Return to the Blue Lagoon

Return to the Blue Lagoon is a 1991 American South Seas romantic adventure film directed and produced by William A. Graham and starring Milla Jovovich and Brian Krause. The film is a sequel to The Blue Lagoon (1980). The screenplay by Leslie Stevens was based on the 1923 novel The Garden of God by Henry De Vere Stacpoole. The original music score was written, composed, and performed by Basil Poledouris. The film's closing theme song, "A World of Our Own", is performed by Surface featuring Bernard Jackson. The music was written by Barry Mann, and the lyrics were written by Cynthia Weil.

Return to the Blue Lagoon
Two young people (portrayed by Milla Jovovich and Brian Krause) on a tropical island
Theatrical release poster
Directed byWilliam A. Graham
Screenplay byLeslie Stevens
Based onThe Garden of God
by Henry De Vere Stacpoole
Produced byWilliam A. Graham
CinematographyRobert Steadman
Edited byRonald J. Fagan
Music byBasil Poledouris
Price Entertainment
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release date
  • August 2, 1991 (1991-08-02)
Running time
102 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$11 million
Box office$2.8 million

The film tells the story of two young children marooned on a tropical island paradise in the South Pacific. Their life together is blissful, but not without physical and emotional changes, as they grow to maturity and fall in love.


In 1897, Mrs. Sarah Hargrave, a widow, and two young children are cast off from the ship they are travelling on because the ship's crew are infected with cholera. After days afloat, Kearney, a sailor who has been sent with them, tries to kill the boy because of his excessive crying. Sarah angrily beats Kearney to death with a harpoon and dumps his body overboard. The trio arrive at a beautiful tropical island in the South Pacific. Sarah tries to raise them to be civilized, as the orphaned boy Richard was born and raised by young lovers on this same island. They grow up and Sarah educates them from the Bible, as well as from her own knowledge, including the facts of life. She cautiously demands the children never to go to the forbidden side of the island.

Eight years later, when Richard and Lilli are about 10 and 8 years old, respectively, Sarah dies from pneumonia, leaving them to fend for themselves. Sarah is buried on a scenic promontory overlooking the tidal reef area. Together, the children survive solely on their resourcefulness and the bounty of their remote paradise. Six years later, both Richard and Lilli grow into strong and beautiful teenagers. They live in a house on the beach and spend their days together fishing, swimming, and exploring the island. Both their bodies mature and develop and they are physically attracted to each other. Richard lets Lilli win the child's game Easter egg hunt and dives to find Lilli an adult's pearl as her reward. His penchant for racing a lagoon shark sparks a domestic quarrel; Lilli thinks he is foolhardy, but the liveliness makes Richard feel virile.

Lilli awakens in the morning with her first menstrual period, just as Sarah described the threshold of womanhood. Richard awakens in the morning with an erection and suffers a nasty mood swing, which he cannot explain. They then get into an argument regarding privacy and their late mother's rules. One night, Richard goes off to the forbidden side of the island, and discovers that a group of natives from another island use the shrine of an impressive, Kon-Tiki-like idol to sacrifice conquered enemies every full moon. Richard camouflages himself with mud and hides in the muck; meanwhile, Lilli worries about his disappearance. Richard escapes unscathed, though he is seen by a lone native. Ultimately, after making up for their fight, Richard and Lilli discover natural love and passion, which deepens their emotional bond. They fall in love and exchange formal wedding vows and rings in the middle of the jungle. They consummate their new-found feelings for each other for the next several months.

Soon after, a ship arrives at the island, carrying unruly sailors, a proud captain, and his beautiful but spoiled daughter, Sylvia Hilliard. The party is welcomed by the young couple, and they ask to be taken back to civilization, after many years in isolation. Sylvia tries to steal Richard from Lilli and seduce him, but as tempted as he is by her strange ways, he realizes that Lilli is his heart and soul, upsetting Sylvia. Richard angrily leaves Sylvia behind in the middle of the fish pond, in plain view of the landing party. Meanwhile, Quinlan, a sailor, ogles Lilli in her bath and drags her back to the house. He tries to rape her and steal her pearl before Richard comes to her rescue. Quinlan opens fire on Richard, who flees. Richard lures Quinlan to his death in the jaws of the shark in the tidal reef area. Upon returning, he apologizes to Lilli for hurting her, and she reveals that she is pregnant. She tells him that if he wants to leave, then she will not stop him, but that she wants to raise their child away from civilization and away from guns. They decide to stay and raise their child on the island, as they feel their blissful life would not compare to civilization. The ship departs and the two young lovers stay on the island and have their baby, a girl.


Background and productionEdit

The film was shot on location in Australia and Taveuni, Fiji.


Box officeEdit

The film was a box-office bomb; on a budget of $11,000,000, it made less than $3,000,000 in the United States.

Critical responseEdit

The film exceeded the original for how negatively it was reviewed. On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rare approval rating of 0% based on 31 reviews, and an average rating of 2.7/10. The site's consensus reads: "Despite its lush tropical scenery and attractive leads, Return to the Blue Lagoon is as ridiculous as its predecessor, and lacks the prurience and unintentional laughs that might make it a guilty pleasure."[1] Audiences surveyed by CinemaScore gave the film a grade of "B" on scale of A+ to F.[2]


1991 Golden Raspberry Awards
Nominee: Worst Director - William A. Graham
Nominee: Worst New Star - Milla Jovovich
Nominee: Worst New Star - Brian Krause
Nominee: Worst Picture - William A. Graham
Nominee: Worst Screenplay - Leslie Stevens
Young Artist Awards[3]
Nominee: Best Young Actress Starring in a Motion Picture - Milla Jovovich

Home media releasesEdit

VHS and DVDEdit

  • VHS release date: February 5, 1992
  • DVD release date: November 5, 2002


The 1991 sequel was made available for streaming through various services.[citation needed]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Return to the Blue Lagoon (1991)". Rotten Tomatoes.
  2. ^ "Cinemascore". Archived from the original on 2018-12-20.
  3. ^ "1990-1991 Young Artist Awards".

External linksEdit