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Total Recall (1990)

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When a man goes for virtual vacation memories of the planet Mars, an unexpected and harrowing series of events forces him to go to the planet for real - or does he?

Director:

Paul Verhoeven

Writers:

Philip K. Dick (short story "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale") (as Phillip K. Dick), Ronald Shusett (screen story) | 5 more credits »
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1,506 ( 790)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 8 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Arnold Schwarzenegger ... Quaid
Rachel Ticotin ... Melina
Sharon Stone ... Lori
Ronny Cox ... Cohaagen
Michael Ironside ... Richter
Marshall Bell ... George / Kuato
Mel Johnson Jr. ... Benny
Michael Champion ... Helm
Roy Brocksmith ... Dr. Edgemar
Ray Baker ... McClane
Rosemary Dunsmore ... Dr. Lull
David Knell ... Ernie
Alexia Robinson ... Tiffany
Dean Norris ... Tony
Mark Carlton Mark Carlton ... Bartender
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Storyline

Douglas Quaid is haunted by a recurring dream about a journey to Mars. He hopes to find out more about this dream and buys a holiday at Rekall Inc. where they sell implanted memories. But something goes wrong with the memory implantation and he remembers being a secret agent fighting against the evil Mars administrator Cohaagen. Now the story really begins and it's a rollercoaster ride until the massive end of the movie. Written by Harald Mayr <marvin@bike.augusta.de>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

They stole his mind, now he wants it back. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Facebook

Country:

USA | Mexico

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 June 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El vengador del futuro See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$65,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$25,533,700, 3 June 1990, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$119,394,840

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$141,905,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby SR (35 mm prints) (4 channels)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sharon Stone allegedly didn't get along. See more »

Goofs

It would in reality take at least five months to reach Mars from earth via the fastest means possible, yet the movie assumes it only takes a matter of hours or days. This artistic license has been taken in number of other sci-fi productions, going all the way back to A Trip to the Moon, presumably on the assumption that in the future new technology will have been discovered that allows for faster space travel. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[Doug awakens from a nightmare]
Lori: Doug? Honey, are you all right?
[nods]
Lori: You were dreaming. Doug? Was it about Mars?
[nods]
Lori: [kisses him] Is that better?
Douglas Quaid: Hmm.
Lori: My poor baby. This is getting to be an obsession.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Play the Total Recall (1990) video game by Acclaim. See more »

Alternate Versions

In the original film prints, there is a single company credit (Metrolight) for Skeleton Sequence (about a minute before the end of the credits, shortly before ILM); this is because the company was new and didn't know how to negotiate to get individual names listed. When the team was lauded for their CGI work, names were added in for the videotape release (but the credits returned to the original on DVD and Blu-ray). This is mentioned, with visuals of both versions, on the Models and Skeletons special effects documentary on the Blu-ray. See more »


Soundtracks

Ja, Vi Elsker Dette Landet
(uncredited)
Written by Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The Trilogy Needs Total Recall
31 May 2006 | by gavin6942See all my reviews

When a man (Arnold Schwarzenegger) goes for virtual vacation memories of the planet Mars, an unexpected and harrowing series of events forces him to go to the planet for real, or does he?

One could consider "Total Recall" part of a Philip K. Dick trilogy: Blade Runner, Total Recall and Minority Report. With A Scanner Darkly and Paycheck (among others) creating an extended trilogy (you know, like Douglas Adams did). Total Recall is easily worthy of standing beside Blade Runner. And even as a stand-alone sci-fi film, it ranks as one of the better ones of the 1990s, if not all time.

One of the great things about Total Recall is the ambiguous nature of the story. Is it a dream? A brain embolism? Reality? Any of these has evidence to support it and also to contradict it. And this is a strength for the movie.

There is a certain absurdity with the special effects -- eyes bulging and whatnot when the people lose oxygen. In real life you would simply die in space, not explode. But at the same time this was somewhat amusing and a bit comical so it can be overlooked. Besides, coming from Rob Bottin ("The Thing"), the focus should be on the strengths of the makeup and effects and not the possible shortfalls.

The casting was great. Arnold was a great choice, and no one else could be Quaid. Kurt Russell, Stallone, Swayze... these guys are great but not right for this part. And Sharon Stone was looking her best for this movie, and since her role seemed to be the sexpot wife who does little more than exercise and seduce her husband, that is a big endorsement.

Clearly the best character was Benny the Cab Driver, played by Mel Johnson, Jr in his only notable role. He stole the scenes he was in with great comic timing and an interesting back-story. I was quite interested by how he went from being what could have been a minor background role to a primary figure in the overall plot. Exquisite.

I guess I simply must recommend you see this movie. If you have not seen Blade Runner, watch that first. If you have not seen Minority Report, watch this first. But either way, be sure that you put this movie somewhere high on your to-do list.


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