Return to the Blue Lagoon
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|Return to the Blue Lagoon|
|Directed by||William A. Graham|
|Produced by||Randal Kleiser (executive)
William A. Graham
|Screenplay by||Leslie Stevens|
|Based on||The Garden of God
by Henry De Vere Stacpoole
|Music by||Basil Poledouris|
|Edited by||Ronald J. Fagan|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
|Box office||$2,808,000 (USA)|
Return to the Blue Lagoon is a 1991 American romance and adventure film starring Milla Jovovich and Brian Krause, produced and directed by William A. Graham. The screenplay by Leslie Stevens was based on the novel The Garden of God by Henry De Vere Stacpoole. The original music score was composed by Basil Poledouris. The film's closing theme song "A World of Our Own" is performed by Surface featuring Bernard Jackson. The music was written by Barry Mann, and the lyrics were written by Cynthia Weil. The film was marketed with the slogan, "Return to the Romance, Return to the Adventure..." referring it to 1980s The Blue Lagoon to which this film is a sequel.
The film tells the story of two young children marooned on a tropical island paradise in the South Pacific. Their life together is blissful, but not without physical and emotional changes, as they grow to maturity and fall in love.
In 1897, Mrs. Sarah Hargrave, a widow, and two young children (one of whom is the son of the castaways from the original film) are cast off from the ship they are travelling on, because the ship's crew are infected with cholera. After days afloat, Kearney, a sailor who has been sent with them, tries to kill the boy because of his excessive crying. Sarah angrily beats Kearney to death with a harpoon and dumps his body overboard. The trio arrives at and is stranded on a beautiful tropical island in the South Pacific. Sarah tries to raise them to be civilized, but soon gives up, as the orphaned boy Richard was born and raised by young lovers on this same island, and he influences the widow's daughter Lilli. They grow up, and Sarah educates them from the Bible, as well as from her own knowledge, including the facts of life. She cautiously demands the children never to go to the forbidden side of the island.
When Richard and Lilli are about eight, Sarah dies from pneumonia, leaving them to fend for themselves. Sarah is buried on a scenic promontory overlooking the tidal reef area. Together, the children survive solely on their resourcefulness, and the bounty of their remote paradise. Years later, both Richard and Lilli grow into strong and beautiful teenagers. They live in a house on the beach and spend their days together fishing, swimming, and exploring the island. Both their bodies mature and develop, and they are physically attracted to each other. Richard lets Lilli win the child's game Easter egg hunt and dives to find Lilli an adult's pearl as her reward. His penchant for racing a lagoon shark sparks a domestic quarrel; Lilli thinks he is foolhardy, but the liveliness makes Richard feel virile.
Lilli awakens in the morning with her first menstrual period, just as Sarah described the threshold of womanhood. Richard awakens in the morning with an erection, and suffers a nasty mood swing, which he cannot explain. They then get into an argument regarding privacy and their late mother's rules. One night, Richard goes off to the forbidden side of the island, and discovers that a group of natives from another island use the shrine of an impressive, Kon-Tiki-like idol to sacrifice conquered enemies every full moon. Richard camouflages himself with mud and hides in the muck; meanwhile, Lilli worries about his disappearance. Richard escapes unscathed, though he is seen by a lone native. Ultimately, after making up for their fight, Richard and Lilli discover natural love and passion, which deepens their emotional bond. They fall in love, and exchange formal wedding vows and rings in the middle of the jungle. They consummate their new-found feelings for each other for the next several months.
Soon after, a ship arrives at the island, carrying unruly sailors, a proud captain, and his beautiful but spoiled daughter, Sylvia Hilliard. The party is welcomed by the young couple, and they ask to be taken back to civilization, after many years in isolation. Sylvia tries to steal Richard from Lilli and seduce him, but as tempted as he is by her strange ways, he realizes that Lilli is his heart and soul, upsetting Sylvia. Richard angrily leaves Sylvia behind in the middle of the fish pond, in plain view of the landing party. Meanwhile, a sailor ogles Lilli in her bath and drags her back to the house. He tries to rape her and steal her pearl, before Richard comes to her rescue. The sailor opens fire on Richard who flees. Richard lures the sailor to his death in the jaws of the shark in the tidal reef area. Upon returning, he apologizes to Lilli for hurting her and she reveals that she is pregnant. She tells him that if he wants to leave, then she won't stop him, but that she wants to raise their child away from civilization, and from guns. They decide to stay and raise their child on the island, as they feel their blissful life would not compare to civilization. The ship departs and the two young lovers stay on the island, and have their baby.
- Milla Jovovich as Lilli Hargrave
- Brian Krause as Paddy Lestrange / Richard Lestrange Jr
- Lisa Pelikan as Mrs. Sarah Hargrave
- Courtney Barilla as Young Lilli
- Garette Ratliff Henson as Young Richard
- Emma James as Infant Lilli
- Jackson Barton as Infant Richard
- Nana Coburn as Sylvia Hilliard
- Brian Blain as Captain Jacob Hilliard
- Peter Hehir as Quinlan
- Alexander Peterson as Giddens
- John Mann as First Captain
- Wayne Pygram as Kearney
- John Dicks as Penfield
Background and production
The film was shot on location in Australia and Taveuni, Fiji and is a sequel to the 1980 remake The Blue Lagoon, starring Brooke Shields and Christopher Atkins. Return to the Blue Lagoon bears a strong similarity to its predecessor, which was produced and directed by Randal Kleiser, but picks up from where its predecessor left off. It is almost nothing like The Garden of God, Henry De Vere Stacpoole's sequel to his novel The Blue Lagoon. However, in the third novel, The Gates of Morning, a pair of sailors attack the people of a nearby island because they know its waters are rich with pearls, and it is possible the filmmakers used this. Richard is the child of Richard and Emmeline Lestrange of the previous film, who both are revealed to be dead at the beginning and are buried at sea (it is simply stated that they are dead whereas in the previous film it is stated that they are sleeping). The new shipwreck occurred mere days after they were found where the crew is struck with cholera.
Although many of the film's elements were derived from the 1980 Blue Lagoon film, and there was some nudity, the film was much more sanitized in content than its predecessor, and was able to garner a PG-13 rating in the United States.
Like the original, the film received negative reviews. It currently holds a rare 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 30 reviews with the consensus: "Despite its lush tropical scenery and attractive leads, Return to the Blue Lagoon is as ridiculous as its predecessor, and lacks the prurience and unintentional laughs that might make it a guilty pleasure."
The film also flopped at the box office. On a budget of $11 million, it made less than $3 million in the United States.
- 1991 Golden Raspberry Awards
- Nominee: Worst Director - William A. Graham
- Nominee: Worst New Star - Milla Jovovich
- Nominee: Worst New Star - Brian Krause
- Nominee: Worst Picture - William A. Graham
- Nominee: Worst Screenplay - Leslie Stevens
- Young Artist Awards
- Nominee: Best Young Actress Starring in a Motion Picture - Milla Jovovich
Home media releases
VHS and DVD
- VHS Release date: February 5, 1992
- DVD Release date: November 5, 2002
The 1991 sequel was made available for streaming through various services.
- The Blue Lagoon, 1923 version
- The Blue Lagoon, 1949 version
- Blue Lagoon: The Awakening, a Lifetime television movie
- State of nature
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- Return to the Blue Lagoon at Rotten Tomatoes