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Gattaca (1997)

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A genetically inferior man assumes the identity of a superior one in order to pursue his lifelong dream of space travel.

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987 ( 34)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Una Damon ...
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Vincent Nielson ...
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Clarence Graham ...
Personnel Officer
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Storyline

In the not-too-distant future, a less-than-perfect man wants to travel to the stars. Society has categorized Vincent Freeman as less than suitable given his genetic make-up and he has become one of the underclass of humans that are only useful for menial jobs. To move ahead, he assumes the identity of Jerome Morrow, a perfect genetic specimen who is a paraplegic as a result of a car accident. With professional advice, Vincent learns to deceive DNA and urine sample testing. Just when he is finally scheduled for a space mission, his program director is killed and the police begin an investigation, jeopardizing his secret. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Prisoner. His Cell. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for brief violent images, language, and some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

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Language:

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Release Date:

24 October 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Eighth Day  »

Box Office

Budget:

$36,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$4,320,202 (USA) (24 October 1997)

Gross:

$12,339,633 (USA) (27 February 1998)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The letters G, A, T & C are bolded in the opening titles. See more »

Goofs

When Vincent is born, it is reported there is a 99% probability of a heart condition. While at dinner with the family, this is repeated. However, later when the detectives are discussing the profile found they state there is a 90% chance the person has a heart condition. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Director Josef: You keep your work station so clean, Jerome.
Vincent: It's next to godliness. Isn't that what they say?
Director Josef: Godliness. I reviewed your flight plan. Not one error in a million keystrokes. Phenomenal. It's right that someone like you is taking us to Titan.
Vincent: Has the committee approved the mission? There's been talk of delay.
Director Josef: You shouldn't listen to talk. You leave in a week. You've got a substance test.
See more »

Crazy Credits

All instances of the letters A, C, G, and T (representing the four nucleotides of DNA -- see trivia entry) are emphasized in almost all names of people and companies credited in the film. These letters appear in a different typeface from the rest of the name; also, in the opening credits they appear onscreen a little before the rest of the name, while in the closing credits they appear in blue instead of white. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Castle: The Final Frontier (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

First Song (for Ruth)
Written by Charlie Haden
Performed by Stan Getz
Courtesy of Verve Records
By Arrangement with PolyGram Film & TV Licensing
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Uses science fiction to explore ideas, and reveal some depths of the human spirit
2 July 2001 | by (Ventura, CA) – See all my reviews

"There is no gene for the human spirit." This is the TAG line of the movie Gattaca, a film that searches deep within the heart of man. This is one of Ethan Hawke's strongest performances as a man who refuses to trust the odds, and relies on fate and sheer will to achieve his dreams. He borrows the body of a man without dreams, played by Jude Law in his best performance to date as well. Law simply captures every scene with his sly intelligence and deeply darkened soul. He has no illusions about life, or himself, and he is the perfect counterpoint to Hawke's unrelenting dreamer.

The performances only enhance, however, a wonderful script by first time writer/director Andrew Niccol. It deals with science fiction and the future in the best way, by exploring ideas. He quickly and easily presents a future not unimaginable, and truly existing in a "not-too-distant future." Genetic engineering is happening today all the time in areas outside the human species, and sometimes within. How long will it take before the gloves are taken off and science truly starts to decide the type of people humanity will become? What issues will be addressed when that time comes? Niccol addresses many of them already, mostly dealing with the discrimination that would probably take place in society. The most subtle and yet important question he asks though is whether a man is truly the sum of his genes, or could his spirit somehow carry him beyond all expectations? Such thoughts are dealt with through intelligent characters given intelligent diolague and placed with intelligent situations. It is interesting how such a thoughtful picture can be at time a real thriller to watch as well.

Gattaca is one of my favorite movies because it is not afraid to address important issues that are truly current in modern day society, and do it with great thought and heart. It wisely stresses the subtle theological questions of whether man ought to tamper with God's work, and whether the result would be a better society, or a better humanity.


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