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Contact (1997)

PG  |   |  Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi  |  11 July 1997 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 188,338 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:





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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
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Did You Know?


This was the last movie seen by Italian fashion designer Gianni Versace mere hours before being gunned down by stalker Andrew Cunanan. See more »


During the close-up of Fish watching Palmer's Larry King interview, the TV screen is reflected in Fish's glasses. In that reflected image Mr. King is talking, but the audio from the TV is Palmer's voice. See more »


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


Referenced in Dean Norris Spoils Everything Else (2013) See more »


Who Needs Wings To Fly
Written by Dominic Frontiere and Sid Wayne
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Diamond in the Rough
26 June 2003 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

So many movies out there are pure drivel. They use sex, or shock, or sex to sell two hours of something that in no way contributes to our existence; be it inspiration, knowledge or spiritual awakening.

Contact is an exceptional example of a movie that DESERVES to exist. From the spectactular beginning shot that shows us just how small we are in a world that once thought the universe was made for, and around, mankind; to its realistic conclusion that any X-Phile would expect to happen: this movie appeals to our humanity, intelligence and sense of adventure.

One of the greatest realisations that the movie will guide you to is that what we search for in outer space is actually in our own backyards. We are cut off from each other and sci-fi tries to quell our loneliness with ideas that we'll meet E.T. and wont feel so lonely in our existence. But were AREN'T alone... we have each other.

I never get tired of watching this movie, though I wish they brought out a packed special edition DVD full of behind the scene effects and the like.

198 of 243 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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