IMDb > The Philadelphia Experiment (1984)
The Philadelphia Experiment
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The Philadelphia Experiment (1984) More at IMDbPro »


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Michael Janover (screenplay) and
William Gray (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for The Philadelphia Experiment on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
3 August 1984 (USA) See more »
Will you survive? See more »
A United States Navy destroyer escort participates in a Navy "invisibility" experiment that inadvertently sends two sailors 40 years into the future. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
1 win & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Excellent movie for a date See more (53 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Michael Paré ... David Herdeg

Nancy Allen ... Allison Hayes

Eric Christmas ... Dr. James Longstreet
Bobby Di Cicco ... Jim Parker
Louise Latham ... Pamela

Kene Holliday ... Major Clark
Joe Dorsey ... Sheriff Bates
Michael Currie ... Magnussen

Stephen Tobolowsky ... Barney
Gary Brockette ... Adjutant / Andrews
Debra Troyer ... Young Pamela
Miles McNamara ... Young Longstreet (as Miles Mc Namara)
Ralph Manza ... Older Jim
James Edgcomb ... Officer Boyer

Glenn Morshower ... Mechanic

Rodney Saulsberry ... Doctor
Vivian Brown ... Ma Willis
Stephanie Faulkner ... TV Newscaster #1
Ed Bakey ... Pa Willis

Michael Villani ... TV Newscaster #2

Vaughn Armstrong ... Cowboy
Bill Smillie ... Evangelist
Lawrence Lott ... Technician
Stephan O'Reilly ... Punk Rocker

Clay Wilcox ... Transvestite (as Clayton Wilcox)
Pat Dasko ... Dry Wells Newscaster
Pamela Brull ... Doris
Richard Jewkes ... Technician
Pamela Doucette ... Nurse
Michael Ruud ... Truck Driver
Deborah E. Dixon ... Nurse
Mary Lois Grantham ... Mrs. Waite
Rick Schrand ... Mandell
Patrick DeSantis ... Jim Jr. (as Patrick De Santis)
Charles Hall ... Commander
David Michels ... Prison Guard (as David Allen Michaels)
Raymond Kowalski ... Radio Technician (as Raymond Kowlaski)
Andrew McCartney ... Technician (as Andrew Mc Cartney)
Anthony R. Nuzzo ... Generator Technician

Robin Krieger ... X-Ray Technician
Joe Moore ... Commander's Buddy
Don Dolan ... Driver
Brent S. Laing ... Radar Technician
Jeffrey S. Smith ... Sailor
Tony Farrell ... Bandleader
Andrew Bracken ... Dazed Sailor
Rudy Daniels ... Policeman #1
Jay Bernard ... Engineer
Steve Sachs ... First Sailor
Bo Parham ... Radio Operator
Harry Beer ... Second Sailor
Kerry Lee Maher ... Radio Operator
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Sharon Doss ... Violet (uncredited)
Gilbert Girion ... Policeman (uncredited)

Directed by
Stewart Raffill 
Writing credits
Michael Janover (screenplay) and
William Gray (screenplay)

Wallace C. Bennett (story by) (as Wallace Bennett) and
Don Jakoby (story by)

Charles Berlitz (book) &
William L. Moore (book)

Produced by
Pegi Brotman .... associate producer
John Carpenter .... executive producer
Douglas Curtis .... producer
Joel B. Michaels .... producer
Original Music by
Kenneth Wannberg  (as Ken Wannberg)
Cinematography by
Dick Bush (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Neil Travis 
Casting by
Linda Francis 
Art Direction by
Chris Campbell 
Set Decoration by
Diane Campbell 
Costume Design by
Joanna Palace  (as Joanne Palace)
Makeup Department
Joe Giannone .... hair
Annie Maniscalco .... makeup
Production Management
Billy Ray Smith .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Max W. Anderson .... second unit director
Jeffrey Chernov .... first assistant director
Gail Joyce Fortmuller .... second assistant director
Pat Kehoe .... first assistant director (as Patrick Kehoe)
Art Department
Brit Babcock .... lead set dresser
Lee Berglund .... property master
Scott H. Campbell .... model maker
W. Stewart Campbell .... visual consultant
John Carney .... property assistant
Bill Cornford .... construction coordinator: utah
Robert Van Dyke .... propmaker foreman
Andrew Probert .... pre-production design consultant (uncredited)
Sound Department
John K. Adams .... supervising sound editor
Gary Alexander .... dialogue mixer
Barbara J. Boguski .... adr (as Barbara Boguski)
James T. Burns .... boom man
Robert Gravenor .... sound mixer (as Bob Gravenor)
Devon Heffley Curry .... adr (as Devon Heffley)
Duane Hensel .... foley artist
Dick Le Grand .... sound effects
Maggie Ostroff .... sound apprentice
R.J. Palmer .... sound apprentice
John Post .... foley artist
Steve Rice .... dialogue editor
Charles Ewing Smith .... sound effects (as Chuck Smith)
Larry Stensvold .... effects mixer
David Lewis Yewdall .... sound designer
R.J. Kizer .... dialogue editor (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Max W. Anderson .... special effects
Casey Cavanaugh .... special effects technician
Lawrence J. Cavanaugh .... special effects coordinator (as Larry Cavanaugh)
Steve Lombardi .... special effects technician (as Steven Lombardi)
Robert G. Willard .... special effects technician (as Bob Willard)
R. Bruce Steinheimer .... special effects foreman (uncredited)
Visual Effects by
Max W. Anderson .... special visual effects
Beth Block .... optical supervisor
Betzy Bromberg .... printer operator
Steve Caldwell .... visual effects photography
Stuart Cudlitz .... visual effects stage assistant
Joshua Cushner .... visual effects camera operator
Christofer Dierdorff .... visual effects photography (as Chris Dierdorff)
Judith Evans .... editorial assistant
Deborah Gaydos .... animator
Julia Gibson .... visual effects supervisor
Ed Harker .... printer operator
Holly Hudson .... animator
Sharon Johnston .... production assistant
Douglas S. Kay .... computer graphics: as Joblove/Kay
Katherine Kean .... animator
Jon Lee .... motion control art director
Candace Lewis .... animation assistant (as Candy Lewis)
Paula A. Lumbard .... visual effects producer
Roxanne Mayweather .... assistant to producer
Bret Mixon .... animation assistant
Juniko Moody .... animation camera operator
Sarah Pasanen .... line-up (as Sara Pasanen)
Jonathan Seay .... visual effects cameramen
Stephen Small .... special rigging
Peter Taylor .... special rigging
Anthony Weber .... visual effects stage assistant
Craig Clark .... special effects animator (uncredited)
Fernando Celis .... stunt coordinator
Monty Cox .... stunt player
Jon H. Epstein .... stunt double
Jon H. Epstein .... stunt player (as Jon Epstein)
Glory Fioramonti .... stunt player (as Gloria Fioramonti)
Ted Gincig .... stunt player
Lee Praggastis .... stunt player
Sherry Peterson .... stunts (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Michael Bolner .... electrician
Alan Brownstein .... electrician: south carolina
Garfield Burke .... electrician
Nick Cline .... electrician (as Nicolas Cline)
Vincent Contarino .... electrician
M.J. Elliott .... still photographer
Paul Elliott .... first assistant camera
Steven Finestone .... second assistant camera
Paul Hauser .... electrician
Ben Hausing .... best boy electric
Robert Hayes .... camera operator
Jeff 'Moose' Howery .... best boy grip: south carolina (as Jeff Howery)
Bobby Huber .... electrician: south carolina (as Robert Huber)
Victor Kloster .... generator technician
Michael LaViolette .... electrician (as Michael La Violette)
Edward 'Tantar' LeViseur .... grip: south carolina (as Edward Tantar Le Viseur)
Gary Louzon .... second unit assistant cameraman
Ron McCausland .... key grip
Robert McClure .... best boy electric: south carolina (as Robert Mc clure)
David Michels .... grip (as Dave Michaels)
Roger Olkowski .... gaffer
Michael Paris .... still photographer
Jonathan Seay .... second unit photographer
Dylan Shephard .... grip
Ron Sky .... electrician
Philip Sloan .... best boy grip (as Phil Sloan)
Michael Stocks .... grip
Wayne Stroud .... best boy electric
Casting Department
Jeff Greenberg .... casting assistant
Barbara Harris .... voice casting
Cate Praggastis .... casting: Utah
Gary Towles .... extras casting assistant
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Marydith Chase .... assistant wardrobe
Steve Lepre .... wardrobe assistant: south carolina
Editorial Department
William Hoy .... editor
Terry Kelley .... assistant editor
David M. Perkins .... final colorist (2000 DVD)
Arthur Tostado .... color timer
Music Department
Joel Fein .... music mixer
John R. Harris .... music editor
Eric Tomlinson .... music recorded by
Transportation Department
Chris Arnaud .... driver: south carolina
Johnny Bartlet .... driver (as Johnny R. Bartlett)
Al Bartoli .... driver
Dana Bennett .... driver: south carolina
Darren Christensen .... driver: utah
Todd Christensen .... driver: utah
Jackie Crane .... honeywagon driver: south carolina
Keenan Haight .... driver (as Ken Haight)
Allan Herendeen .... driver
Jimmie Holland .... driver (as Jimmy Dale Holland)
Frank Kanig .... driver: utah
Thomas Melton .... driver: south carolina
Peggy Stuber .... driver: utah
Tom F. Thomas .... transportation captain (as Tom Thomas)
Eddie Lee Voelker .... transportation captain: south carolina
Other crew
Jamie Arbuckle .... production assistant
Bob Blongiewicz .... production assistant
Brent Bowman .... production assistant
Corey Burton .... adr loop group
Randall L. Crocker .... production assistant: south carolina (as Randall Crocker)
Rudy Daniels .... craft service
Catherine Davis .... production assistant: south carolina
Lawrence Doll .... helicopter pilot
Michael Donner .... assistant auditor
Al Ebner .... unit publicist
Jim Gerwig .... caterer: Proud Chef (as James Gerwig)
Reggie Jackson .... location manager: utah
Eric Johnson .... production assistant
Coni Lancaster .... production coordinator
Joseph A. Liuzzi .... location manager (as Joe Luizzi)
Michelle Marshall .... completion guarantor: The Completion Bond Company
Thomas R. McDonough .... technical advisor (as Dr. Thomas R. Mc Donough)
Connie Papineau .... script supervisor (as Connie Papinau)
Lewis Petty .... caterer: Proud Chef
Amy Rabins .... production auditor
Joseph Raffill .... location manager
Steve Rhea .... location manager
Debra Rosen .... representative: South Carolina Film Commission
John D. Sarviss .... helicopter pilot
Susan Sinclair .... production secretary: south carolina
Phil Strauss .... production assistant
Randy Stricklin .... production assistant
Douy Swofford .... title designer
Teresa Thomas .... production secretary

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
102 min
Color (CFI) | Color
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

This film is widely believed to be based on a real-life and ill-fated experiment with invisibility and force fields in the 1940s. However, to the best of any factual knowledge, no such experiment ever occurred and the story was the work of an eccentric loner, Carl Allen, who sent notes on the "experiment" to the government in the 1950s and whose story was later leaked. Despite the lack of any factual evidence, the story has become an urban legend and favorite of conspiracy theorists, who point to the lack of evidence as proof that it's being covered up.See more »
Revealing mistakes: When Allison and David try to contact David's family members, the rotary dial telephone in the hotel room has no cord.See more »
Allison Hayes:Why'd you join the Navy?
David Herdeg:You know the old saying: girl in every port.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Features Battlezone (1980) (VG)See more »
In the MoodSee more »


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37 out of 45 people found the following review useful.
Excellent movie for a date, 15 May 2006
Author: simnia-1 from United States

I first saw this film in a theater on a date, and it was an excellent choice, with science fiction for the guys, romance for the ladies, a pleasant feel throughout, and nothing too racy or too gory. I'm really surprised at all the negative comments about this film, and how it should be remade. I thought it was quite good as it was, other than in a few minor details, and I can't imagine it being remade without destroying the special moods it created.

My favorite part is the aerial scene of the orange groves and eucalyptus trees in inland California as David and Allison are driving down a rural highway, seeking out David's old friends. After all the tension in the earlier part of the film, this peaceful interlude set to pleasant music while soaring over the rolling hills is a beautiful contrast, and it becomes the high part of the film. The soothing old '40s music that David switches to on the car radio adds to the ambiance, and it becomes easy to imagine that time has stood still in this part of the country, which of course fits perfectly with the main plot. This mood is extended by David pointing out old landmarks he remembers: a church, a big old tree, and an old gas station. Then old black-and-white photographs on the wall of the gas station of David and his father bring the point home that David was telling the truth all along. It's a poignant scene as David is proud of his dad's accomplishments late in life while he simultaneously laments his father's passing. Too often nowadays films are made with "yang-on-yang" nonstop tension, action, and violence without any pleasant, relaxing high points, so I think this film was very well balanced in that way.

There are a number of other very well-done tidbits throughout the film. For example, David's question to the doctor, "Is this sort of thing possible now?", when describing time travel is something that only a bona-fide time traveler would say, and I remember the audience chuckled in delight at that perfect bit of dialog. Another gem is when David bluntly asks the transvestite in his jail cell, "What the hell are you dressed like that for?" I've known down-to-earth, practically-minded, heterosexual sailors, and that's exactly how they react to our modern era's confusing gender bending. Another gem was David flatly declaring that the water his friend Jim sees in the distance is a mirage, and then Jim ribbing David about David's mistake as they trudge through miles of water.

I thought the romance worked extremely well. Note David's defensiveness about his love life when he's in the '40s, and how standoffish his '40s girlfriend is, and then contrast that to the magnanimous personality of Allison in the '80s, who coincidentally has the same curly red hair as his '40s girlfriend--evidently the look David likes. Allison becomes the ideal version of his '40s girlfriend, and understandably becomes David's new focus in life. They make a very nice couple, I think.

There are admittedly some weak points in the film. The 2001-type vortex travel scene has some unconvincing effects, but considering they're trying to show what the fourth dimension looks like, which presumably has nothing in common with our universe, it's hard to find fault in their visualization. The glowing hands and electric arcs flying out from the arcade games and power lines are a little weak, as are people's reactions to those, and the carrying of top secret papers, and the implausible landing on a ship in a vortex, but I regard those are minor points. The modern day reaction of Jim to his old friend seems unrealistic at first until you think about it, and the explanation given about Jim's psychological problems after the experiment makes perfect sense and adds a bit of unexpected realism. In real life you can't expect to look up old friends and have everything go back to the way it used to be. Such details in the film fit together quite well, I believe.

Whether or not this movie follows the historical facts and rumors of the original Philadelphia Experiment isn't particularly important to me. What I care about is whether the film stands on its own as a piece of art, and in my opinion it definitely does. This is a film I find myself thinking about from time to time, and I like to watch it every so often. To me it's a film worth owning.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (53 total) »

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Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Philadelphia Experiment (1984)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
What do you know about this story? kapn_twitchy
The Philadelphia Experiment: the real explanation jdown-1
A different trailer? debtfull
no, it didn't happen. sheesh ca26
History Channel program 'The True Story of the Philadelphia Experiment' northern_imager
Really released in 1984? geekbelief
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