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Beyond the Sea (2004)

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A swooning study of "Mack the Knife" singer Bobby Darin and specifically his relationship with wife Sandra Dee.

Director:

Kevin Spacey
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kevin Spacey ... Bobby Darin
Kate Bosworth ... Sandra Dee
John Goodman ... Steve Blauner
Bob Hoskins ... Charlie Cassotto Maffia
Brenda Blethyn ... Polly Cassotto
Greta Scacchi ... Mary Duvan
Caroline Aaron ... Nina Cassotto Maffia
Peter Cincotti ... Dick Behrke
William Ullrich William Ullrich ... Little Bobby
Michael Byrne ... Dr. Andretti
Matt Rippy ... David Gershenson
Gary Whelan ... Jules Podell
Jake Broder ... 1st Assistant Director
Tayfun Bademsoy ... Ahmet Ertegun
Tomas Spencer Tomas Spencer ... Delivery Guy
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Storyline

Consummate entertainer Bobby Darin (1936-1973) is making a movie about his life. He's volatile, driven by the love of performing, ambition, perfectionism, and belief that he's living on borrowed time. He begins in the Bronx: a fatherless lad learning music and dance from his mom. His career starts slowly, then "Splish Splash" puts him at the top of the charts and on "Bandstand." He wants to be an entertainer, not a pop star, so he aims for the Copacabana; then it's on to the movies, where he meets and marries Sandra Dee. After, it's balancing career, health, marriage and family life, balances he doesn't always keep. Throughout, conversations with his boyhood self give him perspective. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In the era of cool, he was the soundtrack. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some strong language and a scene of sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | Germany | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 December 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bobby Darin Biopic See more »

Filming Locations:

Berlin, Germany See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$23,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$45,264, 19 December 2004

Gross USA:

$6,318,709

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$8,447,615
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS | SDDS

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Paul Anka, Johnny Rivers and Burton Cummings were considered for the role of Bobby Darin in the film's early development. See more »

Goofs

When Bobby starts whaling on the driver's window of his car, the head of the golf club come completely off with the third stroke; however when he moves around to the front and begins hitting the hood, the iron is whole again. See more »

Quotes

Bobby Darin: Memories are like moonbeams, we do with them what we will.
See more »

Crazy Credits

"Andy Paterson and Kevin Spacey would like to thank the entire cast and crew from both the UK and Germany for their hard work and dedication. The film could not have been completed without their belief and effort. We are forever grateful to them for helping bring this film to the screen." See more »

Connections

References A Summer Place (1959) See more »

Soundtracks

Mack the Knife
(1954)
Original German lyrics by Bertolt Brecht (1928)
English lyrics by Marc Blitzstein (1954)
Music by Kurt Weill (1928)
Published by WB Music Corp. on behalf of Kurt Weill Foundation for Music, Berthold Brecht
Joseph & Josephine Davis as Executors of the Estate of Marc Blitzstein/Universal Edition A.G./European American Music Corporation
Performed by Kevin Spacey & The John Wilson Orchestra
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Beyond the Ordinary
1 January 2005 | by Rogue-32See all my reviews

I've been a fan of Walden Robert Cassotto's for a long, long time, and I've been following the progress (or non-progress) of the bio-pic based on his life for an equally long time (couldn't have been any more pleased when I learned that Kevin Spacey was going to be the one to finally bring the project to the proverbial light of day). I'm mentioning this because I realize it's impossible for me to be completely objective about the movie, feeling about its subject as strongly as I do; I think that anyone who loved Bobby Darin cannot be thoroughly objective regarding Spacey's film.

That having been said, I can tell you that I was profoundly affected by Beyond The Sea. Spacey lives up to his surname in spades with this project, by tossing out all the 'normal' bio-pic story-telling tools, instead resorting to a spaced-out show biz fantasy-type structure which does work because Bobby himself did use his career as an antidote against the reality of his ever-failing health and inevitable early death - his overwhelming drive and beyond-intense focus stemmed from the fact that he knew he had only so much time to do anything with his life; this is what made him so great on stage, and this immediacy and strength of purpose is conveyed brilliantly in the movie not through the usual talking and explaining sequences but rather through Darin's actions. So the liberties that Spacey takes with Bobby's life pay off - the song-and-dance numbers and the plot devices (the best one being Darin's younger self having a simultaneous part in the proceedings with the older Darin).

So much has been written about Spacey being too old to play Bobby, how Spacey shouldn't have actually sung the songs himself, how this is a vanity project on Spacey's part, blah blah blah. All untrue.

The clever way in which he stages the film acknowledges the fact that he knows he's chronologically older than the perfect age to play this part, and he sings the songs himself because he CAN - his voice is more than serviceable; in fact when I saw the trailer for the first time a few months back and heard him singing Mack The Knife I was in the theatre telling the person I'd come with "That's Bobby, that can't possibly be Kevin Spacey" - this from a person who has listened to Darin's recording of that song literally hundreds and hundreds of times.

The thing that is most interesting about the negative criticism is the one about this being a vanity project for Spacey; his desire and enthusiasm to share his feeling for Darin via this project is being interpreted as an ego trip, when in reality it's an unabashed and pure labor of love. The film is being misunderstood by a lot of people, and I see this as being unbelievably ironic and, ultimately, proof that the film works because Darin himself was constantly misunderstood, constantly having his hell-bent-for-leather, no-time-to-waste desperation perceived as arrogance. So Spacey succeeded on that level alone.

It also doesn't hurt that from the back, he manages to bear an uncanny resemblance to Bobby, he captures the physicality perfectly, and in all the shots that are not too close up, you'd swear it was Bobby that you were seeing and not Spacey. It's only in the close-ups that I was reminded it wasn't actually Bobby on the screen, and in the later scenes, when he becomes politically aware, grows the mustache and bills himself as Bob Darin, Spacey looks like him even in the close-ups.

By the end of the film, I found myself feeling profoundly moved by what I was experiencing, even though, oddly enough, I didn't feel up to that point that the film was particularly profound, and so my reaction was very surprising to me. There's a scene where -=- POSSIBLE SPOILER -=- Darin is in his hospital bed right before he dies and Sandra Dee (who was no longer with him at that time but still loved him) is in the bed cuddled up beside him - that image was, to me, by far the single most powerful one in the movie, and it has stayed with me, long after the movie's final credits. -=-END OF POSSIBLE SPOILER

I want to include this: the person I saw the film with hadn't been a fan of Bobby's the way I had for years, and I asked her after we'd left the theatre if she'd felt moved by what she'd experienced - I was trying to get a more objective idea how the movie would play to someone who wasn't so emotionally connected to the material. She said that after seeing it, she wanted to know more about Bobby, how she'd had no idea what he'd gone through in his life and how she felt tremendous compassion and respect for him.

Spacey has said that his motivation in doing the movie was to remind people who hardly remembered him what a monumental talent Bobby Darin was, and to hopefully introduce a new generation to the man. I think he's succeeded on that level too, at least with people who go to see this movie with an open mind and a receptive heart.


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