The Blue Lagoon (1949 film)

For the 1980 film, see The Blue Lagoon (1980 film).
The Blue Lagoon

Lobby card
Directed by Frank Launder
Produced by Sidney Gilliat
Frank Launder
Written by Novel:
Henry De Vere Stacpoole
John Baines
Michael Hogan
Frank Launder
Starring Jean Simmons
Donald Houston
Noel Purcell
James Hayter
Cyril Cusack
Music by Clifton Parker
Cinematography Geoffrey Unsworth
Edited by Thelma Connell
Distributed by General Film Distributors (UK)
Universal Pictures (USA)
Release dates
1 October 1949 (1949-10-01)
Running time
101 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English

The Blue Lagoon is a 1949 British romance and adventure film produced and directed by Frank Launder, starring Jean Simmons and Donald Houston. The screenplay was adapted by John Baines, Michael Hogan and Frank Launder from the novel The Blue Lagoon by Henry De Vere Stacpoole. The original music score was composed by Clifton Parker and the cinematography was by Geoffrey Unsworth.

The film tells the story of two young children shipwrecked on a tropical island paradise in the South Pacific. Emotional feelings and physical changes arise as they grow to maturity and fall in love. The film has major thematic similarities to the Biblical story of Adam and Eve.


In the Victorian period, 1891, Emmeline Foster and Michael Reynolds, two British children, are the survivors of a shipwreck in the South Pacific. After days afloat, they are marooned on a lush tropical island in the company of kindly old sailor Paddy Button. Eventually, Paddy dies in a drunken binge, leaving Emmeline and Michael all alone with each other. Together, they survive solely on their resourcefulness, and the bounty of their remote paradise.

8 Years later, Emmeline and Michael become tanned, athletic and nubile young adults. Eventually, their relationship, more along the lines of brother and sister in their youth, blossoms into love, and then passion. Emmeline and Michael have their baby boy, and they live together as common-law husband and wife, content in their solitude. But their marriage is threatened by the arrival of two evil traders, who force the child to dive for pearls at gunpoint, before killing each other off.

Emmeline is reminded of the outside world and wants to leave the island. She fears for the child if she and Michael should die, and begins to think of his future. Michael finally gives in to her pleading and they pack a small boat and leave the island. But becalmed in the middle of the ocean, they succumb to exposure. They are found by a British ship, but the film leaves their fate ambiguous.


Actor Role
Jean Simmons Emmeline Foster
Donald Houston Michael Reynolds
Susan Stranks Emmeline (younger)
Peter Rudolph Jones Michael (younger)
Noel Purcell Paddy Button
James Hayter Dr. Murdock
Cyril Cusack James Carter
Nora Nicholson Mrs. Stannard
Maurice Denham Ship's Captain
Philip Stainton Mr. Ansty
Patrick Barr Second Mate
Lyn Evans Trotter
Russell Waters Craggs
John Boxer Nick Corbett
Bill Raymond Marsden

Background and production


The film was the seventh most popular movie at the British box office in 1949.[3]

Other versions and sequel

See also


  1. "FILM FLASH CABLE.". The Sunday Times. Perth: National Library of Australia. 21 December 1947. p. 12 Supplement: The Sunday Times MAGAZINE. Retrieved 7 July 2012.
  2. "Jean Simmons Goes Native", cover story, Illustrated magazine 15 January 1949
  3. "TOPS AT HOME.". The Courier-Mail. Brisbane: National Library of Australia. 31 December 1949. p. 4. Retrieved 24 April 2012.
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