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Hackers (1995) Poster

(1995)

Trivia

Penn Jillette's character is named Hal in the credits, most likely a reference to the HAL9000 computer system from the sci-fi movie 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968).
Jonny Lee Miller and Angelina Jolie were married shortly after the making of the film, and then were divorced four years later.
The game being played in the arcade is a high-quality prototype of the Playstation game "Wipeout" by Psygnosis. It is done on a high-end SGI server and allowed the development team to try out tracks and gameplay, before porting it to the Playstation. As a result, there are features and graphics in the movie that do not exist in the actual game, including the "high score smashing" sequence.
All of the hacker handles proposed by the Joey were actual handles already used by real hackers.
The film's writer, director, and some cast members attended the New York City 2600 meeting, a monthly hangout of the local hacker community, to observe and talk with real-life hackers.
The "pool on the roof" prank is actually based on an old Stuyvesant H.S. prank of the "Sixth Floor Pool". The original Stuy building on East 15th Street in Manhattan had only five floors, and freshman were sent to look for a pool upstairs. The building had no pool. There was a literary publication at Stuyvesant referencing the prank called "Sixth Floor Pool". The school moved into the new building (featured in the movie) shortly before filming began.
The "Hacker Manifesto" read by Agent Bob was actually written by a hacker of great renown in the 1980s named Loyd Blankenship, who went by the name of The Mentor. It was published in PHRACK magazine, issue 07, file 03 in 1986.
Eugene Belford uses the pseudonym Babbage at the end of the film. Charles Babbage was the inventor of an early form of the computer.
William Gibson "invented" the term "Cyberspace" in 1982 for his book, Neuromancer.
The computer they break into is a fictional mainframe computer called a "Gibson" - a homage to cyberpunk author William Gibson.
The character name "Emmanuel Goldstein" is taken from George Orwell's novel "Nineteen Eighty-Four". It is also used as a pseudonym by Emmanuel Goldstein (aka Eric Corley), who publishes the magazine "2600, The Hacker Quarterly". Corley was an uncredited consultant for this film.
Around the movie's release, the official website was modified by its webmasters to appear that it had been "hacked into," and digital graffiti and instructions to "see 'The Net' instead" was added to the site's graphics.
The high school scenes were filmed at Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan, one of a few elite, exclusive high schools for students gifted in math, science and computers. Real school seniors were extras in many scenes. In the real school, the pool is on the first floor.
"ARF! ARF! GOTCHA", which appears near the end, when the Gibson is about to crash, is a reference to one of the earliest Trojan horse programs, EGABTR from 1985. Disguised as a graphics utility, EGABTR spread by email, wiped out everything on a victim's hard disk, and left only the message, "Arf, arf, Gotcha!" on the screen. "ARF" may also serve double duty as a reference to the German hacker group "Asoziale Randgruppe Frankfurt".
The poster for this movie shows Acid Burn and Crash Override with various words and ASCII symbols transposed on their faces. Amongst the words are:
  • 1. Names of hackers in the movie, including Lord Nikon, Acid Burn, and Crash Override


  • 2. Some of the commonly-used passwords, according to Plague, such as God, Sex, Love, and Secret


  • 3. Phreak - a "phone freak" - a hacker who concentrates their knowledge on telephone systems. (Phantom Phreak was the main Phreaker in the hacker group)


All of the books identified by Dade at the club were real manuals. All but two, the Pink Shirt Book and the Unix Bible, were published by the DoD and were part of a set of books known as the Rainbow Series.
The "hacking"-sequences - the scenes where you see the "inside" of a computer - are mostly motion-controlled models, because director Iain Softley thought that actual computer graphics would look too artificial.
At the beginning of the movie when Dade phones the security desk of the television station he is hacking in to he gives the name of Eddie Vedder, the singer of the rock band Pearl Jam.
At one point Eugene "The Plague" Belford uses the term "keyboard cowboy". This is likely a reference to the term "console cowboy" that author William Gibson uses in his novel Neuromancer.
The distinctive ring Kate Libby wears is the "Original Armour Ring" by jewelry designer Marche' Noir.
When Zero Cool tries to get to Razor and Blade on stage, and gets thrown off by security, he crowd surfs. Some one can quickly be seen trying to steal his bright orange beeper from his belt.
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The director auditioned Hilary Swank, Heather Graham, and Liv Tyler for the role which ultimately went to Angelina Jolie.
Cyberdelia was built from scratch in an abandoned indoor swimming pool on the outskirts of London, with the center of the club in the depths of what was the pool. Producer Ralph Winter notes, "We never knew why, but the pool was designated an historic landmark, so great care had to be taken not to damage anything and to return it to its original state."
Edward Norton auditioned for a role.
Jesse Bradford was originally brought in by casting directors to audition for the role of Dade Murphy but after reading the script, Bradford felt that he would rather audition for Joey Pardella and was eventually cast in that part.
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The part of Kate "Acid Burn" Libby was originally offered to Katherine Heigl, but due to prior commitments to Under Siege 2: Dark Territory (1995) she had to turn it down.
During the subway scene Nikon had a marijuana leaf and supreme original box logo sticker pasted on his laptop.
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Eugene Belford (Fisher Stevens) is probably named after Eugene Blaufarb, who was at the time of shooting the school principal of Stuyvesant High the location for the High School scenes.
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Although they were all playing high school students, Jonny Lee Miller was 23 at the time of filming, Angelina Jolie was 20 and Matthew Lillard was 25. Only Jesse Bradford really fit the bill, being 16 at the time.
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Jonny Lee Miller actually made this before his name-making appearance in Trainspotting (1996).
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The cast were given three weeks to hang out together, get to know each other better and learn how to skateboard properly before filming began. They also spent most of that time studying computers and hacking.
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Jonny Lee Miller attended a hacking convention to help him get into character.
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For the cyberspace sequences, director Iain Softley insisted on not using CGI.
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Two of the characters, Phantom Freak and Cereal Killer have hacking pseudonyms which are puns of actual hacking terms. Phantom Freak refers to Phreaking (hacking phone/telecommunications services). Cereal in Cereal Killer refers to serial keys which is a common name for software license keys.
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When the character Phantom Freak says to Dade he is "the king of NYNEX" this is a reference to the NYNEX Corporation, a prominent telecommunications company covering New York and New England until 1997.
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When Nikon is walking through Ellingson Mineral's office looking for people's passwords as they type them in, during the cut away sequence showing a person typing, the letters K-E-R-M-I-T are pressed. Kermit is a well-known file transfer protocol computers used to exchange files. The 'backronym' created to avoid legal issues with The Muppets is "KL10 Error-Free Reciprocal Microprocessor Interchange over TTY lines".
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