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Alien Nation (1988)

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In 1988, Earth makes the first contact with an alien civilization. In 1991, these aliens, known as Newcomers, slowly begin to be integrated into human society after three years of quarantine.

Director:

Graham Baker
1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Caan ... Matthew Sykes
Mandy Patinkin ... Sam Francisco
Terence Stamp ... William Harcourt
Kevyn Major Howard ... Kipling
Leslie Bevis ... Cassandra
Peter Jason ... Fedorchuk
Conrad Dunn Conrad Dunn ... Quint (as George Jenesky)
Jeff Kober ... Josh Strader
Roger Aaron Brown ... Bill Tuggle
Tony Simotes Tony Simotes ... Wiltey
Michael David Simms Michael David Simms ... Human Dealer
Ed Krieger Ed Krieger ... Alien Dealer
Tony Perez ... Alterez
Brian Thompson ... Trent Porter
Francis X. McCarthy ... Capt. Warner (as Frank McCarthy)
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Storyline

A few years from now, Earth will have the first contact with an alien civilisation. These aliens, known as Newcomers, slowly begin to be integrated into human society after years of quarantine but are victims of a new type of discrimination. When the first Newcomer police officer, Sam Francisco is assigned his new partner, he is given Matthew Sykes , a mildly racist veteran, the animosity between them soon gives way to respect as they investigate the Newcomer underworld, and especially Newcomer leader William Harcourt. Written by Jonathan Broxton <j.w.broxton@sheffield.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Los Angeles, 1991. They have come to Earth to live among us. They've learned the language, taken jobs, and tried to fit in. But there's something about them we don't know. See more »

Genres:

Action | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 October 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Future Tense See more »

Filming Locations:

California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$16,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$25,216,243

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$32,155,047
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:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During the liquor store shootout, Sykes crouches behind a car, directly behind the front wheel well. This follows police procedure, as this puts the engine block between him and the shooter, offering the best protection from gunfire. Tugg does not follow this procedure. See more »

Goofs

Matt's dialog doesn't match his lips after he and George talk to the hostess at Encounters. See more »

Quotes

Det. Samuel 'George' Francisco: You humans are very curious to us. You invite us to live among you in an atmosphere of equality that we've never known before. You give us ownership of our own lives for the first time and you ask no more of us than you do of yourselves. I hope you understand how special your world is, how unique a people you humans are. Which is why it is all the more painful and confusing to us that so few of you seem capable of living up to the ideals you set for yourselves.
See more »

Alternate Versions

In UK cinemas, 2 versions were shown in different cinemas. In some cinemas, certain Newcomer native dialogue was subtitled into English and in others it was not. This happens most notably in the scene where George and the morgue attendant discuss the Newcomer corpse and recognise aspects of the body as representing the drug addiction. Also a short dialogue between Harcourt and Kipling after Harcourt first meets George and Matt where Kipling tells Harcourt that Sykes was the policeman in the shootout at the film's opening. See more »

Connections

Followed by Alien Nation: The Udara Legacy (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

SCARY MONSTERS
Written and Performed by David Bowie
Courtesy of Jones Music America
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Entertaining allegory
14 September 2003 | by grendelkhanSee all my reviews

I've always liked this film despite its flaws. It is an interesting allegory of racial conflict, using a sci-fi premise and a "buddy-cop" formula. You have the minority rookie cop assigned to the bigoted partner, who are then assigned a case involving the minority group. The rookie proves to the bigot that people are the same, despite their physical differences and they slowly become friends.

Mandy Patinkin is great here, conveying the idea of an outsider who is not totally familiar with his new environment. James Caan is fine, but doesn't seem committed to the film, and his performance is a bit uneven. Terence Stamp is hurt by his makeup, as his face is one of his greatest strengths as an actor. Much of his characters come from his facial expressions and the makeup inhibits this.

The story is a bit cliched, but the sci-fi gloss keeps things from falling flat. The tv series was better able to explore the racial allegory, as the film just doesn't have enough screen time. The mystery component is pretty much standard fare. If you look beyond the surface of this film, there are some worthwhile ideas here. They just get a bit lost in the "cop" trappings.


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