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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
1,713 ( 300)
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 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:

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


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Facebook

Country:

USA

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

When Ronald Shusett and Dan O'Bannon first started working on the screenplay for this movie back in the 1970s, they realized that the movie would probably be too expensive and difficult to make (by the standards of special effects and budget at the time). They delayed working on the story and instead worked on an idea O'Bannon had about a space monster terrorizing a spaceship crew. This became Alien (1979). See more »

Goofs

When Quaid is in the slum hotel room, the phone in the room starts to ring. The person on the other line is a 'buddy' of his from the agency on Mars who says that he was suppose to find him Doug if he ever disappears. After Doug wraps a towel around his head to muffle the bug signal, the friend tells him to go to the window to see a suitcase that was going to leave for Quaid. The 'friend' on the visual phone looks up to the right as though he's looking up to Quaid in the hotel room. In fact, Quaid's 'friend' has to turn to the left and look up, not right as shown on the videophone. 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

As with , the theatrical release of Total Recall in Australia was an M rated censored version of the USA R-rated cut which lacked the bloodier moments. The American R rated cut was released on VHS with an Australian R rating. Both the M and R versions are available on VHS. Some of the cuts in the M rated version included:
  • Alternate camera angles in the subway fight after Quaid has been to Rekall;
  • In the scene where the man from the Rekall ad comes to see Quaid and Lori, the shot of his brains splattering on the curtain behind him is omitted;
  • The fight in the bar on Mars is edited, in particular the stabbing.
  • Benny's death is severely cut
  • The frontal shot of the three breasted woman asking Ricther if he would "like some fun" is replaced with a shot taken from higher up and behind her.
  • The second-last shot of Cohaagen's "expansion" is shortened. The final shot is removed completely.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Metalocalypse: Dethkomedy (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Mutant Dancing
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

 
one of the most enjoyable of the Arnold action vehicles
6 June 2006 | by MisterWhiplashSee 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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