyond the Sea is as much about Kevin Spacey as it is Bobby Darin.
17 December 2004 | by (Columbus, Ohio) – See all my reviews

If you can overcome what I can't, you will enjoy Beyond the Sea: Kevin Spacey is too old to play Bobby Darin, the 50's pop singer who died from long-term effects of rheumatic heart at 37. At times Spacey is playing Darin in his twenties when no matter how you tighten and pin Spacey's face, he is still a 44-year old man with all the lovely creases and bags time awards. The dislocation bothered me so that I couldn't fully appreciate what is otherwise an outstanding performance.

But then Spacey is the director, so he has to be responsible for miscasting (or put another way, why didn't he do this 10 years ago when no one on this planet could have denied that he is the perfect Darin?). As John Irving said in "My Movie Business" about the choice of actors, "Looks do count." Although others have criticized Beyond the Sea as a Spacey vanity project, I found his performance believable and engaging with style appropriate to the best lounge singers of the time (Sinatra included) and spot-on perfect for Darin, if not better than the original. I've heard Spacey is touring with his band to promote this biopic; I'd go just to enjoy Spacey as a gifted singer.

The only moments to get past the many Darin songs and into his life are those centering on the influence of his "mother" (Brenda Blethyn, "Secrets and Lies") and his marriage to Sandra Dee (Kate Bosworth). In the former, Blethyn does a bit of singing and dancing to show that Spacey is not the only multi-talent on the set. In the latter, the pop- culture lite of their romance is handled believably, as one might try to do David Beckham and his spicey love, a marriage just a vacuous and emblematic as the Darins'.

The irony of Sandra's mother wanting her to go after Rock Hudson rather than Darin brings laughter, intended for sure, as the audience is aware of Spacey's contending with rumors about being gay. Even jokes about Darin's toupee resonate with Spacey's own rugs in real life and for this part. Spacey doesn't take himself as seriously as critics do (witness an early scene where in the framing device of Darin filming his own life, he is accused of being too old to play himself).

The conjunction of subject and biographer is challenging at best. Paul Murray Kendall in "The Art of Biography" says, "On the trail of another man, the biographer must put up with finding himself at every turn: any biography uneasily shelters an autobiography within it." In that sense, Beyond the Sea is as much about Kevin Spacey as it is Bonny Darin.

This biopic ranks third next to Ray and De-Lovely; in another less-full year, it would be the best.

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What's with Spacey? He's WAY WAY TOO old jasebotchford
this movie blows pretentiousbore
could kevin have been more fit for the part!? n1ckwo1f
Kevin was the perfect actor for Bobby Darin!! auralite1946
Really, really wanted to like this movie wildgarlickydays
Spacey should have played Billy Flynn in Chicago mase-6
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