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Cocoon (1985)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama, Sci-Fi | 21 June 1985 (USA)
When a group of trespassing seniors swim in a pool containing alien cocoons, they find themselves energized with youthful vigor.

Director:

Ron Howard

Writers:

Tom Benedek (screenplay), David Saperstein (story)
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Popularity
3,557 ( 39)
Won 2 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Don Ameche ... Art Selwyn
Wilford Brimley ... Ben Luckett
Hume Cronyn ... Joe Finley
Brian Dennehy ... Walter
Jack Gilford ... Bernie Lefkowitz
Steve Guttenberg ... Jack Bonner
Maureen Stapleton ... Mary Luckett
Jessica Tandy ... Alma Finley
Gwen Verdon ... Bess McCarthy
Herta Ware Herta Ware ... Rose 'Rosie' Lefkowitz
Tahnee Welch ... Kitty
Barret Oliver ... David
Linda Harrison ... Susan
Tyrone Power Jr. Tyrone Power Jr. ... Pillsbury
Clint Howard ... Rico
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Storyline

A group of aliens return to earth to retrieve cocoons containing the people they'd left behind from an earlier trip. These cocoons had been resting at the bottom of the ocean. Once retrieved, they stored these recovered cocoons in the swimming pool of a house they'd rented in a small Florida town. Their mission is hampered by a number of elderly people from a nearby retirement community who had been secretly using the pool, and who discover unusual powers from within these cocoons. Written by Sami Al-Taher <staher2000@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Beyond the innocence of youth, and the wisdom of age, lies the wonder of... Cocoon See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 June 1985 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cocoon See more »

Filming Locations:

Clearwater, Florida, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$17,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,936,427, 23 June 1985

Gross USA:

$76,113,124

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$85,313,124
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby (35 mm prints)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The film marked the first collaboration between Director Ron Howard and Composer James Horner. Horner composed the music for many films directed by Howard, including Willow (1988), Apollo 13 (1995), How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000), and A Beautiful Mind (2001). See more »

Goofs

When Ben Luckett is fishing with his grandson near the end, there's a large water spot covering the leg of his pants in the wide shot. When they push in to a medium shot, the spot is gone. See more »

Quotes

Joseph Finley: I feel great.
Ben Luckett: You wouldn't bullshit me?
Joseph Finley: My God, I'm telling the truth!
Art Selwyn: Why shouldn't he feel good? I feel tremendous! I'm ready to take on the world!
See more »

Alternate Versions

UK cinema and video versions were cut by 2 secs by the BBFC to remove one brief use of the word 'fucking' for a PG certificate. The Blu-ray is uncut, upgraded to a 12 rating. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Arrested Development: Blockheads (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Gravity
Performed by Michael Sembello
Produced by Richard Rudolph (as Richard Rudolph) and Michael Sembello
Courtesy of A&M Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Another under-appreciated gem
1 April 2001 | by TVholicSee all my reviews

"Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light." - Dylan Thomas

The senior characters of this modern day fable took this poem to heart.

When we first meet the motley group, they are as many of us dread one day becoming. Kept in a nursing home, days filled with vapid activities like shuffleboard or mah-jongg, whiling away hours floating in a deserted swimming pool, watching people your own age drop like flies. When that changes through the magic of alien technology, they become, if not the picture of reckless youth, at least a semblance of the people they were once upon a time, proving the old cliché: you ARE only as old as you feel. In that, it's a good lesson for people heading into their golden years or even those of us just having midlife crises. We can't help but grow old. But it's up to us whether we want to BE old or merely mature.

For a science fiction movie, it would appear to have few special effects. This is an illusion. There are quite a few effects shots, although the variety of effects is rather limited. The glowing aliens are quite good except for the all too familiar hand movements by Caprice Rothe, who first did the job for "E.T." Still, by and large the effects are impressive and convincing even when compared against the latest films of the 21st century. Even more impressive was the poolhouse, which was hastily constructed purely as a setpiece for the movie. It looks absolutely real, as if it had sat there among the Florida palms for decades.

Tahnee Welch, daughter of the seemingly ageless Raquel, was wholesomely fetching here. Whether she was a limited actress or merely underplaying the role is for others to decide. Ron Howard wisely kept Steve Guttenberg's role limited, focusing mainly on the older characters. A little Guttenberg goofiness goes a long way. Also present are the standard Howard family repertory, with brother Clint as the nursing home attendant and father Rance making a brief appearance as a detective. Much as already been said about the excellent performances of the older cast members. This was, after all, the role that finally won an Oscar for Don Ameche. But they're slowly slipping away from us, one by one. First Jack Gilford, then Ameche, then Jessica Tandy and recently Gwen Verdon. At least we'll have this movie to remember them by. Maybe they weren't at the peaks of their careers, but quite possibly the roles they fit most comfortably.

Two attempts to cash in on this movie failed. Both 1987's "*batteries Not Included," starring Tandy and Cronyn, and the 1988 sequel "Cocoon: The Return" flopped. Neither had the genuine warmth of this original. Ron Howard showed good judgement in turning down the chance to direct the sequel.

As for the musical score, it's one of James Horner's better works, mixing symphonic grandeur with childlike wonderment. Alas, he does fall into old habits and reuse some bars and measures from his "Wolfen" and "Star Trek II" scores.

It's a shame this movie never found the audience it deserved. I first saw this in a shopping mall four-plex a couple of weeks after its release. There couldn't have been more than 20 people in the entire theater. The whole movie holds up remarkably well in the 16 years since, except for the break dancing. My god, has it been 16 years already? Where can I find some Antarean life force?


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