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Contact (1997)

PG  |   |  Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi  |  11 July 1997 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 188,373 users   Metascore: 62/100
Reviews: 598 user | 158 critic | 22 from Metacritic.com

Dr. Ellie Arroway, after years of searching, finds conclusive radio proof of intelligent aliens, who send plans for a mysterious machine.



(novel), (story), 3 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 14 wins & 25 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sami Chester ...
Vernon (as SaMi Chester)
Timothy McNeil ...
Laura Elena Surillo ...
Cantina Woman
Michael Chaban ...
Hadden Suit
Willie (as Maximilian Martini)
Thomas Garner ...
Ian Broderick


Astronomer Dr. Ellie Arroway has long been interested in contact to faraway lands, a love fostered in her childhood by her father, Ted Arroway, who passed away when she was nine years old leaving her then orphaned. Her current work in monitoring for extraterrestrial life is based on that love and is in part an homage to her father. Ever since funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) was pulled on her work, which is referred to some, including her NSF superior David Drumlin, as more science fiction than science, Ellie, with a few of her rogue scientist colleagues, have looked for funding from where ever they could get it to continue their work. When Ellie and her colleagues hear chatter originating from the vicinity of the star Vega, Ellie feels vindicated. But that vindication is short lived when others, including politicians, the military, religious leaders and other scientists such as Drumlin, try to take over her work. When the messages received from space are decoded, ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Get ready for human's biggest discovery ever! See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some intense action, mild language and a scene of sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





| | |

Release Date:

11 July 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Contacto  »

Box Office


$90,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$20,584,908 (USA) (11 July 1997)


$100,853,835 (USA) (31 October 1997)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


At the beginning of the movie, can be heard all TV and sounds transmissions launched from outer space. According the camera moves away from Earth, these transmissions becoming older. As part of them it's possible heard:

-Third Eye Blind - Semi-Charmed Life (1997)

-Spice Girls - Wannabe (1997)

-Crash Test Dummies - God Shuffled His Feet (1993)

-Mr. Mister - Broken Wings (1985)

-Theme from Dallas (1978)

-Lipps Inc. - Funkytown (1979)

-A Taste of Honey - Boogie Oogie Oogie (1978)

-The Tramps - Disco Inferno (1976)

-Neil Armstrong's iconic "One small step for a man" (1969)

-Robert Kennedy shoot in hotel (1968)

-Martin Luther King's speech "I have a dream" (1963)

-President Kennedy shoot in Dallas (1963)

-Theme from The Twilight Zone (1959)

-Domenico Modugno - Volare (1958)

-Theme from The Lone Ranger (1949)

-President Roosevelt's speech "A date which will live in infamy" (1941)

-Hitler's speech in the Berlin Olympic Games' opening (1936, almost unrecognizable) See more »


The suggestion that a man-made Earth-orbiting satellite could have been used to simulate a signal emanating from a star is absurd. A satellite within Earth's or the Sun's gravitational fields can not carry enough fuel to maintain a position in front of a distant star for more than a fraction of a second out of every several hours. And since the signal was tracked from several locations on Earth, the sky would have to be filled with hoax satellites to fool more than one listening station. Moreover, the VLA alone would be able to confirm the distance of the signal from parallax. See more »


[first lines]
Young Ellie: CQ, this is W9GFO. CQ, this is W9GFO here. Come back?
See more »


References Viva Las Vegas (1964) See more »


Purple People Eater
Written by Sheb Wooley
Produced by Jimmy Buffett and Mike Utley
Performed by Jimmy Buffett
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

No film has moved me more than this one, ever
5 November 2004 | by (Perth, Australia) – See all my reviews

This, for me, is a masterpiece. I have enjoyed it more with each viewing.

Carl Sagan was a great man. He promoted science in the way it should be, portraying the profound mysteriousness of our universe with humility, and without dogma. In his book, the Demon-Haunted World, he quoted Einstein:

"All our science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike -- and yet it is the most precious thing we have".

Contact conveys this simple message in a subtle yet immensely powerful way. The performances are some of the most compelling I have seen, particularly by Jodie Foster and David Morse.

Just magnificent.

322 of 393 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Eighteen hours in the pod and.... garyleigh-661-284912
Why didn't they send another person through the device??? oz_mant
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I couldn't really get into it despite loving Interstellar ohdearurdead
This movie never addressed the Fermi Paradox redban02
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