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*batteries not included (1987)

6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 18,525 users  
Reviews: 50 user | 15 critic

Apartment block tenants seek the aid of alien mechanical life-forms to save their building from demolition.

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Title: *batteries not included (1987)

*batteries not included (1987) on IMDb 6.4/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Michael Carmine ...
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Jane Hoffman ...
John DiSanti ...
Gus
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MacIntyre Dixon ...
Michael Greene ...
Doris Belack ...
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José Angel Santana ...
Goon #1 (as José Santana)
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Storyline

A group of tenants in an apartment block are being forced to move out so that it can be demolished. The tenants are reluctant to move, so the developers hire a local gang to 'persuade' them to leave. Fortunately, visiting alien mechanical life-forms come to town. When they befriend the tenants, the aliens use their extraterrestrial abilities to defeat the developers. Written by Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Five ordinary people needed a miracle. Then one night, Faye Riley left the window open.


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

18 December 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

*batteries not included  »

Box Office

Gross:

$32,945,797 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The building that housed Hume Cronyn's lunch counter was a unique old building that was the only one on the block. Twenty-five years earlier it was used for the Judy Holliday musical Bells Are Ringing (1960) with the block in the same condition. See more »

Goofs

When Carlos throws Frank Riley out his café and starts smashing it up, Frank gets up from the floor, then runs to the café window to look inside. You can see a boom mic reflected in the window. See more »

Quotes

Frank Riley: [to the robotic things] Welcome to America!
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the opening credits, pictures of young Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy are shown. This includes their actual wedding photo, since the actors (who often play a married couple on stage or in the movies) were married for decades. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Take Me Home Tonight (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

LET'S HAVE ANOTHER CUP OF COFFEE
by Irving Berlin
Performed by Jessica Tandy and Hume Cronyn
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Use only as directed...
12 May 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

*batteries not included is a very underrated movie, especially among reviewers on the IMDb. The pros, such as Roger Ebert seem to give it some respect (along with 3 thumbs up). There was nothing sugar coated about the performances of the 5 main characters in *batteries not included. Jessica Tandy gives one of the best performances of her career as Faye Riley who appears to be in the early-to-mid stages of Alzheimer's disease. Hume Cronyn is Faye's husband Frank, owner of a small diner with no customers. Elizabeth Peña is Marisa Esteval, a single soon-to-be mother who clings to her statue of the Virgin Mary for what little hope she has. Dennis Boutsikaris is the cynical artist/painter Mason Baylor, who has a heart as big as his artistic talent, yet no one other than Marisa seems to acknowledge his talent. Finally there's Frank McRae as the former boxer extraordinaire Harry Noble, now living in the basement of the building that houses each character and the Riley's diner. Oh... Harry watches way too much TV... especially the commercials. His only lines (which were few) in this movie were lines from commercials. This movie represents a cross section of people who are on the verge of losing their homes to a real estate developer, who will stop at nothing to get them out of their building. After throwing large sums of money at them (to no avail), the developer hires Carlos (Michael Carmine) to run them out using whatever means are necessary, including force. The characters are developed to the point that you actually care for all 5 of them. Just when it looks hopeless for our friends, small spaceships, compliments of Industrial Light and Magic show up and start fixing everything. And flipping burgers in Riley's Dinner. They also wash dishes, repair broken Virgin Mary statues and stopwatches and they replicate using spare pots and pans and electrical appliances, fused together by at least 1.21 gigawatt's of electricity. Although the aliens are portrayed as mechanical beings with heart, they certainly give hope to the residents, and help bind them together. The visual effects are a treat... especially for those of us who have tired of CGI effects that look more like a cartoon than reality. There's something about filming a real model, built by human hands against a blue screen, then matting it into the film that makes it look more realistic than computer animated visuals. Many have written that this movie tries to suck the viewer in, using emotional techniques, as opposed to making it an intellectual masterpiece. I believe it takes more talent to get the audience to emotionally invest themselves in a movie than to create eye candy. Thanks to great acting, a decent-enough script, good cinematography and an equally emotional score from James Horner, this picture works in every way... even 20 years later. If you haven't seen this movie in 20 years, go ahead and give it a spin. It's as good today as it was in 1987! Prices may vary in Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico...


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