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The Big Blue (1988)

Le grand bleu (original title)
Trailer
2:04 | Trailer

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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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Popularity
3,797 ( 398)
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:

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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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

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

The underwater shots with the dolphins were filmed in the Virgin Islands in large enclosures, and the dolphins were flown there from the Dolphin Research Center in the Florida Keys. The dolphin who appears most often on screen is a male named Natua, who had also taken part in dolphin language experiments because of his intelligence. See more »

Goofs

Jacques takes off his sneakers, then jumps into the pool with his sneakers on (although in the director's Cut we see him replace his shoes). See more »

Quotes

Johanna: Talk to me some more
Jacques: It's hard, you know. I don't know what else to say. You're so far away.
Johanna: Tell me a story.
Jacques: A story? Do you now how it is- do you know what you're supposed to do, to meet a mermaid?
Johanna: No.
Jacques: You go down to the bottom of the sea, where the water isn't even blue anymore, where the sky is only a memory, and you float there, in the silence. And you stay there, and you decide, that you'll die for them. Only then do they start coming out. They come, and they greet you, and they judge the...
[...]
See more »

Alternate Versions

The "R" rated director's cut on video includes usages of the "F" word and two sex scenes (featuring nudity by Jean Marc Barr and Roseanna Arquette). See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mektoub, My Love: Canto Uno (2017) 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

Hynoptic Masterpiece
22 August 2002 | by critic_at_largeSee all my reviews

I have to watch this movie once a year just to calm my nerves. One of the few films to which I have also purchased the soundtrack. This film, like the sea which is its subject, hypnotizes you, seduces you, rocks you into a state of oneness with the lush scenery. Rosanna Arquette is beautiful and sexy in an uncharacteristically understated way. Barr makes the perfect beau and embodies the spirit of the film and the ocean. I fell in love with Jean Reno in this film. Unforgettable imagery, interesting premise, good chemistry between Arquette and Barr, and Reno is a joy to watch.

Masterfully directed by Luc Besson and a film to treasure.


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