7.5/10
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Total Recall (1990)

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1:00 | Trailer
When a man goes in to have virtual vacation memories of the planet Mars implanted in his mind, an unexpected and harrowing series of events forces him to go to the planet for real - or is he?

Director:

Paul Verhoeven

Writers:

Philip K. Dick (short story "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale") (as Phillip K. Dick), Ronald Shusett (screen story) | 5 more credits »
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Popularity
691 ( 265)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 7 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Arnold Schwarzenegger ... Quaid
Rachel Ticotin ... Melina
Sharon Stone ... Lori
Ronny Cox ... Cohaagen
Michael Ironside ... Richter
Marshall Bell ... George / Kuato
Mel Johnson Jr. ... Benny
Michael Champion ... Helm
Roy Brocksmith ... Dr. Edgemar
Ray Baker ... McClane
Rosemary Dunsmore ... Dr. Lull
David Knell ... Ernie
Alexia Robinson ... Tiffany
Dean Norris ... Tony
Mark Carlton Mark Carlton ... Bartender
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Storyline

Douglas Quaid is haunted by a recurring dream about a journey to Mars. He hopes to find out more about this dream and buys a holiday at Rekall Inc. where they sell implanted memories. But something goes wrong with the memory implantation and he remembers being a secret agent fighting against the evil Mars administrator Cohaagen. Now the story really begins and it's a rollercoaster ride until the massive end of the movie. Written by Harald Mayr <marvin@bike.augusta.de>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

They stole his mind, now he wants it back. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After seeing Sharon Stone's performance as Lori in this movie, director Paul Verhoeven would cast her in the movie Basic Instinct (1992) due to her ability to play a character that could change from a timid charming sweetheart to a diabolical person and back again at a moment's notice. He also stated that this is the way Sharon Stone is in real life. See more »

Goofs

The men from "The Company" know that Hauser/Quaid is going to Mars (the briefcase video is still playing when they catch up to him on Earth and it's instructing him to go to Mars) and they are shown arriving on the same vessel that transports him. Unless the trip to Mars takes minutes or hours, they would have been able to search that vessel and locate Hauser/Quaid.

This also presents the problem of why the passengers from Earth (which, given his size, Hauser/Quaid could only be one of a few) were not taken to the side either on the ship or in the customs area on Mars. Or why scans could not have been done on the ship to determine Hauser's/Quaid's identity as his disguise simply obscured his appearance. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[Doug awakens from a nightmare]
Lori: Doug? Honey, are you all right?
[nods]
Lori: You were dreaming. Doug? Was it about Mars?
[nods]
Lori: [kisses him] Is that better?
Douglas Quaid: Hmm.
Lori: My poor baby. This is getting to be an obsession.
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Crazy Credits

Play the Total Recall (1990) video game by Acclaim. See more »

Alternate Versions

Film was initially given an X-rating by the MPAA. The following are the scenes that were trimmed to receive a R-rating:
  • Benny's death is optically cropped to remove the exiting drill erupting from his stomach.
  • The innocent bystander used as a shield was bloodier before trimming.
  • The stabbing of Helm in the bar had the bowie knife slicing up his stomach. Stills of this were actually featured in Fangoria magazine at the time of the film's release.
  • Several shots of the scientists being killed by Quaid after he breaks free from the implant-machine were shortened.
  • The scene of Richter's arms being severed was shortened.
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Connections

Referenced in This Film Is Not Yet Rated (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Rubble City
Written and Performed by Bruno Louchouarn
Produced by Joe La Mont
Published by Lygon St. Music and Barney Sue Music
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User Reviews

 
Verhoeven bonkers adaptation of a P. K. Dick story.
20 April 2008 | by hitchcockthelegendSee all my reviews

Doug Quaid keeps getting recurring dreams about a visit to Mars. In spite of his friends warnings, he decides to have a memory implanted Mars holiday. But during the implantation he remembers being a secret agent who is fighting evil Mars boss Vilos Cohaagen. Things are about to go very intergalactic bonkers indeed.

Total Recall finds director Paul Verhoeven on particularly OTT form, with the often maligned director cranking up the action and violence to the max. So then, who better to play out the carnage than the big Austrian oak himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger? It was actually Schwarzenegger who brought Verhoeven into the picture. The idea for the film had been kicking around for years, a number of director's came and went, David Cronenberg famously worked on a screenplay for a year only to have it jettisoned for being too close to the P. K. Dick short story "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale". The makers wanted a high energy sci-fi blockbuster, a star vehicle for Schwarzenegger, and Verhoeven was only too happy to oblige.

Total Recall is a fascinating concept as we find ourselves wondering what in fact is reality? Quaid himself is never quite sure as the film takes a delicious twist at the midpoint to further compound the confusion, but in true Verhoeven style, it all comes crashing together in a giant ball of bangs, crashes and explosions. It should be noted that the film is far removed from the cerebral essence of Dick's story, and really when one saw that Schwarzenegger was to star in a Verhoeven directed adaptation, one really should be prepared for the high octane brain dumb down that Total Recall is. Something which was beyond some highbrow critics who are still baffled by the gargantuan financial success of the film (it made over $260 million worldwide).

Fleshing out the cast are a stoic reliable bunch. Rachael Ticotin, Ronny Cox, Sharon Stone & Michael Ironside deliver the expected tongue in cheek professionalism. While the effects prove to be a mixture of the poor and the decent - though it's nice to see the often lost art of model work being of a pretty high standard. All of which leaves me personally with a film that I find to be a hugely enjoyable piece of uber violent popcorn fodder. 8/10


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

Facebook

Country:

USA | Mexico

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 June 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El vengador del futuro See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$65,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$25,533,700, 3 June 1990

Gross USA:

$119,412,921

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$261,317,921
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby SR (35 mm prints) (4 channels)| Dolby Atmos

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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