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The Big Blue (1988)

Le grand bleu (original title)
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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 »
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3,524 ( 656)
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 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

Taglines:

Danger...Like Passion...Runs Deep See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France

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:

FRF 80,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$14,234, 16 July 2000, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$3,500,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Gaumont,Les Films du Loup See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

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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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film was such a hit in France that it played for over a year in theatres. See more »

Goofs

When Jacques jumps into the sea the night after the competition, it's clearly dark. Later one, when playing with a dolphin underwater, it's clearly bright outside, and then dark again when he's seen from outside the water again. See more »

Quotes

Enzo: ...So, between Mamma, Roberto and Alfredo, we yell and scream at each other all day long. Except for Angelica, she just cries. And then finally, we all end up kissing. Can you explain that to me? Because *that's* what love is all about. It's a pain in the ass, but it keeps us together.
See more »

Alternate Versions

SPOILER: The French and European versions end with Jaques swimming off with the dolphin, after having reached a depth where he can not survive. In the American version, a happier ending was added, where the dolphin takes Jacques to the surface. See more »

Connections

References 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The Greatest Dream Movie of All Time
22 October 2000 | by DockelektroSee all my reviews

This movie is the most fantastic contemplation of earth paradise in existence.

First it's imperative that we notice one major difference: the short version and the "version longue" are two completely different films. From tip to toe. I only knew this film previously in its short version. Yesterday I bought the "version longue" in my local FNAC store without subtitles (it's rare these days).

And.................... I fell in love with everything about it, stunned and mesmerized, being at the same time riddled by the way that the short version lost all sense, in comparison with the "longue" version. You can think of an integral version like a way to stuff a film with pictures, but in this movie we have the feeling that the movie was intended to have 164 minutes, and not nearly two.

And you can picture the transformation that occurred in my perception of this film, as I passed from that mutilated, full-screen, mono-sound version to a full, widescreen and hi-fi version. This is why "Le Grand Bleu" passed from just a movie by Luc Besson to the greatest movie of my greatest director.

My perception is that this is the great underwater epic he always wanted to make. And he achieves it in every way, specially letting the audience identify themselves with it.

Perhaps my favorite Besson movie was "The Fifth Element" (I like them all), but after having the privilege of experiencing this fantastic, beautiful, stunning, vivid and moving film, "The Big Blue" passed from one of the medium levels to definitely the top one. The characters all gained strength, the underwater scenes all made sense, the previous movie was completely backed up, and the feeling that this movie was a contemplative journey gained finally its place.

I gave it a 10 out of 10, not for the US version (how can they even think of erasing Eric Serra's score?!?!?) which, for its mutilations, deserved a 1, but for the version longue, which is the only way the movie shall be seen. What a masterpiece! After I saw this movie, I rewinded it thinking that my only wish is that one day I get to take part on such an experience, being there, dreaming and sharing my dream with everyone who would like to share it with me. Perhaps one day, a beautiful blue day...


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