Enemy of the State (1998) Poster


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Seth Green is uncredited.
Gene Hackman turned down the film several times, but was ultimately convinced to sign on after a phone call by director Tony Scott. Will Smith later signed on at a relative post-Independence Day (1996) bargain price because he wanted to work with Hackman.
The mark left on the mailbox to signal Brill is exactly how ex-CIA official and traitor Aldrich Ames signaled the Soviets when he made a drop.
Sean Connery was considered for the role of Edward "Brill" Lyle.
Tom Cruise was originally signed on to star in this film, but had to turn it down because he was still filming Eyes Wide Shut (1999).
Reynold's birthday is 9-11. Ironically, the "surveillance society" Hammersly mentions would eventually become the "Patriot Act" passed under the Bush administration post-9/11, only three years after this film is produced.
Will Smith improvised Dean's line about buying the lingerie for himself to try cross dressing on the weekends. Smith has said it was difficult to restrain his comedic instincts during a dramatic role.
Gabriel Byrne's character looks and dresses exactly like Travis Bickle, Robert De Niro's character in Taxi Driver (1976). He also drives Dean away in a taxi.
The storm drain car chase scene was shot in a large air duct tunnel below the four main bores of the Fort McHenry Road Tunnel in Baltimore, MD. Fort McHenry permits Interstate 95 to pass under Baltimore's harbor. The air duct is only accessible from the Tunnel's Admin Building by stairs and a small elevator, so the cars in the scene were chopped into several sections, taken three levels below, reassembled and painted. Once filming was complete they were disassembled once again and removed from the duct. The water was hosed in from a nearby sprinkler main.
Thomas Reynolds' birth date is given as 9-11-40. On 11 September 1940, Bell Labs researcher George Stibitz demonstrated the first remote operation (i.e., over a phone line) of a computer machine.
The satellites repeatedly send "CQ" in Morse code every time they're seen. "CQ" is ham radio shorthand for "Anybody out there want to chat?" ("Seek you.")
The portable video game system that Dean's son uses, and in which "the disc" won't work, is an NEC Turbo Express.
Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer began developing the story for the film in 1991.
Sylvester Stallone was considered for a role.
When Brill accesses the National Security Administration's executive files to identify Reynolds, the very first photograph that flashes from the personnel files has the name "Buster, Ball" below it.
Mel Gibson was also considered for the role of Robert Clayton Dean.
The building that serves as Brill's workplace is actually originally a Dr. Pepper plant.
The latitude/longitude given during the chase are actually the location of the real CIA headquarters in Langley, Viginia.
The sound made by the bug sweepers used in the film is the same as the sound made by the sonar equipment in Crimson Tide (1995), also directed by Tony Scott. Gene Hackman, Jason Robards, and Lillo Brancato were in both films.
The film's technical advisor, Larry Cox, is a former National Security Agency official.
Director Tony Scott initially turned down producer Jerry Bruckheimer's offer to direct the film.
George Clooney was considered for a role.
The Ruby lingerie store is actually the doctored store front of Lambda Rising, a well-known gay bookstore on Connecticut Avenue in Washington, DC.
Lisa Bonet portrays Will Smith's ex-girlfriend. Nearly 15 years later, Bonet's real life daughter, Zoe Kravitz, portrayed Will Smith's daughter in After Earth (2013).
The computer used by Daniel Leon Zavitz at his apartment to make a copy of the assassination's video on a removable media is a SUN Microsystems Ultra10 workstation.
When Dean sees the article in the paper indicating that he's being investigated by the FBI, he says "They have NO Sullivan protection for this." He's referring to the Supreme Court case New York Times v. Sullivan, which set the standard for defamation cases brought against media companies.
The commercial on Zavitz's TV is for the EV1, GM's first and ill-fated electric car.
Writing credits in the film's early promotional material read "Written by David Marconi and Aaron Sorkin and Henry Bean & Tony Gilroy".
Gene Hackman's character's name (Brill) is very similar to his character in The Split (1968).
When Lyle (Hackman) is taking Dean (Smith) into the warehouse "office", one can see that it is a self-made Faraday Cage. One of the few constructs that completely shields those inside from sending/receiving electromagnetic signals.
Boxing is on TV in four separate scenes.
Several times the location of a person or vehicle being tracked is given in degrees and minutes of latitude and longitude. Near Washington, D.C., this designates an area of about 1.02 square miles. Not quite as precise as shown.
Tom Sizemore played in a scene in True Romance (1993) in which multiple heavily armed groups of men faced each other at gunpoint in a small room with a shoot-out massacre as result. A similar scene appeared in Saving Private Ryan (1998), also featuring Sizemore. This movie contains another such scene, again featuring Sizemore.
Robert Clayton Dean tells his wife (played by Regina King), "You're the only woman for me. You and Janet Jackson." Regina King co-starred with Janet Jackson in Poetic Justice (1993).
Both Gabriel Byrne and 'Loren Dean (I)' played major roles in Wim Wenders' The End of Violence (1997), another film that deals with the social perils of techno-surveillance.
Dan Butler plays NSA director Shaffer, pronounced like "Schaefer", which is the German name for an Alsacian sheep dog - in Frasier (1993) he plays a character named Bulldog.
The murder of Congressman Hammersley is copied to flash media by Daniel Zavitz. The form factor of the media to which the recording is copied to is PCMCIA.
Jason Robards and Jon Voight both played the role of President Franklin D. Roosevelt in two separate movies.
Average Shot Length = ~2.4 seconds. Median Shot Length = ~2.2 seconds.
Hans Zimmer was the original composer for the film, but was eventually replaced by Trevor Rabin and Harry Gregson-Williams.
Laura Cayouette, who plays Christa the congressman's aid, was born in Laurel, MD which neighbors Fort Meade where NSA is headquartered.


The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

The picture of a younger Gene Hackman shown in a white shirt and tie, supposedly from his NSA file, is actually taken from The Conversation (1974). Hackman's character Brill, closely resembles his "Conversation" character, Harry Caul. In "The Conversation," Harry Caul, like Brill, is a paranoid surveillance expert who has his workplace in an industrial warehouse. Also, Brill wears the same translucent raincoat worn by Harry Caul in the previous film. In "The Conversation," Harry Caul (like Robert Dean in this film) is pressured to hand over a tape (albiet an audio tape) that has evidence of a murder conspiracy. At the end of "The Conversation," Caul demolishes his apartment when he thinks people who have been observing him might be coming for him. (It's been suggested by more than one film critic that Brill could actually be an older Harry Caul, living under a pseudonym.)
Both Congressman Hammersley and Rachel Banks are killed after they say the same line: "This conversation is over." The congressman almost immediately and Rachel by the next morning.

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