They influence our decisions without us knowing it. They numb our senses without us feeling it. They control our lives without us realizing it. They live.

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
498 ( 149)
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 ... 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:

They control what you see. They decide what you hear. You think they're people just like you. You're wrong. Dead wrong. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Piper is no fan of his performance during the scene where Nada and Frank talk post-fight in the motel room. Carpenter tells him he was proud of him though for opening up and delivering an authentic, "real" performance. Piper wishes he had pushed himself harder, but Carpenter tells him that he still watches his old films thinking he could have done this or that better. See more »

Goofs

The scars on Nada's face disappear by the time he is in the underground base. See more »

Quotes

Nada: Don't wear them glasses too long. Starts to feel like a knife turnin' in your skull.
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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 Attack of the Clones Review (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Down by the Riverside
(uncredited)
Traditional
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User Reviews

 
More relevant than ever
3 February 2020 | by erikvanseggelenSee all my reviews

This movie resonates in 2020 as hard as it can. Watch and learn millenials


155 of 172 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

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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