7.3/10
108,785
422 user 213 critic

They Live (1988)

Clip
4:54 | Clip
A drifter discovers a pair of sunglasses that allow him to wake up to the fact that aliens have taken over the Earth.

Director:

John Carpenter

Writers:

Ray Nelson (short story "Eight O'Clock in the Morning"), John Carpenter (screenplay) (as Frank Armitage)
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Popularity
1,301 ( 343)
3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Roddy Piper ... Nada
Keith David ... Frank
Meg Foster ... Holly
George 'Buck' Flower ... Drifter
Peter Jason ... Gilbert
Raymond St. Jacques ... Street Preacher
Jason Robards III ... Family Man
John Lawrence John Lawrence ... Bearded Man
Susan Barnes Susan Barnes ... Brown Haired Woman
Sy Richardson ... Black Revolutionary
Wendy Brainard Wendy Brainard ... Family Man's Daughter
Lucille Meredith ... Female Interviewer
Susan Blanchard ... Ingenue
Norman Alden ... Foreman
Dana Bratton Dana Bratton ... Black Junkie
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Storyline

Nada, a down-on-his-luck construction worker, discovers a pair of special sunglasses. Wearing them, he is able to see the world as it really is: people being bombarded by media and government with messages like "Stay Asleep", "No Imagination", "Submit to Authority". Even scarier is that he is able to see that some usually normal-looking people are in fact ugly aliens in charge of the massive campaign to keep humans subdued. Written by Melissa Portell <mportell@s-cwis.unomaha.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Obey or else - alien invasion of the subliminal kind... See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Many movie posters for the film featured a long blurb that read: "You see them on the street. You watch them on TV. You might even vote for one this fall. You think they're people just like you. You're wrong. Dead wrong.". See more »

Goofs

At 1:27:25 there is a trash bin on the floor and the name plate is on a white door, in the next shot, there is no trash bin and there are two name plates on the wall beside a brown door. See more »

Quotes

Nada: That's like pouring perfume on a pig.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The screenplay writer for "They Live" which is credited to "Frank Armitage", does not exist. John Carpenter used many pseudonyms when giving credit to his works in films. With his vast amount of work that he did himself, (directing, producing, writing and composing the musical scores), he did not want to appear to be braggadocios and vain by having his name appear over and over in the credits of his movies. See more »

Connections

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Underrated Films of the 1980s (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Down by the Riverside
(uncredited)
Traditional
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User Reviews

 
Poignant in the year 2020
22 March 2020 | by glengolfSee all my reviews

Just watched this clever and factional movie. With the world in lockdown right now, and politicians and their overlords bullying people out of their normal lives and telling untruths on TV. Well this film has some resonance there. Where's Roddy Piper when you need him. RIP to one of Saskatoon's finest. You left your mark down here with us brother.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 November 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

They Live See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,827,903, 6 November 1988

Gross USA:

$13,008,928

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$13,008,928
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo (4 channels)| Dolby Surround 7.1 | Dolby Atmos

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

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