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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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Popularity
1,037 ( 56)
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:

What would you do if someone stole your mind? 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:

Total Recall 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

Both the adaptation of the screenplay (written by Piers Anthony) and early drafts of the script had the main character's name as Douglas Quail. The original Philip K. Dick story has the name Quail as well. The film was being made during the administration of President George Bush, in which Dan Quayle as Vice President and it is presumed that this was the reason for the change. See more »

Goofs

There is a scene where Richter and Cohaagen have a videophone conversation in a car. Unless future technology can overcome physical laws......one cannot have a conversation with someone on Mars from Earth without a delay of about 12 minutes between transmission and reception of signals. The speed of light and distance to Mars prohibits a real-time conversation. 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

The Finnish theatrical release (1990) was rated K/F-18 but still cut by 23 seconds. The VHS release (1991) was rated K/F-16 and cut by 68 seconds. The DVD release of 2001 is rated K/F-18 and is listed as uncut. See more »

Connections

Followed by Total Recall 2070 (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Rubble City
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

See more »

User Reviews

 
Verhoeven bonkers adaptation of a P. K. Dick story.
20 April 2008 | by SpikeopathSee all my reviews

Doug Quaid keeps getting recurring dreams about a visit to Mars. In spite of his friends warnings, he decides to have a memory implanted Mars holiday. But during the implantation he remembers being a secret agent who is fighting evil Mars boss Vilos Cohaagen. Things are about to go very intergalactic bonkers indeed.

Total Recall finds director Paul Verhoeven on particularly OTT form, with the often maligned director cranking up the action and violence to the max. So then, who better to play out the carnage than the big Austrian oak himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger? It was actually Schwarzenegger who brought Verhoeven into the picture. The idea for the film had been kicking around for years, a number of director's came and went, David Cronenberg famously worked on a screenplay for a year only to have it jettisoned for being too close to the P. K. Dick short story "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale". The makers wanted a high energy sci-fi blockbuster, a star vehicle for Schwarzenegger, and Verhoeven was only too happy to oblige.

Total Recall is a fascinating concept as we find ourselves wondering what in fact is reality? Quaid himself is never quite sure as the film takes a delicious twist at the midpoint to further compound the confusion, but in true Verhoeven style, it all comes crashing together in a giant ball of bangs, crashes and explosions. It should be noted that the film is far removed from the cerebral essence of Dick's story, and really when one saw that Schwarzenegger was to star in a Verhoeven directed adaptation, one really should be prepared for the high octane brain dumb down that Total Recall is. Something which was beyond some highbrow critics who are still baffled by the gargantuan financial success of the film (it made over $260 million worldwide).

Fleshing out the cast are a stoic reliable bunch. Rachael Ticotin, Ronny Cox, Sharon Stone & Michael Ironside deliver the expected tongue in cheek professionalism. While the effects prove to be a mixture of the poor and the decent - though it's nice to see the often lost art of model work being of a pretty high standard. All of which leaves me personally with a film that I find to be a hugely enjoyable piece of uber violent popcorn fodder. 8/10


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