Dead Calm (1989)


“Don’t you believe me?” – Hughie

Number of Times Seen – 1 (26 Nov 2019)

Brief Synopsis – After suffering a personal tragedy, a couple go on a secluded vacation where they come across a stranded man on a sinking ship.

My Take on it – This is a film that I never had much desire to see despite the fact that I heard about it when it came out 30 years ago.

They do a wonderful job with this story and the performances of the three actors helps enhance things so much.

Sam Neill, Nicole Kidman and Billy Zane are all perfectly cast in these roles and help make their characters come alive and seem very realistic in everything that they do along the way.

The story moves in some very intriguing directions and they find ways to constantly raise the tension level of the story by raising more and more questions along the way about what is truly going on.

They do a great job establishing the true nature of each of thee characters and they allow all three of them to have time in the story where they are the only character being focused on and they still come across really well on their lonesome.

The suspense is at times very tense and that helps make this even more enjoyable and thrilling to watch it all unfold.

Bottom Line – Great thriller that works so well due to the performances of the three actors in the story. Neill, Kidman and Zane are all perfectly cast here and we get a feeling that each are realistic people. The story manages to put these characters in situations that seem quite genuine and the tension level is slowly heightened as things move along and more and more questions begin to arise. The story does a great job establishing who each of these characters are and they each are able to hold their own even when they find themselves in places where they are the only character being focused on. Great suspense film that is able to do things so well. Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – In the beginning of the movie when the black schooner is first sighted, John radios his position to her as 16 degrees 16 minutes South, 176 degrees 47 minutes West. This position would have placed Saracen in the South Pacific islands of Tonga, approximately 65 nautical miles southwest of the Tongan island of ‘Eua, and 350 nautical miles east of the island of Fiji. Thus, both vessels were on south sea island cruises and Huey’s “South Sea Island” cruise pamphlet and story is true. (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy (7/10)

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2 thoughts on “Dead Calm (1989)

  1. Saw this movie when it first came out and many times since. Terrific. very well done. One of the first things I’d seen Kidman in and remember being quite impressed. Same with Zane as the bad guy. Loved when Sam Neill – trapped on the abandoned ship – discovers the videotape.

    Liked by 1 person

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