7.6/10
47,754
165 user 51 critic

The Big Blue (1988)

Le grand bleu (original title)
Trailer
2:04 | Trailer
The rivalry between Enzo and Jacques, two childhood friends and now world-renowned free divers, becomes a beautiful and perilous journey into oneself and the unknown.

Director:

Luc Besson

Writers:

Luc Besson (story), Luc Besson (screenplay) | 4 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
4,853 ( 512)
3 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rosanna Arquette ... Johana
Jean-Marc Barr ... Jacques Mayol
Jean Reno ... Enzo Molinari
Paul Shenar ... Dr. Laurence
Sergio Castellitto ... Novelli
Jean Bouise ... Uncle Louis
Marc Duret ... Roberto
Griffin Dunne ... Duffy
Andréas Voutsinas ... Priest (as Andreas Voutsinas)
Valentina Vargas ... Bonita
Kimberly Beck ... Sally (as Kimberley Beck)
Patrick Fontana Patrick Fontana ... Alfredo
Alessandra Vazzoler ... La Mamma
Geoffrey Carey Geoffrey Carey ... Supervisor (as Geoffroy Carey)
Bruce Guerre-Berthelot Bruce Guerre-Berthelot ... Young Jacques
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Storyline

Enzo and Jacques have known each other for a long time. Their friendship started in their childhood days in the Mediterranean. They were not real friends in these days, but there was something they both loved and used to do the whole day long: diving. One day Jacques' father, who was a diver too, died in the Mediterranean sea. After that incident Enzo and Jacques lost contact. After several years, Enzo and Jacques had grown up, Johanna, a young clerk in an insurance office, has to go to Peru. There she meets Jacques who is being studied by a group of scientists. He dives for some minutes into ice-cold water and the scientists monitor his physical state that is more like a dolphin than human. Johanna can not believe what she sees and gets very interested in Jacques but she's unable to get acquainted with him. Some weeks later back in her office, she finds out that Jacques will be competing in a diving championship that takes place in Taormina, Sicily. In order to see Jacques again she ... Written by Reiner Rosin <rosin@mi-lab.fh-furtwangen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

diver | dolphin | sea | passion | italy | See All (137) »

Taglines:

The sea has a secret. [Australian poster] See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Drama | Sport

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Rosanna Arquette and Griffin Dunne previously appeared in After Hours (1985). Their scenes in both films were shot in New York. See more »

Goofs

Unlike SCUBA divers, free divers become negatively buoyant below depths of around 15m (varies a bit depending on body type, weight belt, and wet-suit thickness). In the final scene when Jacques let's go of the sled to swim toward the dolphin, he appears neutrally buoyant. In reality, at that depth, he would have had to actively swim toward to surface to avoid passively sinking deeper. See more »

Quotes

Jacques: Why're you always talkin'? Y'know- you think that other people are interested in what you're talkin' about? I'M not interested, and other people aren't either! So just STOP talkin', because other people have other things to say y'know! You understand me? Stop talkin'! It's bullshit!
Enzo: She's gone?
Jacques: YES! She's gone!
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Alternate Versions

The original 119 minute U.S. version was rated "PG-13" and was edited to earn a "PG" rating for its release. It was restored to 168 minutes in 2000 and the restored version was rated "R" by the MPAA. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Pirated Copy (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

MY LADY BLUE
Lyrics by Luc Besson
Composed by Éric Serra
Performed by Éric Serra
See more »

User Reviews

Beautiful movie
22 April 2003 | by Stainless_Steel_RatSee all my reviews

The Big Blue is a story mainly centred around Jacques Mayol (Jean-Marc Barr), a free diver. Free diving is a sport where people dive as deep as they can with a single breath, and no equipment other than a rope and a weighted mechanism to take them to the required depth. Although to say the story of Big Blue is just about free diving does not do it any justice. The story starts in Greece with Jacques as a child, then moves forward to "present day". In the story we also have Enzo (Jean Reno), Jacque's lifelong friend and nemesis who motivates him to free dive in competition (so he has some competition) and also gets him work in other areas of diving. During this work Jacques meets an insurance investigator Johana (Rosanna Arquette), and a romance starts (albeit mostly from her). The story continues as Jacques struggles with problems in his past, present and future.

The Big Blue is an unusual movie. There is some silly (but arguably funny) humour. Also there are some serious levels including romance, and how we deal with problems from our past, our existence, and our future. The film is also quite long (in the aptly named "version longue") at about 2 hours and 40 minutes. Fans of Jean Reno would certainly love this movie.

I really enjoyed this film. The main story is very light and thinly stretched, so to really enjoy it I feel you have to look deeper at the characters and read between the lines. I also really enjoyed the humour, which was silly but fun and was a good counterpoint to the serious scenes. Jean-Marc Barr was absolutely stunning as Jacques, bearing in mind the number of underwater sequences that were required as well. It's a real shame that we don't see Jean-Marc in more leading roles. Jean Reno was also extremely good, and although for me an irritating character Rosanna Arquette put in a reasonable performance. The cinematography is another lush element of the film, with the beautiful locations and underwater sequences (especially those with the dolphins). Eric Serra's soundtrack is pretty good also, although sounds a little dated. As mentioned, this review is based on the "version longue". 5/5


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

France | Italy | USA

Language:

French | English | Italian

Release Date:

19 August 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Big Blue See more »

Filming Locations:

Ios Island, Greece See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

FRF80,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,617,462, 21 August 1988

Gross USA:

$3,580,882

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,975,244
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(director's cut) | (original cut) | (edited)

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby SR (35 mm prints)

Color:

Black and White | Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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