Australasian Cinema > films >
Dead Calm (Phillip Noyce, 1989) wr. Terry Hayes from novel Charles Williams, The Deep; dp Dean Semler; Nicole Kidman, Sam Neill, Billy Zane, George Shevtsov; ending was changed
An excellent suspense film, this was Philip Noyce's ticket to Hollywood. It was also the last film in which Nicole Kidman had great, natural hair before HW plasticised her.
A plot like this is probably impossible without two ancient movie traditions, the Talking Killer and the Undead Dead. Time and again in the movie, the story would be over if someone - anyone - simply pulled the trigger. ... And yet Dead Calm generates genuine tension, because the story is so simple and the performances are so straightforward. This is not a gimmick film (unless you count the husband's method of escaping from the sinking ship), and Kidman and Zane do generate real, palpable hatred in their scenes together. Roger Ebert.
Boland, Michaela & Michael Bodey 2004, Aussiewood: Australia's Leading Actors and Directors Tell How They Conquered Hollywood, Allen & Unwin, Sydney: 122.
Garry Gillard | New: 8 November, 2012 | Now: 3 December, 2019