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Alien Nation (1988)

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A few years from now, Earth will have the first contact with an alien civilization. These aliens, known as Newcomers, slowly begin to be integrated into human society after years of quarantine.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
William Harcourt
...
Leslie Bevis ...
Cassandra
...
Fedorchuk
...
Quint (as George Jenesky)
...
Joshua Strader
...
Det. Bill Tuggle
Tony Simotes ...
Wiltey
Michael David Simms ...
Human Dealer
Ed Krieger ...
Alien Dealer
...
Alterez
...
Trent Porter
...
Capt. Warner (as Frank McCarthy)
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Storyline

A few years from now, Earth will have the first contact with an alien civilisation. These aliens, known as Newcomers, slowly begin to be integrated into human society after years of quarantine but are victims of a new type of discrimination. When the first Newcomer police officer, Sam Francisco is assigned his new partner, he is given Matthew Sykes , a mildly racist veteran, the animosity between them soon gives way to respect as they investigate the Newcomer underworld, and especially Newcomer leader William Harcourt. Written by Jonathan Broxton <j.w.broxton@sheffield.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Prepare Yourself. See more »

Genres:

Action | Crime | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

7 October 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Future Tense  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$16,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$25,216,243 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Debut produced screenplay of writer Rockne S. O'Bannon. See more »

Goofs

When Sykes and George are chasing Harcourt and Kipling in the police car as they push them off the freeway they are on the driver's side, in the very next scene, they are on the passenger side of the car. See more »

Quotes

Det. Sgt. Matthew Sykes: Tell me the joke.
Det. Samuel 'George' Francisco: Stop me if you have heard it before. Why did the chicken cross the road?
Det. Sgt. Matthew Sykes: [coughs uncontrollably] I've heard it.
Det. Samuel 'George' Francisco: It's a good joke.
See more »

Connections

Followed by Alien Nation: Millennium (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

(SITTIN' ON) THE DOCK OF THE BAY
Written by Otis Redding and Steve Cropper
Performed by Michael Bolton
Courtesy of CBS Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Well made Sci-Fi
19 October 2005 | by (Portsmouth, England) – See all my reviews

Alien Nation is a cross over between Sci-Fi and the 'buddy cop' genre. What separates this from the usual buddy film is that instead of the difference being ethnic/class/gender, it is human (James Caan) and alien (Mandy Patinkin).

The clichéd beginning with the main character's partner being killed is done very well with stylish gunplay and set pieces. Caan really shines in the action scenes and it is great to see him in such a tough guy role. Caan is a great actor and can do more than macho as he shows in the scenes involving his daughter when Caan displays remorse, making the audience feel more sympathetic towards him. Caan aside, the cast is fairly mediocre, full of average actors except Terrence Stamp who puts on a good show as the bad guy.

Something I loved about this film is how similar everything is to The Terminator. This is due to the film being produced by Gale Ann Hurd and there being other members of the Terminator crew present. Like Terminator, Alien Nation greatly benefits from the dark, murky feel of the environment, giving it an edge over a lot of Sci-Fi films which suffer from being too 'shiny'.

The film does a great job at exploring racism, giving the impression of time repeating itself regarding the Western civilisations treatment of blacks when they were forced in to the country. Caan's conversion from despising the "Newcomers" to accepting them is admirable and convincing. It is not an overnight change and it is done discretely, very convincing.

As with a lot of escapism films, you can not take Alien Nation too seriously so it is best to approach this film with an open mind and desire to be entertained rather than wishing to be introspective. A very well made, enjoyable film.


27 of 33 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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