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Release Date:
24 February 1984 (West Germany) See more »
Near the end of the 20th century, WMDs (weapons of mass destruction) are retired. However, certain factions plan to use a science space station as a weapon against each other. The astronauts inside will decide the world's fate. | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Catchy SciFi drama with good looks and a tense plot. See more (3 total) »


  (in credits order)
Richy Müller ... Billy Hayes
Franz Buchrieser ... Max Marek
Aviva Joel ... Eva Thompson
Matthias Fuchs ... Felix Kronenberg
Nikolas Lansky ... Gregor Vandenburg
Matthias Heller ... Security Guard (as Matias Heller)

Directed by
Roland Emmerich 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Roland Emmerich 

Produced by
Bernd Eichinger .... co-producer
Roland Emmerich .... co-producer
Wolfgang Längsfeld .... producer
Hans Weth .... producer
Peter Zenk .... producer
Original Music by
Hubert Bartholomae 
Cinematography by
Egon Werdin 
Film Editing by
Tomy Wigand 
Production Design by
Matthias Kammermeier 
Sebastian Stadler 
Set Decoration by
Annette Deiters 
Roger Katholing 
Costume Design by
Matthias Heller  (as Matias Heller)
Dorota Mazurkiewics 
Makeup Department
Monika Schoel .... makeup artist
Production Management
Klaus Dittrich .... production manager
Michael Hermes .... production manager
Gisela Hundertmark .... unit manager
Ulrich Limmer .... production manager
Nani Mahlo .... unit manager
Oscar Tiefenthal .... unit manager
Gabriele Walther .... production manager
Benny Weiler .... unit manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Markus Bräutigam .... assistant director
Sebastian Lentz .... assistant director
Oswald von Richthofen .... assistant director
Art Department
Ina Becker .... props
Cornelia Hopf .... props
Sound Department
Peter R. Adam .... sound
Milan Bor .... sound mixer
Corina Dietz .... sound editor
Hans Endrulat .... sound
Michael Hermes .... synch sound
Titus Lange .... sound
Robert Wiesmann .... sound (as Bob Wiesmann)
Special Effects by
Jacques Engels .... special effects
Guido Görisch .... special effects
Thomas Herbrich .... special effects
Egon Werdin .... special effects
Visual Effects by
Thomas Merker .... additional photography
Thomas Merker .... visual effects
Camera and Electrical Department
Annette Deiters .... still photographer
Ernst Gschwind .... lighting technician
Sepp Kopp .... lighting technician
Arnold Reidelhuber .... assistant camera
Herbert Umbrecht .... assistant camera
Klaus Witting .... assistant camera
Editorial Department
Susanne Schlegelmilch .... assistant editor
Other crew
Reinhard Albrecht .... production assistant
Caro Bull .... production assistant
Manfred Mayr-Haug .... dialogs
Michael Wagner .... titles

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
100 min
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

The most expensive (about 1.2 million DM) student film in Germany.See more »
Factual errors: The space station is said to "be 189 kilometers above Earth". Earth orbit cannot be maintained easily below about 250km where atmospheric drag slows satellites sufficiently that they fall to Earth.See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Roland Emmerich - Mein Leben (2009) (TV)See more »


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19 out of 25 people found the following review useful.
Catchy SciFi drama with good looks and a tense plot., 15 July 2002
Author: pope-1 from Germany

The year is 1997, and World Peace seems to have come, with most classic weapons of mass destruction having been abandoned. However, orbiting the Earth there is the European/American space station FLORIDA ARKLAB, capable of controlling the weather at any location on the planet underneath. A civil project by nature, it might be abused as an offensive weapon, since it could deliver devastation to any potential adversary simply by creating natural disasters such as storms and floods. No wonder the space station soon becomes the central point in rising political tensions between East and West, next stop World War 3 (as indicated by the German tagline (transl.) "The end of our future has already begun"). We're following the main protagonist Billy Hayes, an astronaut aboard the station, as he wades through a plot of secrecy and sabotage trying to tell friend from foe in the process.

This film is the first "real" movie by Roland Emmerich, and knowing his later works, it is, simply speaking, surprisingly good. First off, it was and is a visual treat by any standard, with well-crafted models and a set-design that made a point in trying to look as realistic as possible. At that, it is visually reminiscent of many other movies from that era (Star Wars or Moonraker, to name some), but doesn't fail nearly as badly as some of them do; it simply looks good. And what's more, this movie has a story that makes some sense and won't let you leave your seat until it is resolved. The acting is good, the characters are well drawn and partly are in for some surprise. The general mood is by no means optimistic, this is definitely a Cold War scenario, which nowadays of course has the tendency to make you chuckle, considering that 1997 looked totally different than portrayed in the movie.

Bottom line: if you know later Emmerich blockbusters such as ID4 and Godzilla, you definitely notice his handwriting in this one, and seeing the path he took from here on makes sense. But much unlike said later works, this movie excells not only in the audio and CGI department, but also has something like characters and storyline. People liked ID4 as a cineastic lollipop, but as a film, this one is far better than most

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