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Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986)

PG  |   |  Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi  |  26 November 1986 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 57,166 users   Metascore: 67/100
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To save Earth from an alien probe, Admiral Kirk and his fugitive crew go back in time to 20th century Earth to retrieve the only beings who can communicate with it, humpback whales.



(television series Star Trek), (story), 5 more credits »
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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Starfleet Communications Officer


James T. Kirk who after rescuing Mr. Spock and bringing him to Vulcan where he is fully restored, is now the most hated man in the universe, because he disobeyed his superiors, killed a Klingon crew and took their ship. After three months on Vulcan, Kirk decides to return to Earth to face the consequences of his actions along with his crew who aided him. Also accompanying them is Mr. Spock, who is still trying to understand his human side. What they don't know is that an alien probe approaches Earth and is emitting a signal that nullifies all power systems. And it is now vaporizing the planet's oceans covering the planet in a cloud that covers the earth cutting them off from the sun - the planet's main source of energy. The President of the Federation sends a transmission telling everyone about what is happening and to stay away from Earth. Kirk upon hearing it, checks out the probe's transmission and Spock postulates that the alien is not hostile merely unaware that its transmissions... Written by

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


They travelled back where 23rd century man had never gone before. To a mad, crazy, outrageous time. 1986. See more »


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

26 November 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Star Trek IV: The Adventure Continues  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$25,000,000 (estimated)


$109,713,132 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


When the time travel story line was proposed, a few different time periods were considered. Ultimately the contemporary (1986) time period was selected largely to make use of the opportunity for extensive outdoor location shooting. In addition, there would be no budget constraints relating to the use of period costuming, sets and props. See more »


The painted-on "HMS Bounty" on the Bird-of-Prey is visible only when Kirk asks his crew if they will stand trial with him. See more »


[about 20th Century America]
Kirk: This is an extremely primitive and paranoid culture.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The end credits play on top of photos and clips from the film. See more »


Featured in Pavel Chekov's Screen Moments (2009) See more »


I Hate You
Written by Kirk R. Thatcher (as Kirk Thatcher)
Arranged by Mark A. Mangini (as Mark Mangini)
Performed by Edge of Etiquette
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A Vivid, Upbeat, Frequently Intelligent and Delightful Sci-Fi Adventure
15 June 2005 | by See all my reviews

The fourth entry in the "Star Trek" movie series is the most popular and unarguably the best-liked of these entertaining movies. It has a fine variety of scenes, intelligent comedy to leaven the more serious adventures. it is fast paced, beautifully directed by Leonard Nimoy who also plays "Spock". What prevented it from being even better perhaps appreciated is a deliberate attempt by the writers to write short, choppy-sentence dialogue that in some scenes does not work as well as more formally-structured words might have worked. The film is bright, the art direction is very good, the music by Leonard Rosenmann is outstanding. And the story line is one of the best that sci-fi filmmakers have yet devised, in my judgment, because it has everything. As Captain James T. Kirk of the 23rd century starship Enterprise, William Shatner acts with unusual intelligence and even strength to get by. As his half-alien First Officer Spock, just recovering from a traumatic experience that caused him to have to be reeducated from ground zero, Leonard Nimoy is even better. Everyone of Jim Kirk's crewmen, including James Doohan as Engineer Montgomer Scott, De Forest Kelley as CMO Leonard McCoy, Nichelle Nichols as Lt. Uhura of Communications, talented George Takei as Helmsman Sulu, and Walter Koenig as Navigator Pavel Chekhov, have good scenes to perform and do them seamlessly and with professional style. Others in the cast including Brock Peters, Jane Wyatt, Mark Lenard, Grace Lee Whitney, Alen Henteloff, Robert Ellenstein and a relative unknown as the earthwoman who becomes enmeshed in the Enterprise officers' mission,are given telling moments. There are many memorable visual moments, including the departure of a stolen Klingon warbird from the planet Vulcan, the near-wreckage of Starfleet Headquarters, the landing of an invisible vessel in Golden Gate Park, a slingshot run around the sun, a descent from the invisible craft to the ground, scenes around the Alameda Navy Yards, a chase in a hospital and scenes at the cetacean Institute all make themselves hard-to-forget. It is the sheer fun and adventure of the storyline--sending a starship back in time to rescue two hump-backed whales and save the earth from alien destruction--that sets this film apart. Ignored by critics who have nearly always ignored sci-fi achievements, this cinematic attainment set a standard for future sci-fi to which hardly any film's maker has yet approached. The revelation of character could have been deeper, but the relevance of every moment to the plot line could hardly have been bettered. Harve Bennett deserves some of the credit for this script's excellences; so do the special-effects creators, since for once in Hollywood, every such effects serve to further the progress the central character and his helpers are making. This is probably a film to be watched over and over; I wish there were more such adult sci-fi efforts that eschew pretension and present so much intelligent dialogue, acting and intriguing "differences".

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