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Contact (1997)

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



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
1,439 ( 50)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 15 wins & 26 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


If it's just us, it seems like an awful waste of space. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:





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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
See  »

Did You Know?


Peter Jackson did some visual effects for this film, repaying the favor to Robert Zemeckis, who executive-produced his film The Frighteners (1996). See more »


In a flashback to the early- to mid-'70s, we see a toy horse on young Ellie's nightstand. The horse is made by Breyer Animal Creations in the mid to late 1980s. See more »


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

Crazy Credits

"For Carl" See more »


Edited into Zaum - Andare a parare: Lo spazio dell'orbita (2011) See more »


Angry Days
Written by Joey Cape
Performed by Lagwagon
Played briefly during the opening sequence
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.

338 of 417 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Why is everybody in this movie stupid? Kevineasley-hltc
Eighteen hours in the pod and.... garyleigh-661-284912
Why didn't they send another person through the device??? oz_mant
This movie never addressed the Fermi Paradox redban02
Interstellar... DArKnight108
I couldn't really get into it despite loving Interstellar ohdearurdead
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