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The Big Blue (Director's Cut)

4.4 out of 5 stars 355 customer reviews

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(Aug 15, 2000)
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Director's Cut
$55.99 $14.13

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

A compelling adventure and romance, shot in New York, the Caribbean and the Mediterranean. A young couple embark on a passionate romance complicated by an all-consuming love of diving and the siren call of the sea.

A hit in Europe but a flop in the U.S.--where it was trimmed, rescored, and given a new ending--Luc Besson's The Big Blue has endured as a minor cult classic for its gorgeous photography (both on land and underwater) and dreamy ambiance. Jean-Marc Barr is a sweet and sensitive but passive presence as Jacques, a diver with a unique connection to the sea. He has the astounding ability to slow his heartbeat and his circulation on deep dives, "a phenomenon that's only been observed in whales and dolphins… until now," remarks one scientist. Kooky New York insurance adjuster Joanna (Rosanna Arquette at her most delightfully flustered and endearingly sexy best) melts after falling into his innocent baby blues, and she follows him to Italy, where he's continuing a lifelong competition with boyhood rival Enzo (Jean Reno in a performance both comic and touching).

Besson's first English-language production looks more European than Hollywood, and it suffers from a tin ear for the language. At times it feels more like an IMAX undersea documentary than a drama about free divers, but the lush and lovely images create a fairy tale dimension to Jacques's story, a veritable Little Merman. More dolphin than man, he's so torn between earthly love and aquatic paradise that even his dreams call him to the sea (in a sequence more eloquent than any speech).

Besson has expanded the film by 50 minutes for his director's cut, which adds little story but slows the contemplative pace until it practically floats in time, and has restored Eric Serra's synthesizer-heavy score, a slice of 1980s pop that at times borders on disco kitsch. Most importantly, he has restored his original ending, which echoes the fairy tale he tells Joanna earlier in the film and leaves the story floating in the inky blackness of ambiguity. --Sean Axmaker

Special Features

  • Contains 49 minutes of additional footage
  • Talent files

Product Details

  • Actors: Rosanna Arquette, Jean Reno, Jean-Marc Barr
  • Directors: Luc Besson
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Director's Cut, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Unknown (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: French
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: August 15, 2000
  • Run Time: 168 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (355 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004TWZF
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #67,021 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Big Blue (Director's Cut)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I first saw this movie in France and absolutely fell in love with it. I live in the states and when I rented it in the U.S. I could not understand why Eric Serra's soundtrak was not used and why they cut out so many scenes and changed the ending (what a bad call! ). I strongly recommend to all Americans who saw the American version to do yourselves a favor and buy the DVD Director's Cut(Version Longue). It's a completely different movie (so to speak). This is definitely my all time favorite movie, and am ecstatic to have it on DVD. Yeahhh! Thanks to Amazon the Americans will finally have their chance to own a phenominal movie!
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By A Customer on August 20, 2000
Format: DVD
i have been waiting for this picture on dvd for a long long time! and to finally get it, with additional footage, no less! this was the first besson picture i ever saw. i was immediately taken with his style & feel for subject. the american version was good, only, unbeknownst to me at the time, it felt somewhat incomplete-- now i know why. this director's cut fills in so many gaps, answers so many unspoken questions. it rounds out the romance between jacques & joanna as well as gives more depth to the friendship/competition between jacques & enzo. the "drinking in the diving bell" scene is a riot, mimicking the drinkng in the pool scene. in my opinion the film needs those extra "director's" minutes to evove from a good picture with potential to an awesome picture, period. i am so much happier seeing this movie with those formerly "lost" european additions. Mr. Reno is worth his weight in gold, a great job by Mr. Barr, and Ms. Arquette provides a nice american counterpoint to these euro stars. interesting to see arquette & griffin dunne together again (from "after hours-- m. scorcese"). a great "new" ending... you'll see when you compare it to the version americané.
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Format: DVD
I first read about Le Grand Bleu in one of my textbooks when I started lessons at the Alliance Francais. There it was described along the lines of a massive cult movie that had charmed (and completely depressed) a whole generation of french teenagers. Being fifteen at the time, I got hold of a very beat up copy and it has since remained my favorite film of all times.
Jacques, the main character, is a solitary free diver who longs for nothing else than to be at home with his family (i.e. swimming in the sea with dolphnins). That is, until he meets Johanna (Arquette), and soon the story develops and reaches its climax as Jacques is torn between the woman he loves and his quest for the eternal and watery bliss he finds in the depths. The photography is simply perfect, and the transfer to digital media has only enhanced the fact, so definitely get the DVD. Reno is at his finest (and funniest) and Barr stands out as the perfect homo delphinus.
I have seen the US version, which is a moldy disgrace. The omission of Eric Serra's music is utter blasphemy, since the soundtrack is a jewel on its own. The change in ending is also nonsense, so if you have only seen that piece of editing, know that the Director's Cut is entirely different.
Oh, and don't forget. Dolphins, dolphins and more dolphins! What could beat that? I cry every time I see this film. Perhaps this is only because of my weird self, but, what do you think really happens to Jacques in the end?
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By A Customer on June 16, 2000
Format: DVD
Bring me the Frenchman ...! Why have we had to wait so long for what is undeniably one of the most visually and aurally intoxicating films of all times? This film which pays homage to the world-famous free diver, Enzo Majorca, deals with a subject matter that few could find scintillating. However, Serra's score is both haunting and beautiful while the photography is some of the best use of light and shadow in a colour film. Whilst this all sounds rather "arty", there is a considerable amount of humour and interaction between the main protagonists of Reno, Barr and Arquette (not to mention a dolphin or two!). Many will think that the Director's cut is too long but the short version leaves you unsatisfied. Best watched with ALL the lights turned off and the bigger the screen the better (irrespective of damage to one's eyes! ). Few films today can succeed without graphic sex or violence of which this film has none. The worst crime was releasing this film to the US market with a different ending which misses the whole point of the film. Thankfully the Director's cut stays true to the original version. A cult film it may be - but it stands at the number 1 position on my top films of the past twenty years. It appeals to both sexes and is a must for anyone's library. I have seen it more times than most people could stand, why? - because it does not depend on any one element to keep you hooked.
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Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
This is my favorite movie but Why to be careful ? just because there are two versions: the european version and the US version. The European version is just a jewel but (I don't know why) in the US version the wonderful Eric Serra's music was replaced by Eric Contì's very comercial soundtrack and the producers added a happy ending (??!!) so they distroyed the whole concept.
If you are looking for the french version be sure you buy the Director's cut edition.
Barcelona, Spain
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