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V (1983)

TV Movie  -   -  Sci-Fi  -  30 July 1984 (UK)
7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 8,810 users  
Reviews: 83 user | 23 critic

When aliens come to Earth to ask for our help, a few suspicious humans discover their horrific true intentions and prepare to resist.

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Title: V (TV Movie 1983)

V (TV Movie 1983) on IMDb 7.9/10

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Nominated for 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Peter Nelson ...
David Packer ...
Neva Patterson ...
Tommy Petersen ...
Josh Brooks (as Tommy Peterson)
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Blair Tefkin ...
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Evan C. Kim ...
Tony Wah Chong Leonetti (as Evan Kim)
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Storyline

Aliens pretending to be friendly come to Earth and are received openly. The aliens have masqueraded themselves to look just like humans. When it is discovered that the aliens' planet is dying and that they have come to rape the Earth of its natural resources, the war for Earth begins. An important key to the humans' success is distinguishing their own from who the aliens are. Written by Michael Silva <silvamd@cleo.bc.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Humankind's last stand. See more »

Genres:

Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

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Release Date:

30 July 1984 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Storm Warnings  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The series was intended as a literal retelling of the Nazi takeover of German and the resistance movement against it. However, because of the popularity of Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977), as well as the belief among network execs that the US citizens would not believe a fascist takeover, the network execs had the producers change it to a science fiction mini-series. Other ideas were also discussed but discarded. See more »

Goofs

When Daniel Bernstein starts pouring champagne for his family, the boom mic is reflected in the glass of the portrait above his head. See more »

Quotes

Lynn Bernstein: [reading Abraham's farewell letter written before his capture by The Visitors] "My dear family: It's painful knowing that I'll not see your faces anymore. But I must take this stand for what I know is right. You may think that an old man wouldn't be afraid to die, but this old man is very frightened. I'm hoping that I'll find a little of your mother's dignity and strength. So far, I'm as frightened as a child who fears the dark. But we must fight the darkness that is threatening to engulf us. ...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

To the heroism of the Resistance Fighters --past, present, and future-- this work is respectfully dedicated See more »

Connections

References Star Trek (1966) See more »

Soundtracks

Theme
(credited)
from Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)
Composed by John Williams
© 1977 Lucasfilm Ltd.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
The Invasion Begins
11 November 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

If a ninety-nine out of a hundred science fiction films fall into being cliché ridden, one will stand out above the rest. V, in its original miniseries, would be one of those that stands above the rest. V is anything but your typical science fiction story of an alien invasion. It is a tale of a fascist (alien) takeover of our society and the resistance of a few in a society to it. As a result V, while a product of the technology and culture of the 1980's, is a timeless piece of science fiction.

One of the elements to V's success is its cast. Leading, so to speak, the cast of human characters are Marc Singer as cameraman Mike Donovan and Faye Grant as med-student turned rebel leader Julie Parrish. Both Singer and Grant give nice performances that, for the most part, come across as real people in extraordinary situations. In fact the performances of the entire cast be described by that last phrase as well ranging from the Maxwell family (Michael Durrell, Penelope Windust as the parents with Blair Tefkin, Viveka Davis and Marin May as their daughters) who find themselves persecuted to the point of joining the resistance much like the Taylor family (Jason Bernard, Richard Lawson and Michael Wright) to the Bernstein family (George Morfogen, Bonnie Bartlett) who find themselves torn between their Visitor friendly son Daniel (David Packer) and the Holocaust survivor grandfather Abraham (Leonardo Cimino). In fact the single best scene involves Abraham, who is wanting to hide the persecuted Maxwell's, reminding his son that this whole situation is all too familiar for the consequences of them not being hidden means "we haven't learned a thing". This is a scene that is not only well acted and well written but incredibly rare in your average science fiction story as well. There's also many other fine members of the cast including Neva Patterson (Donovan's mom), Evan Kim (Donovan's camera partner Tony), Jenny Sullivan (reporter turned Visitor spokeswoman Kristine Walsh) and Kristine Walsh (as Gardener turned rebel Sancho) amongst many others. The human side of the cast is just the tip of the iceberg though.

There's also a fine cast playing the alien "visitors" as well. They range from their seemingly benevolent leader John (played briefly and well by Richard Herd) to Andrew Prine as the authoritative Steven. Then there's the innocent abroad in the form of Robert Englund as Willie and the resistance from within the visitors themselves in the form of Frank Ashmore as Martin and Jenny Neumann as Barbara. Then there is Jane Badler as Diana, perhaps the most attractive and conniving of the alien visitors, who plays the role with a seriousness not usually found in this kind of role. Together they form one of the best, and definitely one of the most diverse, cast of alien invaders ever assembled.

V is also aided by fine work behind the camera. There's the cinematography of John McPherson especially the tracking shot of characters watching the first contact sequence and the scenes in the mother-ship. The production design in the form of the mother ship interiors are fine examples of science fiction sets. There's also the special effects work ranging from the excellent shots of mother-ships (a decade plus before Independence Day) to the aerial dogfight at the end which all work marvelously for the most part despite a very few shots which don't look quite finished. No review of V is complete without mentioned the fine prosthetic work of the miniseries which range from the Visitors true faces to some rather uncomfortable dining sequences. Last, but not least by any means, is the fine score by composer Joe Harnell which takes puts together classical music influences and choir in one of the most unusual and best scores produced for any science fiction television piece I have heard, especially for the opening and closing credits of any part. In short: strong production values go a long way.

To my mind V's ultimate success lies in the script and direction of Kenneth Johnson. V was originally conceived not as a science fiction tale of alien invasion but as the tale of a fascist takeover of the U.S which can still be found deeply embedded in the final product. In fact that is what separates V from many other alien invasion stories. V is about fascism, how people can be lured in by it, how far those in power will go to secure their position, how the average person will react and what happens when ordinary people stand up to resist it. There's also more then a few hints of Nazi Germany as well from the Swastika-like symbol of the Visitors to Friends of the Visitors youth groups (the Hitler Youth) and, before the miniseries is over with, a strong allegory with the Holocaust as well (see the miniseries to get it). Wisely Johnson also puts a fair (but not gratitude) amount of action in as well which helps to compliment the story and move it along. V is embedded in the technology and culture of the 1980's when it was made to sure but that doesn't date the story at all. Instead V becomes, like H.G. Welles War of the Worlds before it, a timeless tale of alien invasion and human resistance to it.

What makes V successful? Well it's large cast of fine actors, nice cinematography, good special effects work, excellent prosthetic work and fine score go along way. Yet the true success of V lies in its script and story. Why? Because ultimately V is not about spaceships and ray-guns but is about people and their reactions to the extraordinary events around them.


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