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Gattaca (1997)

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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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:

Only the strong succeed 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:

Country:

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)
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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

Public address announcements, in the Gattaca Corporation headquarters building, are in Esperanto, an artificial language invented in the nineteenth century. See more »

Goofs

Using hair/eyelashes for genetic testing will fail if no follicle is attached, but this method is used when no other material is available or the information is being obtained surreptitiously (as Irene and the investigators are doing when they use this method). Urine is not the most efficient way to perform genetic testing when other samples are readily available, but the urine test was also performed to look for drug use as evidenced by Eugene's sample failing when he was drunk. More specifically, urine itself does not contain DNA, but it may contain epithelial cells, which do contain DNA. Most healthy individuals, however, do not excrete epithelial cells in their urine. http://www.biology.arizona.edu/human_bio/problem_sets/DNA_forensics_2/06t.html 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

After the credits complete, there is slow-motion footage, tinted blue, of the fingernails from the first scene hitting the pavement. See more »

Connections

Referenced in CSI: Crime Scene Investigation: Doctor Who (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Nuages
Written by Django Reinhardt & Jacques Larue
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Thoughtful Science Fiction
15 February 1999 | by See all my reviews

Gattaca is in many ways the best film I have seen about prejudice. Just as people have been judged for centuries by the color of their skin, Gattaca predicts that in the future there will be a more subtle discrimination. It being a science fiction film helps make it more effective by allowing us to feel the emotions of the characters with little of our own history getting in the way. A haunting musical score goes well with the feeling of the film.

Ethan Hawke as Vincent does a fine job showing the pain of someone whose life is limited before he even tries. But just as interesting were the supposedly superior characters; Vincent's girlfriend, brother and double who suffer from the lie that genetics can perfectly predict a person's life.

The film that Gattaca most reminds me of is Blade Runner. They are both about genetic engineering gone very wrong but Gattaca takes a very different approach. The problems are more subtle in Gattaca involving our own desires for success for ourselves and through our children. Amazingly, Gattaca is a good science fiction film with a small budget, few special effects and mostly filmed in existing modern buildings.

After seeing this film for a second time I liked it even better as the plot seemed more plausible. If you would like to see a sci-fi film that is based on interesting characters and situations and not explosions or special effects, try Gattaca.


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