6.3/10
12,726
69 user 73 critic

Dreamscape (1984)

A young psychic on the run from himself is recruited by a government agency experimenting with the use of the dream-sharing technology and is given the inverse task of planting an idea into the mind of the U.S. president.

Director:

Joseph Ruben

Writers:

David Loughery (story), David Loughery (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dennis Quaid ... Alex Gardner
Max von Sydow ... Doctor Paul Novotny
Christopher Plummer ... Bob Blair
Eddie Albert ... The President
Kate Capshaw ... Jane DeVries
David Patrick Kelly ... Tommy Ray Glatman
George Wendt ... Charlie Prince
Larry Gelman ... Mr. Webber
Cory 'Bumper' Yothers Cory 'Bumper' Yothers ... Buddy
Redmond Gleeson Redmond Gleeson ... Snead
Peter Jason ... Babcock
Chris Mulkey ... Finch
Jana Taylor Jana Taylor ... Mrs. Webber
Madison Mason ... Fred Schoenstein
Kendall Carly Browne Kendall Carly Browne ... Mrs. Matusik
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Storyline

A government funded project looks into using psychics to enter people's dreams, with some mechanical help. When a subject dies in his sleep from a heart attack Alex Gardner becomes suspicious that another of the psychics is killing people in the dreams somehow and that is causing them to die in real life. He must find a way to stop the abuse of the power to enter dreams. Written by Zaphod <aaa@scs.leeds.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Who in hell has peace of mind..? See more »


Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 August 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El túnel de las pesadillas See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,257,000, 19 August 1984

Gross USA:

$11,484,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Kate Capshaw starred as the love-interest in not one, but two 1984 movies that featured a scene where a man's still-beating heart was ripped from his chest: this movie and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984). See more »

Goofs

When Alex and Blair are sitting in the back of the moving car, you can see a moth fly by in the background. A car's aerodynamics wouldn't allow such an occurrence. See more »

Quotes

Alex Gardner: [talking about his current lifestyle] Sounds like you disapprove.
Doctor Paul Novotny: You're damn right I disapprove! You've got tremendous gifts, and you've chosen to piss them all away.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The US DVD uses an alternate shot of the scene where the short bald guy with glasses finds his wife cheating on him. Normally you see the woman partially naked but on the DVD only her face is shown. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Curse of the Comet with David B. Miller (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Baby, Can't We Take It Home
Composed and Produced by Craig Huxley (as Craig Hundley)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Thoroughly entertaining genre crossing production.
12 January 2013 | by Hey_SwedenSee all my reviews

There's a fair amount of 80s style imagination and panache to be found in this nifty combination of sci-fi, thriller, and political intrigue. It's got a hell of a good cast and a more than capable director, Joseph Ruben, who'd started out in exploitation films and later turned out the solid sleeper "The Stepfather" as well as mainstream fare such as "Sleeping with the Enemy". Its premise may be too close to "A Nightmare on Elm Street" in some ways, but at least the political element helps it to stand apart.

Dennis Quaid, at the peak of his charisma, plays Alex Gardner, a psychically gifted young man who would rather use his gifts for self- gain but reluctantly agrees to help old pal Paul Novotny (ever delightful Max von Sydow) who's developed a revolutionary dream therapy program. It seems that now people like Alex can be inserted into the nightmares of others, and help them to deal with them. However, there's a smooth but cold government man (a chilling Christopher Plummer) who has sinister motives for supporting this program.

Wonderful visual design is just one of the hooks of this story; the nightmares each get their own "dream tunnel", for one thing, and for another, the bleak post-apocalyptic landscape of which the President (Eddie Albert) dreams and the skewed images experienced by young Buddy (Cory "Bumper" Yothers) are very well realized. The special effects are eye popping, and things do get pretty grim and gory (a heart is ripped out of a chest). One of the highlights of the movie is the nefarious Snakeman, a monster brought to life through a combination of stop motion and an actor (Larry Cedar) in a costume. The music is cheesy electronic stuff, which is kind of surprising considering that the composer is the great Maurice Jarre. There's some witty dialogue, and a steamy subplot involving Alex and the young Dr. Jane DeVries (Kate Capshaw, who's lovely but sporting some real 80s hair here).

The cast couldn't be better; also appearing are the eternally amusing David Patrick Kelly as weaselly little psychopath Tommy Ray, George Wendt as a horror novelist who snoops around, and character actors such as Redmond Gleeson, Peter Jason, Chris Mulkey, Madison Mason, and Brian Libby. Also, Ruben keeps the pacing consistent and the big showdown between Alex and Tommy Ray is a set piece worth waiting for.

With all of this going for it, "Dreamscape" is a totally engrossing diversion that may be very much of its time but still does a good job of entertaining the viewer.

Eight out of 10.


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