Beyond the Sea (2004)

PG-13  |   |  Biography, Drama, Music  |  29 December 2004 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 12,431 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


In the era of cool, he was the soundtrack. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:




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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?


In 1987, Bruce Willis was set to play Bobby Darin. See more »


(at around 5 mins) At the beginning, a reporter wanted to ask Bobby a few questions for portraying himself in a biography film, by saying "No one hasn't done anything like this before.", yet celebrities like Jackie Robinson (The Jackie Robinson Story), Audie Murphy (To Hell and Back) had done it before. See more »


Mary Duvan: [after Sandra and Bobby get engaged] I wished you had concentrated more on Rock Hudson.
Sandra Dee: Rock Hudson is a very nice man, Mother, but I'm not in love with him.
Mary Duvan: He still would have made a better husband than that "BOBBY DARIN"!
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the end credits we see Kevin Spacey performing another song. In the background there are lines moving to the music. See more »


References Captain Newman, M.D. (1963) See more »


Some of These Days
Written by Shelton Brooks
Published by Will Rossiter Co./J. Albert & Son Pty Ltd/Francis Day & Hunter Ltd.
Performed by Kevin Spacey & The John Wilson Orchestra
See more »

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User Reviews

More of a Spacey showcase than an absorbing biopic
11 November 2004 | by (London, UK) – See all my reviews

Spacey sings. Spacey dances. Spacey wears a succession of ghastly outfits.

This biopic of Bobby Darin splits cleanly into two modes. In the first, Kevin Spacey does highly watchable singing and dancing routines. In the second, he portrays a rheumatic singer who defied doctors and male-pattern baldness to become a star.

Although the film flicks back and forth between the two modes, they never gel as one seamless story, which is a problem for a biopic of a man whose life contained only a handful of interesting events.

It doesn't help that Spacey's Darin interrupts the plot every so often by stepping back from the narrative and discussing the film with his younger self. It is a device that does little more than remind you that you are watching a film - a fact that is never far from your thoughts anyway because of the large number of somewhat contrived dance numbers.

Nor are the biographical sections very convincing. It is clear well before the extensive pre-credits disclaimer that the director has taken some diabolical liberties with Darin's life, making you wonder what you have learnt from the film. Did Darin really take his name from a half lit neon "Mandarin" sign outside a Chinese restaurant? Did he really die after a successful comeback gig in Las Vegas, or was that just a narrative invention to end on a high note?

The upshot is a film that is more a celebration of Kevin Spacey's impression of a world-renowned entertainer than a celebration of the entertainer himself.

It is a tribute to Spacey's talent as an actor that the film remains likable, not least because he doesn't have the polish of an accomplished director. Too many scenes feel as though he was too shy to make his fellow cast members do one more take.

There is enough energy on display to allow most Darin fans forgive the film's weaknesses, but the more picky viewer will feel slightly disappointed.

68 of 111 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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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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