7.6/10
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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 »
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:

Between what you know and what you wish, lies the secret of... [The Big Blue] See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Drama | Sport

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?


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

Enzo: Ah, I was 17! I was so in love with her, I tried to die for her. Two years later I can't even remember her name. Time, erases everything.
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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

References Diva (1981) See more »

Soundtracks

MY LADY BLUE
Lyrics by Luc Besson
Composed by Éric Serra
Performed by Éric Serra
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User Reviews

a synonym for the ocean
2 March 2003 | by dbdumonteilSee all my reviews

THE movie that made Besson go down in history. A key-movie that divided the French public between the ones who saw on it, only a tedious documentary about the ocean and the others who acclaimed this passionating movie. As far as I'm concerned, I rank in the second category. "Le grand bleu", it's simply a periphrase with a tinge of euphemism to design the ocean, a universe that always inspired to men fear but also fascination. The two main characters, Jacques Maillol and Enzo Molinari are fascinated by the sea but for different reasons. If Reno devotes all his energies to diving so as to access to success and glory, the sea is more than this for Jacques. He was born with it, he swears by it (so much that he neglects Johanna's love) and the sea will lead him to death. A place of athletic competition, an ideal place for rest and entertaining where dolphins are his real and sole friends, finally the eternal heaven, the ocean epitomizes all this to Jacques. "le grand bleu" also ranks among the movies that you must watch rather than telling it. Of course, there isn't almost any plot, dialogs are short and rare but pictures are gorgeous enough to create an entrancing climate supported by Eric Serra's mesmerizing music. The movie's technical qualities can only arouse admiration: a shiny photography that perfectly reflects the color of the sea, the blue and a fluid making sometimes clever: Jacques' childhood is made in black and white. Besides, the movie enabled to discover two outstanding actors: Jean-Marc Barr and Jean Reno but oddly if Reno became one of the most popular French actors, it wasn't the case with Barr. In spite of a promising debut, he has never be able to make a movie that could have got back him in the saddle. Maybe was he so elated at the bottom of the sea, in heaven where everything is fine...


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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
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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
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