In a future where the polar ice-caps have melted and Earth is almost entirely submerged, a mutated mariner fights starvation and outlaw "smokers," and reluctantly helps a woman and a young girl try to find dry land.

Director:

Kevin Reynolds
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Popularity
1,686 ( 216)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kevin Costner ... Mariner
Chaim Jeraffi Chaim Jeraffi ... Drifter
Rick Aviles ... Gatesman
R.D. Call R.D. Call ... Enforcer
Zitto Kazann ... Elder / Survivor
Leonardo Cimino ... Elder
Zakes Mokae ... Priam
Luke Ka'ili Jr. Luke Ka'ili Jr. ... Boy
Anthony DeMasters Anthony DeMasters ... Boy
Willy Petrovic Willy Petrovic ... Boy
Jack Kehler ... Banker
Jeanne Tripplehorn ... Helen
Lanny Flaherty ... Trader
Robert A. Silverman ... Hydroholic
Gerard Murphy ... Nord
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Storyline

The polar ice caps have melted, and the earth is covered by water. The remaining people travel the seas, in search of survival. Several different societies exist. The Mariner falls from his customary and solitary existence into having to care for a woman and a young girl while being pursued by the evil forces of the Deacon. Written by Robbie Smith <robsmith@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Beyond the horizon lies the secret to a new beginning.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some intense scenes of action violence, brief nudity and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The original screenplay by Peter Rader was pitched as a children's adventure film, when he was looking for a project he could direct himself. One producer working under Roger Corman said he could get a South-African investor to help with funding if Rader could come up with a good Mad Max (1979) rip-off. Rader then conceived of an apocalyptic story set on the sea, with a lot of mythic and religious overtones. In Rader's screenplay, the Mariner was a human and the chief defender of the Atoll, whose embarrassing secret was that he enjoyed painting pictures of seahorses; Helen had two of her own children along with the adopted Enola, and the Deacon was called Neptune, a campy, silly villain who dressed up like King Trident and sat atop a throne on the Exxon Valdez. He would command a group of subordinates who had all sorts of mutations, like lobster claws, and he punished them by slapping them around the face with a wet fish. Also, Enola's tattoo would give instructions on how to find Water's End (as Dryland was called in his script) by looking for the mountain's outline as a shadow on the moon during a lunar eclipse. When the script was toted around Hollywood, more and more parties became interested, and subsequent rewrites by David Twohy and Joss Whedon turned the original script into a much more serious action-adventure film. See more »

Goofs

Many of the jet skis shown in the movie have air cooled engines such as a Harley Davidson motorcycle. Not only would these engines never run after being submerged in water, they also would not work with a water-cooled impeller system that jet skis use. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: The future... The polar ice caps have melted, covering the earth with water. Those who survived have adapted, to a new world.
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Crazy Credits

There are no opening credits except the title. See more »

Alternate Versions

After the Mariner's capture at the Atoll, the inhabitants of the Atoll examine his belongings. Among them they find a Thigh Master, which they believe is a torture device; a garrote which is described as an assassin's weapon used to strangle people; and a flute, which they think is used to spy on people's conversations. See more »


Soundtracks

MUSIC BOX THEME
Composed by Mark Isham
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User Reviews

 
Far From The Awful Movie People Make It Out To Be
26 August 2016 | by slightlymad22See all my reviews

Continuing my plan to watch every Kevin Costner movie in order, I come to Waterworld.

One of the most controversial movies in KC's filmography. Simply because it had the stigma of being the most expensive movie ever produced at the time. A snip by modern standards at $175 million. Universal initially authorized a budget of $100 million, but production costs eventually ran it up to to an estimated $175 million, with KC putting $22 million of his own money into the film, just as he did with Dances With Wolves.

Plot In A Paragraph: In a future where the polar ice-caps have melted and Earth is entirely submerged, The Mariner (KC) reluctantly helps a woman and a young girl try to find dry land.

KC reunites with Fandango and Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves director Kevin Reynolds for what should be a slam dunk for the pair of them, but with troubled production from the off, the film was plagued by a series of cost overruns and production setbacks. The script underwent 36 different drafts which involved six different writers, including Joss Whedon who flew out to Hawaii to work on it, he later described it as "seven weeks of hell". Sets were destroyed (The Atoll actually sank too) by three hurricanes, KC, his stuntman, Jeanne Tripplehorn and Tina Majorino (who was also drunk by jellyfish repeatedly too) all nearly drowned.

All of that,and then throw in leading man KC's whose marriage fell apart during filming, and when Wyatt Earp opened to empty turnstiles to become his second (third if you count The War) box office disappointment in a row, the critics were gunning for him. Writing that after great success, he was finished, and on his way out. They made out, at 40, he was an ageing gunslinger (think KC would approve of the western metaphor) hearing the footsteps of younger faster trigger men named Will Smith, Jim Carrey, Tom Hanks and Leo Dicaprio.

I know i'm in the minority here along with an ever increasing circle of people who actually enjoy this very under rated movie. I don't think it's fan bias, when I say Waterworld is a thoroughly enjoyable summer popcorn flick, all the performances are good, the action set pieces are impressive and it has a good sense of atmosphere too. Whilst I always end up humming James Newton Howard's score for a while after I have watched it too.

It's not perfect by any means. Locking director Reynolds out of the editing room, KC hacked it to pieces in order to accommodate the two-hour-running-time maxim imposed by the studio, so that corporate could get their investment back.

I'm in the process of trying to track down a fan-edit of the film called Waterworld: Ulysses Cut, which includes all of the deleted scenes. The additional scenes tie up several loose ends left ambiguous by the theatrical release.

Even with all of the above, and opening a week before guaranteed money maker Die Hard With A Vengeance, Waterworld ended the year the 12th highest grossing movie of 1995, with a domestic gross of $88 million.

KC bashers should get over themselves, and start giving George Lucas what he deserves.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 July 1995 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Waterworld See more »

Filming Locations:

Waipi'o Valley, Hawaii, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$175,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$21,171,780, 30 July 1995

Gross USA:

$88,246,220

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$264,218,220
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

DTS | DTS-Stereo | Dolby Atmos

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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