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Projecting the Archive

The Blue Lagoon

+ intro by BFI Curator Josephine Botting and actor Susan Stranks

Jean Simmons exudes natural charm in this Technicolor vision of young love on a desert island.

Image from The Blue Lagoon + intro by BFI Curator Josephine Botting

UK 1949
Dir Frank Launder
With Jean Simmons, Donald Houston, Noel Purcell, James Hayter
101min
35mm
Certificate PG

Ever dreamed of escaping the rat race to live on a desert island with palm-fringed beaches and azure water? The notion, presented in this Technicolor vision of young love in idyllic surroundings, must have had particular resonance for British audiences during the gloomy postwar years of austerity and rationing. Two shipwrecked children, a boy from ‘below deck’ and a genteel girl, yearn for civilisation but their brushes with grown-ups reveal only vice and greed. Frank Launder brings a light touch to the tale, and Jean Simmons plays Emmeline with naturalness, but the film is stolen by the adult interlopers to paradise, especially Cyril Cusack as a lecherous crook.



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