Those who are from the 80s and 90s must remember “The Blue Lagoon”, considered by many to be a classic novel and seen by millions of people. Released in 1980, the American film (classified as romance and adventure) stars Brooke Shields and Christopher Atkins – a very sensual production by the standards of the time.
Some critics even classified it as shocking, due to the scenes of the two young people with very few clothes lost on the island paradise. The film had a remake and even other versions released later, however the original from 1980 remains the true classic. For those who are not reminded, the plot tells the story of English cousins Richard and Emmeline who, as children, survive a shipwreck in the Pacific Ocean.
One of the aspects most dealt with in the film is precisely sexuality, as children soon become teenagers and must deal with the discoveries of this phase without any kind of instruction – in addition, they also need to find ways to survive in the wild by trusting the instinct they have. Today, let’s talk about some things that you probably don’t know about this romantic classic and that was already very controversial:
1 – Not original from cinemas
The film is based on a book of the same name by author Henry de Vere Stacpoole, who also published two more related works, although adaptations for cinemas (including the 1991 sequel) focus more on young people lost on paradise islands and the awakening of sexuality. In Stacpoole’s books, there is an extremely important element that was not so prominent in the films – the culture of the Polynesian people, and especially the cultural shock that English cousins have with these people.
2 – The book was already adapted twice before 1980
Well, there are even more versions of “The Blue Lagoon” than you imagined. The first adaptation of Stacpoole’s work took place in 1923, made by the hands of director W. Bowden – a silent film. Decades later, British director Frank Launder directed the 1949 version, which was also quite popular. However, it was only with the 1980 version of Randal Kleiser that “The Blue Lagoon” became a worldwide success.
3 – Protecting the body of Shields
The actress Brooke Shields was only 14 when the recordings took place and, as we well know, the film has some sensual scenes. As the character Emmeline is almost always topless (after all, the two young kids are lost and isolated on an island since they were children), the production had to find a method to prevent Brooke’s breasts from appearing all the time. The way to do it was very unusual: they stuck the actress’s hair on her body so that nothing that could not be seen appeared unintentionally.
4 – The controversy of the age of Brooke Shields
As we already said, the actress was only 14 years old when “A Lagoa Azul” was filmed. The young woman’s age was a topic that was widely discussed at the time due to the implicit sexual content of the production. Years later, Brooke Shields herself said that she had no problem filming “The Blue Lagoon” and that in the most explicit sensual scenes body stunts were used.
5 – A new species of iguana has been discovered
There is a type of iguana that is often displayed in the landscapes of the island paradise. When herpetologist John Gibbons went to the cinemas, he was quite surprised to observe the animal, which, after some research, was absent from scientific records. Then Gibbons traveled to Fiji (the nation where the film was shot) and attested that it was indeed a new reptile – a discovery made thanks to the film.
6 – Perfect location
Director Randal Kleiser was very concerned about the film’s authenticity and really wanted to shoot on a deserted and isolated island in the Pacific Ocean. After the theatrical release, Kleiser said that to shoot this type of story he wanted to be as close to nature as possible and that the production team almost had to live like the characters in the story. The location chosen was on one of the islands of Fiji – a place that had no roads, water or electricity, but wonderful beaches. The perfect setting.
7 – Love on the set
Brooke Shields and Christopher Atkins really had a romance while filming, something that originated due to the time they spent together. However, the passion was not long-lasting and after a few weeks they had a lot of discussion and broke up. According to young Atkins, Brooke got tired of him and thought he took acting very seriously, as the actor always tried to remain lonely and distant from the production team to get into the island’s isolation climate.