Blue Lagoon, The (1980): Randal Kleiser’s Puberty Tale, Starring Brooke Shields Semi-Nude in the Water

Randal Kleiser directed The Blue Lagoon, a silly erotic-romantic adventure, written by Douglas Day Stewart, based on the 1908 novel of the same name by Henry De Vere Stacpoole.
Grade: C (*1/2* out of *****)
The Blue Lagoon
Blue lagoon 1980 movie poster.jpg

Theatrical release poster
The film tells the story of two young children (Brooke Shields and Christopher Atkins.), marooned on a tropical island paradise in the South Pacific.
With neither parental guidance or societal restrictions, the couple reach puberty and fall in love.

The movie was lavishly produced, with music score composed by Basil Poledouris and cinematography by Néstor Almendros.


The Blue Lagoon was based on Henry De Vere Stacpoole’s novel, which first appeared in 1908. The first screen version was the British silent 1923 film, which is now lost. There was another British adaptation in 1949.

The sequel Return to the Blue Lagoon (1991) loosely picked up where The Blue Lagoon left off, except that Richard and Emmeline are found dead in the boat, while their son is rescued.

A TV adaptation of the novel by the network Lifetime, Blue Lagoon: The Awakening, was released in 2012.


Oscar Nominations: 1

Cinematography: Nestor Almendros
Oscar Awards: None
Oscar Context
The winners of the Cinematography Oscar were Geoffey Unsworth and Ghislain Cloquet for Polanski’s romantic epic, Tess.
Produced, directed by Randal Kleiser
Screenplay by Douglas Day Stewart, based on “The Blue Lagoon” by Henry De Vere Stacpoole
Cinematography Néstor Almendros
Edited by Robert Gordon
Music by Basil Poledouris
Production: United Artists, Columbia PicturesDistributed by MGM

Release date: June 20, 1980

Running time: 105 minutes
Budget $4.5 million
Box office $58.8 million