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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?

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Writers:

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Douglas Quaid / Hauser
... Melina
... Lori
... Vilos Cohaagen
... Richter
... George / Kuato
... Benny
... Helm
... Dr. Edgemar
... Bob McClane
... Dr. Lull
... Ernie
Alexia Robinson ... Tiffany
... Tony
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:

How would you know after memory implantation if your mind is yours? See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 June 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El vengador del futuro  »

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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  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints) (4 channels)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The making of this film inspired an epic film project partnership between Arnold Schwarzenegger and Paul Verhoeven to make a movie about the Middle Eastern Crusades, as the two men agreed that a film of that scale would be a great follow-on project to Total Recall. Unfortunately, producer Mario Kassar ran into extended financial problems, the movie's incendiary subject matter became too risky for studios after numerous modern-day conflicts in the Middle East (especially the 1990-91 Gulf War) and a competing project that would have starred Kevin Costner took away momentum and led the idea to be shelved. All of this material, though, eventually was used in some way on an epic film about the Crusades that did get made and released in 2005: Ridley Scott's "Kingdom of Heaven." See more »

Goofs

When Harry turns off his jackhammer (Quaid is talking to him), he makes the motion of flipping a switch on the back of the tool to stop it, but there is no switch. The back of the tool is smooth. 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 »

Connections

Referenced in The Forbidden Dimensions (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Running Out of Air
Written and Performed by Bruno Louchouarn
Produced by Joe La Mont
Published by Lygon St. Music and Barney Sue Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
one of the most enjoyable of the Arnold action vehicles
6 June 2006 | by See all my reviews

Total Recall has little, if any,by way of passing itself as being 'art'. It is, but more in the sense of it being pop-art, of the director Paul Verhoven paying tribute in visuals to the story by Phillip K. Dick. And it's also one of the more exciting and quotable of those shameless examples of how to do an action film. In this case, however, because it is a P.K. Dick-based story there are some good social bits made in the process. If it isn't as astute or consistent as Blade Runner or Minority Report, it's probably more due to it having to be a vehicle for Arnold Schwarzenegger than it being a full-on thought-provoking work of science fiction on film. But this does rank up high with the other works of the star, as he is in a complex situation in the film- his mind is scrambled, at first, and everything he thought was right as dickens is not. So he's told by 'himself' on a screen he happened to save for himself that he has to get to mars to find out the truth.

There is plenty of good action sequences, but it is more about Verhoven's knack at getting this popularized view of Mars just a little subverted, a little stranger. Some of my favorite scenes involved Scwarzenegger's mishaps and turns of fate as the story and his character took turns. For example, in the scene when Arnold's character wants to get his memory wiped off to Mars and then he flips out in the chair, this is a very entertaining scene in being very ridiculous (try to listen to what he says, or don't as its near unintelligible) as well as following a darker trek in the story. In fact, much of the film works on the strengths of both director and star by having it not too over the top to have some belief in what is going on, but that expectations aren't limited to what might happen as Arnold's character in on Mars uncovering the conspiracy around his messed-up memory.

Featuring a sultry Sharon Stone in a great supporting role (another memorable scene comes with her demise, as usual quotable to the bone), as well as a memorable climax involving the arid Mars air and a certain outrageous reaction to it, I recommend Total Recall for genre fans and even those who might be wary of it being a 'Hollywood' take on Dick. It's not great, and per usual PKD fans might scoff at the faithfulness to the source, but it's better than some of the lesser adaptations of the author. Just go in for a good time and it stands up over time (err, 16 years).


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