A drifter discovers a pair of sunglasses that allow him to wake up to the fact that aliens have taken over the Earth.

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(short story "Eight O'Clock in the Morning"), (screenplay) (as Frank Armitage)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Holly
...
...
Raymond St. Jacques ...
Jason Robards III ...
Family Man
John Lawrence ...
Susan Barnes ...
...
Wendy Brainard ...
Lucille Meredith ...
Susan Blanchard ...
...
Dana Bratton ...
Black Junkie
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Storyline

Nada, a down-on-his-luck construction worker, discovers a pair of special sunglasses. Wearing them, he is able to see the world as it really is: people being bombarded by media and government with messages like "Stay Asleep", "No Imagination", "Submit to Authority". Even scarier is that he is able to see that some usually normal-looking people are in fact ugly aliens in charge of the massive campaign to keep humans subdued. Written by Melissa Portell <mportell@s-cwis.unomaha.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

You see them on the street. You watch them on TV. You might even vote for one this fall. You think they're people just like you. You're wrong. Dead wrong. See more »

Genres:

Action | Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

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Language:

Release Date:

4 November 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

John Carpenter's They Live  »

Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$13,008,928 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(4 channels)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie is based on Ray Nelson's short story "Eight O'clock in the Morning," of which the story's central character, George Nada, dies at the end due to a heart attack at 8:00 in morning. In the movie, the character George Nada is played by pro wrestler Roddy Piper. On July 30th, 2015, twenty-seven years after (They Live), Roddy Piper died of a heart attack. See more »

Goofs

When the money, from Nada's point of view, changes from regular bills to the "THIS IS YOUR GOD" bills, the folds in the paper are different and there is one less bill. See more »

Quotes

Frank: Listen, man, I don't like anyone following me if I don't know why they are.
Nada: Well, I don't join up with anyone, unless I know where they're going.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Battlefield Earth (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

I Love to Praise Him
(uncredited)
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User Reviews

The more things change, the more they stay the same.
8 September 2001 | by (Portland, OR) – See all my reviews

They Live. Where to begin? Yes, it is goofy. Yes the production value is very low. Yes the action is standard. The guns never empty. The fights are poorly choreographed at times. But that, my friends, is not the point.

This film was an attack on the Regan era. An attack on the rampant consumerism of the 80's. But open your mind. Saying that it's just an attack on the 80's is merely shutting your eyes. Telling yourself that things have gotten better. Sorry to disapoint you, but they haven't.

Rowdy Roddy Piper puts on some sunglasses. The world changes. Billboards now say Obey or Sleep. Or Marry and Reproduce. Magazines no longer have articles or advertisements. They are blank white pages with said phrases upon them. Money now are white pieces of paper that say This is Your God. Boy oh boy are they right.

So watch They Live. Grab some beer and score some corn. Enjoy the cheese. Enjoy the great one-liners. But also pay attention to the lines that sum up the truth. Remember the point of the film. Then go outside. Re-enter the corporate world outside your door.

You won't need special glasses to see the truth.


382 of 459 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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