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Phenomenon (1996)

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An ordinary man sees a bright light descend from the sky, and discovers he now has super-intelligence and telekinesis.



(as Gerald Dipego)
7 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Prof. John Ringold
Dr. Wellin
Al Pennamin
Ashley Buccille ...
Glory Pennamin
FBI Agent Jack Hatch (as Bruce Young)
Ted Rhome


John Travolta plays George Malley, who owns the local auto repair shop in a small California town. After celebrating his birthday with friends at the local bar/hang-out, George heads for home. He pauses to watch a strange light in the sky, then collapses for a few seconds in the middle of the deserted street. In the days and weeks that follow, George finds his IQ and consciousness expanding dramatically, and develops telekinetic abilities. Despite his attempts to explain what has happened to him, with just a very few exceptions, most of the local townspeople treat the "new" George as a freak. His state of isolation becomes even more pronounced when his new-found abilities allow him to correctly predict an earthquake, and outside authorities become interested in what's happened to him. Written by - written by: R. Merriman <wyldberi@msn.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Some things in life just can't be explained.

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for language and mild sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

3 July 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Fenomen  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office


$32,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$16,200,000, 7 July 1996, Wide Release

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Brent Spiner filmed his role in a day. See more »


Early in the film, George talks to the two children who are in their mother's pick-up truck parked on the street, with the boy sitting in the driver's seat pretending he's driving. George asks the boy to "Pop the hood", which is followed by the sound of the hood latch being released as though the boy did indeed release the hood from the driver's position. This is impossible, as vehicles of that pick-up truck's vintage (late '50's) did not have hood releases located inside the vehicle. Instead, the hood release lever was activated by reaching through the grill on the front of the vehicle. See more »


George Malley: You know, if we were to put this apple down, and leave it, it would be spoiled and gone in a few days. But, if we were to take a bite of it like this,
[bites apple]
George Malley: it would become part of us, and we could take it with us, forever.
[offers the apple to Glory, who takes a bite. Al refuses]
George Malley: Al, everything is on its way to somewhere. Everything.
See more »


Referenced in My Name Is Earl: Monkeys in Space (2006) See more »


Come See About Me
Written by Eddie Holland (as E. Holland), Lamont Dozier (as L. Dozier), and Brian Holland (as B. Holland)
Performed by The Supremes
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Travolta and Duval at their finest.....
3 August 2000 | by See all my reviews

This movie was, without a doubt, one of the finest ever made in a long, long time. I was expecting ti to take a sci-fi route with abductions and vulcan mind-melds...but the ending and explanation for George's predicament are not only plausable but heart-breaking. You cannot help but feel for a like George Malley. I didn't buy into too much of the hyseria surrounding the townsfolk as it seemed a little "tacked on"...but the performances by Travolta, Duval, Kyra Sedgwick and Forrest Whitaker made up for any shortcomings and plot holes. I have watched this movie time and time again and the combination of true emotional drama and a beautiful score nearly bring me to tears everytime. 9 out of 10.

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