5.9/10
7,904
65 user 47 critic

The Puppet Masters (1994)

The Earth is invaded by stingray-shaped alien "slugs" that ride on people's backs and control their minds.

Director:

Stuart Orme

Writers:

Robert A. Heinlein (novel), Ted Elliott (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Donald Sutherland ... Andrew Nivens
Eric Thal ... Sam Nivens
Julie Warner ... Mary Sefton
Keith David ... Alex Holland
Will Patton ... Dr. Graves
Richard Belzer ... Jarvis
Tom Mason ... President Douglas
Yaphet Kotto ... Ressler
Gerry Bamman ... Viscott
Sam Anderson ... Culbertson
J. Patrick McCormack J. Patrick McCormack ... Gidding
Marshall Bell ... General Morgan
Nicholas Cascone Nicholas Cascone ... Greenberg
Bruce Jarchow ... Barnes
Benjamin Mouton ... Higgins
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Storyline

Strange aliens land in the Midwest, taking over people's minds in order to spread their dominion. Sam Nivens and Andrew Nivens, aided by Mary Sefton, are part of a government agency who must stop the the aliens before the aliens get to them... Written by Steve Fenwick <scf@w0x0f.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Trust No-one.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, sci-fi gore and brief language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 October 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Robert A. Heinlein's The Puppet Masters See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,069,057, 23 October 1994

Gross USA:

$8,647,042

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$8,647,042
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Hollywood Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Donald Sutherland and Marshall Bell later appeared in Virus (1999). See more »

Goofs

When asked for the town's population, the figure is stated as 10,001. The population on the sign shown at the beginning is 10,079. See more »

Quotes

Sam: So if the two of you are being shot at, which bullet do I take?
Andrew: Why you must try for both, of course.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Deformed Monsters (1997) See more »

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User Reviews

Better Than Expected
13 May 2000 | by elihu-2See all my reviews

One science-fiction film that turns out to be less disappointing than expected is this loose adaptation of Robert A. Heinlein's novel.

Donald (give me another part in an alien pod movie) Sutherland interprets the role of Adam "The Old Man" Nivens, head of a secret government protection agency that has its hands full trying to stop an alien invasion by slug-like mental parasites which tap into people's brains, controlling them toward their own ends.

Eric Thal (of A STRANGER AMONG US) draws a blank where a strong character should be in the role of Sam, son of the Old Man, and fellow agent. Julie Warner (from DOC HOLLYWOOD) fares a little better as Mary, a NASA xenobiologist along for the roller coaster ride.

The opening scenes do justice to the setting and atmosphere of the book, and the skeleton of the original plot is unpredictable and thrilling, but eventually, the compromises in adaptation give rise to Hollywood-style sci-fi conventions such as alien hives.

Several realistic, key elements are thrown out, along with almost all of the sharp dialogue which made the book a hit.

However, the special effects are convincing, and the cinematography and editing are streamlined and tight. Far from being definitive, this version of the tale is nonetheless sufficiently satisfying and worth a look.


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