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Total Recall (1990)

R  |   |  Action, Sci-Fi  |  1 June 1990 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 227,115 users   Metascore: 57/100
Reviews: 382 user | 190 critic | 17 from Metacritic.com

When a man goes for virtual vacation memories of the planet Mars, an unexpected and harrowing series of events forces him to go to the planet for real - or does he?



(short story "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale") (as Phillip K. Dick) , (screen story), 5 more credits »
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 7 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Marshall Bell ...
Roy Brocksmith ...
David Knell ...
Alexia Robinson ...
Mark Carlton ...


Douglas Quaid is haunted by a recurring dream about a journey to Mars. He hopes to find out more about this dream and buys a holiday at Rekall Inc. where they sell implanted memories. But something goes wrong with the memory implantation and he remembers being a secret agent fighting against the evil Mars administrator Cohaagen. Now the story really begins and it's a rollercoaster ride until the massive end of the movie. Written by Harald Mayr <marvin@bike.augusta.de>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


They stole his mind, now he wants it back. See more »


Action | Sci-Fi


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

1 June 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El vengador del futuro  »

Box Office


$65,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$5,788 (USA) (10 August 2012)


$119,412,921 (USA) (17 August 2012)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints) (4 channels)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This was one of the last major Hollywood blockbusters to make large-scale use of miniature effects as opposed to CGI. It was also one of the first major Hollywood blockbusters to use CGI (mainly for the scenes involving the X-Ray scanner) and have it look "photo-real". See more »


After the escalator shootout, Richter steps off the escalator, landing his foot next to the dead body of one of his goons. In the next shot, the same foot lands squarely on the goon's chest. See more »


[first lines]
[Doug awakens from a nightmare]
Lori: Doug? Honey, are you all right?
Lori: You were dreaming. Doug? Was it about Mars?
Lori: [kisses him] Is that better?
Douglas Quaid: Hmm.
Lori: My poor baby. This is getting to be an obsession.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Play the Total Recall (1990) video game by Acclaim. See more »


Referenced in Tekken: Blood Vengeance (2011) See more »


Ja, Vi Elsker Dette Landet
Written by Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Certainly One Of Arnie's Best Ever Movies
1 June 2004 | by (Isle Of Bute , Scotland) – See all my reviews

I've seen TOTAL RECALL many times over the years and I'm never failed to be impressed with it . Some people dislike it and I feel I must defend the movie

" Confused plot " - Sorry but I managed to understand the complex plot first time I saw the movie and was impressed that Hollywood had merged a high concept plot with a FX laden extravaganza , such a pity this didn't lead to more thoughtful action adventures . If you want to see a confused plot try watching a James Bond movie from the 1980s

" The violence " - Yeah this is a violent movie for sure but I do wish people would educate themselves to the work of directors before they criticize . Paul Verhoeven had previously made FLESH AND BLOOD and ROBOCOP so a futuristic adventure by Verhoeven that was awarded an 18 certificate isn't going to be confused with an episode of the teletubbies

What I liked from Verhoeven's directing is that he's made everything so recognizable , nothing is ridiculously futuristic looking and we see the characters wearing clothes that wouldn't look out of place in the 1980s . Verhoeven also brings little satirical stabs to the proceedings as he did with ROBOCOP and it's a great shame we see less and less of this European director working for Hollywood

Verhoeven even gets a good performance from Big Arnie , okay this body builder was never in danger of winning an Oscar but Arnie doesn't send himself up and nor do his wise cracks like in his other blockbusters but he does make for an affable - Though violent - hero . Michael Ironside gives the most memorable performance which considering he spends most of the movie running around with a gun is no small achievement .

One interesting thing I noticed about TOTAL RECALL after seeing it again last night is that it's unapologetic on being on the side of the rebels who are waging a war against the greedy Mars company . Anyone believe that if it was made today the rebels/terrorists would be the bad guys ?

Anyway this is along with the original TERMINATOR the best movie starring Arnie though most of the credit for this movie belongs to the screenwriters and director and it's a great pity Hollywood is reluctant to mix a high concept SF plot with a crowd pleasing action adventure

150 of 191 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Recent Posts
How did ReKall get an image of Melina? Citizen56
what was Cohaagens plan? jt-294
Dream or real? Verylegendary
proof that the whole movie never happened...? dev850
Proof it is a dream (no, it has nothing to do with Melina) jt-294
Come on Total Recall lovers. Can you get 100% in this little quiz? cottinghamster
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