A swooning study of "Mack the Knife" singer Bobby Darin and specifically his relationship with wife Sandra Dee.


Kevin Spacey
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 6 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Kevin Spacey ... Bobby Darin
Kate Bosworth ... Sandra Dee
John Goodman ... Steve Blauner
Bob Hoskins ... Charlie Maffia
Brenda Blethyn ... Polly Cassotto
Greta Scacchi ... Mary Duvan
Caroline Aaron ... Nina Cassotto Maffia
Peter Cincotti ... Dick Behrke
William Ullrich William Ullrich ... Little Bobby
Michael Byrne ... Dr. Andretti
Matt Rippy ... David Gershenson
Gary Whelan ... Jules Podell
Jake Broder ... 1st Assistant Director
Tayfun Bademsoy ... Ahmet Ertegun
Tomas Spencer ... Delivery Guy


The life of crooner/actor Bobby Darin is presented as part fact, part fiction and much fantasy. It is framed around a biopic being filmed about and starring Darin as himself, with he being surrounded by many of his lifelong entourage from the Bronx. In that fantasy, the young actor portraying him as a child in the biopic emerges as his true younger self, questioning, knowing all, if his adult self wants the biopic to be all sugar and roses, as is the want of his manager, Steve Blauner, or if he wants to tell the truth. Regardless, what is presented of his life includes: his sickly childhood - where he was not expected to survive past his teens - with his vaudevillian mother, Polly Cassotto, his musical mentor, and his much older sister, Nina Cassotto, both who ultimately lived vicariously through his fame; his early singing career where the ultimate goal was not to rival but surpass the fame of Frank Sinatra; the meeting of who would become his wife, already famous actress Sandra Dee ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The voice. The passion. The confidence. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some strong language and a scene of sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


The lead role was offered to Tom Cruise who rejected the script. See more »


(at around 33 mins) Camera shadow appears briefly twice during "Beyond The Sea" song and dance; on the back of a waiter as Bobby approaches Sandra at a table, and later on Sandra herself. See more »


Bobby Darin: [trying to date Sandra Dee] I want to send 18 yellow roses every day to Mary.
Charlie Maffia: You wanna send roses to the mother?
Bobby Darin: Charlie, you always make sure the mama dog likes you before you go near her puppy.
See more »

Crazy Credits

"Andy Paterson and Kevin Spacey would like to thank the entire cast and crew from both the UK and Germany for their hard work and dedication. The film could not have been completed without their belief and effort. We are forever grateful to them for helping bring this film to the screen." See more »


Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Kevin Spacey/Nelly Furtado (2006) See more »


Mack the Knife
Original German lyrics by Bertolt Brecht (1928)
English lyrics by Marc Blitzstein (1954)
Music by Kurt Weill (1928)
Published by WB Music Corp. on behalf of Kurt Weill Foundation for Music, Berthold Brecht
Joseph & Josephine Davis as Executors of the Estate of Marc Blitzstein/Universal Edition A.G./European American Music Corporation
Performed by Kevin Spacey & The John Wilson Orchestra
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User Reviews

Enjoyed it!
7 January 2007 | by mstomasoSee all my reviews

I had some misgivings about two entertainers whose work I enjoy so much (Bobby Darin and Kevin Spacey) being combined in this biopic. Let me say up front, however, that this film exceeded my expectations by several miles.

In answer to some of the standard complaints

(1) If you think Spacey is too old to play this role, you should reconsider what the film is depicting. This film is a retrospective which looks back from the latter part of Darin's career (reminiscent of his self-referential comments in The Bobby Darin Story). He is not supposed to be young. This is also one of the reasons why so much of the narrative keys on his relationship with his younger self embodied by the actor he has picked to play himself in his autobiography.

(2) If you believe Spacey can't sing.... well.... I give up. People tend to have very narrow and hardened opinions about music - regardless of how tone deaf they may be. Spacey may not bring much originality to the singing style of Bobby Darin, but, in my opinion, he pretty much nails Darin's voice and overall style.

(3) The characters are shallow? What film did you watch? OK, Darin lead a charmed existence compared to Johnny Cash and Ray Charles. After all, he never developed a serious drug addiction, nor did he have to go through a painful divorce. And he wasn't blind. The only real tragedy in Bobby's life was being diagnosed with a terminal illness in his early teens, not knowing his parents throughout most of his life, and never living up to his own standards... minor problems compared to the "deeper" ones portrayed in other "more serious" biopics? Ya whatever. Depth does not equal self-destructiveness and depression, IMO.

This film stands as a great achievement for Kevin Spacey, Kate Bosworth and others. The cast is excellent, and the writing and directing are superb. The music is as entertaining as the action of the narrative, and very well blended into the story. The film achieves a powerful surrealism which is very rare for biopics and has unfortunately been neglected in most contemporary musicals, as it portrays Darin's inner and outer worlds with equal weight. Although the subject matter is very very different, Beyond the Sea's musical method reminded me of the beautiful "Dancer in the Dark".

Darin's story is a story of the profound love, dedication to craft, and the desire to be the best, which allowed a dying man to miraculously prolong his time with us for decades, and way beyond his time of death.

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UK | Germany | USA


English | Italian

Release Date:

29 December 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bobby Darin Biopic See more »


Box Office


$23,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$45,264, 19 December 2004

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS | SDDS

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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