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Total Recall (1990)

R  |   |  Action, Sci-Fi  |  1 June 1990 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 224,587 users   Metascore: 57/100
Reviews: 378 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


Get ready for the ride of your life. 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?


Composer Jerry Goldsmith had said that he had received some criticism about the movie's score that "the movie had no theme", to which he strongly disagreed, stating that the movie did in fact have a theme, but it wasn't the kind of theme that "people left the theaters whistling after". Goldsmith had modeled some of the movie's score after the score from Conan the Barbarian (1982) composed by Basil Poledouris. See more »


Stuntman's face is visible when Quaid jumps onto the subway car after breaking the window. 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 Dark City (1998) See more »


Rubble City
Written and Performed by Bruno Louchouarn
Produced by Joe La Mont
Published by Lygon St. Music and Barney Sue Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Action sci-fi at it's best..
9 December 1998 | by (Dundee, Scotland) – See all my reviews

Total Recall is without doubt Arnold Schwarzenegger's best movie since The Terminator. Arnold fits perfectly in the role of Doug Quaid (definitely his best acting in a movie to date) the confused construction worker and Ronny Cox provides his usual evil plotting arch bad-guy. The impressive visual effects are worth the movie's $100million price tag, and Paul Verhoeven proved that, as with Robocop and Starship Troopers, sci-fi is where he does his best work.

What does spoil films like these, however, are people who cannot grasp the concept of Science FICTION, and refuse to suspend their belief for 2 hours(a vital part of enjoying these movies). Movies like this don't work without the overplayed violence, cheesy one-liners and stunning effects. Take away any of these elements and you no longer have a sci-fi action movie.

Chill out, check out and enjoy...

126 of 173 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Proof it is a dream (no, it has nothing to do with Melina) jt-294
proof that the whole movie never happened...? dev850
Dream or real? Verylegendary
interesting explanation of characters which point to it maybe being real individualist00000
Very hard to rate the movie after seeing the remake first ghostofchurch
The memory implant vs. reality thing is pretty clear david-ddrew
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