Starring the then 18-year-old Christopher Atkins and 14-year-old Brooke Shields, The Blue Lagoon, follows the lives of two children, who also happen to be cousins.
Emmeline and Richard are shipwrecked on an island, with a ship worker named Paddy (played by the late, great Leo McKern). Paddy teaches the children how to build a hut, hunt and forage for food and gives them only one law: to never go to the other side of the island, for fear of a resident tribe, who sacrifices people to their gods. The trio are happy in their tropical paradise, until Paddy has a terrible accident, leaving the children to grow up alone.
As teenagers, Richard and Emmeline find themselves filled with hormones and confusion, as they are shocked to find how their bodies are changing and coupled with their new found sense of rebellion, the two of them soon give into their most primal of desires.
This film caused much controversy over the age of its star actors at the time of filming and in a court of law, the filmmakers were forced to shed some light on their movie magic. This included an all-female team whose job it was to make sure that Brooke's hair was perfectly glued down to her chest, to protect her modesty, as well as the fact that she had an adult stunt double for all the steamy scenes.
For those who don't know, this film was the third of its kind, adapted from the book of the same name, which is the first in a trilogy, by Henry De Vere Stacpoole. The original Blue Lagoon movie was released in 1923, as a silent film, directed by W. Bowden and is the only version of the film to date, that was entirely filmed in Africa.
The second version of the film was released in 1949, directed by Frank Launder and was filmed mainly on Yasawa Island in Fiji, which may have greatly influenced the location choices used in this 1980 version.
This wonderful incarnation of the film was mainly filmed on the beautiful, yet remote Fijian Island of Nanyu Levu and unbeknownst to the crew at the time, they had accidentally filmed a new species of iguana. It was discovered when famous herpetologist, John Gibbons, noticed them popping up all over the place throughout the film and didn't recognise them at all!
Gibbons was so convinced that this was a newly discovered species, that he personally travelled to the island to study them and he was right. Today these iguanas are known as the Fiji Crested Iguana, however I am very sad to inform you that they are now critically endangered.
The Blue Lagoon (1980) is the best combination of action, survival, romance, horror, suspense and drama that I have ever seen and it even includes a "death from the deep" style scene, with a close call with a "man-eating" shark. It literally has everything you could hope for in a film about two young sexy teenagers marooned on a deserted tropical island.
This film was, and still is, so popular that it has since spawned one sequel, as well as a made for television remake, in which Christopher Atkins makes a cameo in. It was also famously parodied in the films Top Secret! and Going Berserk (in which Atkins made a surprise appearance) and the television show Quantum Leap, in the episode "Leaping of the Shrew", which Brooke Shields guest-starred.
The Blue Lagoon (1980) is rated PG and is not recommended for children under 15, as it contains material which some children find confusing or upsetting.