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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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Popularity
4,399 ( 245)
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

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

Although the story is fiction, it is inspired by the lives of divers Jacques Mayol and Enzo Maiorca. See more »

Goofs

Johanna's Cigarette when she is giving her initial report to her boss in New York. See more »

Quotes

Enzo: Don't look at Jaques as if he was a human being, he comes from another planet.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Original 132-minutes French version has a music score by director Luc Besson's usual composer, Eric Serra. The USA version is 118 minutes long and was re-scored by Bill Conti. The version released in the rest of Europe is 118 minutes long. A special Version Longue (long) director's cut released in France is 168 minutes long. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Rollerball (2002) 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 best special effect of " Big Blue " is its freedom.
6 May 1999 | by AlcaminhanteSee all my reviews

This is the movie of my life !

I never before saw a film that i could identify myself so much with. I´m lucky enough to live in a place near the sea very similar and as beautiful as those in the movie and the opening scenes always remind me of my teenage years and the waters i explored like young Jaqques Mayol does in the beginning of the movie. Things that i still do. So i immediatley related to the character and its love for the ocean.

I guess that´s the beauty of this movie. It makes us feel that we could be any of its characters, because they´re so real. We almost can´t believe that they don´t exist outside of the movie. This is an amazing ,beautifuly well written ,acted, photographed and directed movie ! It carries us into an extraordinary world, and it´s our world !! (mine at least to some point) Not some hollywood depiction of reality !

But what it´s about it ? This is the worst thing anyone can ask about this movie.

I would hate to be the guy who had to publicize this in USA. And i can see why it failed there.

But what can i say about it?... That it´s the story of two friends who compete to find out who´s best ?...It´s more than that ! That it´s a love story ? It goes beyond every love story ! That it´s an adventure ? You bet it is ! But it has no action, no chases,no dangerous cliffangers, no guns and no explosions. It doesn´t even has bad guys ! Or good guys in fact. That it´s a travel or a road movie ? Probably. This movie has better locations than any James Bond movie will ever get and they´re all real !

But they don´t matter much compared to the characters in the film. The characters then... There´s a hero right ?... Well there´s two of them. Two men. But they´re not heroes.

Probably the hero is a woman who sacrifices her happiness for love. So, there´s a woman and two men. There´s got to be a love triangle there to cause all those love story rivalary subplots, right ? Well, there´s a love triangle, but there aren´t subplots attached to it. In fact the love triangle has more than three people. All characters are a part of it realy. Including dolphins ! Even the ocean.

Aha ! So this is some sort of a kinky erotic and exotic movie thing ? Wrong ! There´s sex in it, but not in that way at all.

It´s a comedy then... You´ll laugh, but you´ll cry too. It´s a drama ... Not in the conventional cliché way. Not at all. A dramatic comedy... Nope !

It´s a sci-fi film !... Well there´s scientists in it, and deep underwater, and even under ice diving scenes, but it´s not a scifi film, although the American "version" Movie Trailler presented it like if it were some new esotheric adventure underwater sci-fi horror movie, when in fact it is not.

So what is this movie about ?!!

It´s about what you want it to be. About what you´re feeling. It´s that open. You just have to feel it.

As Luc Besson said in an interview, at some point in the movie he was stuck, because he didn´t know how to carry the audience inside.

Then the real Jaqques Mayol, who worked in the film as a diving and story consultant took Besson diving with him one day and made him experience the sea in his way. Then Besson understood that he didn´t had to explain anything to the audience. He just had to make people feel what it was like !

And boy, did he make it ! The atmosphere in this movie goes beyond words. It has to be felt ! Also the soundtrack is out of this world and trully magical.

To me this film is about love, but in a much deeper meaning than the usual. Beyond race, beyond gender, beyond sex, beyond nationality. Love as an emotion. And about freedom !

So get a wide screen TV and a full blast surround. This movie is the reason to buy one if you don´t have it! Believe me ! And watch it in the dark.

Try to get the european full version of the movie. The american is not that terrible, the feeling is there, but it´s diferent from the original.

This movie is a masterpiece ! ( in any version )


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