Dead Calm (film)

1989 film by Phillip Noyce

Dead Calm is a 1989 Australian psychological thriller film about a couple who are spending some time isolated at sea after a tragedy, when they come across a stranger who has abandoned a sinking ship.

Directed by Phillip Noyce. Written by Terry Hayes, based on the novel by Charles Williams.
In the middle of nowhere there is nowhere to hide.  taglines


Rae: Where's John?
Hughie: Now, what?
Rae: John, my husband. Where is he?
Hughie: He's gone.
Rae: Oh, shit. What have you done to him?
Hughie: Nothing. He went onboard her.
Rae: We've gotta go back.
Hughie: Look, he's only got himself to blame, right? I mean, he should've trusted me. But that's always been my problem.
Rae: Don't you understand?
Hughie: Please don't shout. That's always been one of my problems. I can never tell people's real motives until it's too late.
Rae: Okay. Let's just, uh, turn the boat around.
Hughie: Where shall we go?
Rae: Turn around!
Hughie: Hey, look. You're being very aggressive, Rae. That could be a problem on this small boat. I've seen it happen. It doesn't work. You know, I was watching you when you were sleeping. And I gotta tell you that your face fascinates me. Yeah. Even when you're 80, Rae, you'll still be a beautiful woman. I, uh, studied art for, um.... for a time... and something I found is that painters, when they approach their subjects... ...they always look at the face from, like, behind, you know? From the back, like, to see what's holding it up. And, uh...'ve got magnificent bone structure. God. "Magnificent." Shit, that sounds like... fucking something you'd say at a cocktail party. Should have given you my card, for chrissake. I just knew we'd get along, didn't you, Rae? Hey. What's wrong?
Rae: Would you just tell me one thing?
Hughie: Sure.
Rae: I just need to know if that boat is sinking.
Hughie: Sinking? Well, past tense would do, but--
Rae: Oh, God.
Hughie: But, uh, yeah. Yes, it is. Why? Uh, don't you believe me?
Rae: Yeah. Yeah, I believe you. Of course I do. That's why we've gotta go back.
Hughie: Back?
Rae: Uh-huh. To get John.
Hughie: What, you mean back there?
Rae: Yeah. Right now.
Hughie: Uh-huh. No, Rae, no. Okay? That's over. That's all over. So why don't we just erase that one from memory and start again, please? There's no going back, Rae.
Rae: No. No, don't say that. He's gonna drown, Hughie.
Hughie: There you go. Now you're ruining it again. That boat is sinking. That's not my fault.
Rae: What about those people, huh? There wasn't any food poisoning, was there?
Hughie: You wanna do this now? All right. They tried to kill me, Rae. They tried to suck the life out of me, if you can possibly grasp that concept.
Rae: Who were?
Hughie: All of them.
Rae: Look.... Nobody wants to kill you, Hughie--
Hughie: What? Repeat that.
Rae: I said, nobody--
Hughie: Say the words, Rae. Come on. You mean I just imagined it.
Rae: No.
Hughie: No?
Rae: No. I just meant that it must be a mistake.
Hughie: A mistake? Lady... the mistake is that you think I'm making this up.
Rae: No! No. No, I don't.
Hughie: You sound so much like them, Rae, it's scary. Now, they were trying to kill me. Do you understand?
Rae: Yeah. Yeah, I understand.
Hughie: Come on, turn around. Don't look at the bloody boat. Look at me. Okay, I'm sorry.

Hughie: How do I look?
Rae: Great.
Hughie: How do I smell?
Rae: Uh....
Hughie: Uh-huh. Thank you for your honesty.


  • In the middle of nowhere there is nowhere to hide.
  • A couple alone at sea. When a stranger called for help, they made a fatal mistake... they answered.
  • A Voyage Into Fear.
  • High Seas. Deep Terror.
  • Try To Stay Calm.


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