5.9/10
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62 user 41 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 »
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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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

Gross USA:

$8,638,072
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Hollywood Pictures See more »
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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

At the start of the film when the boys are trying to convince Mary to go inside the fake spaceship, Andrew Nivens says, "She balked at Pirates of the Caribbean." Both Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio, two of the films credited screenwriters, went on to write the "Pirates of the Caribbean," series of movies. See more »

Goofs

When Sam is being interviewed in the hospital by his father, one shot shows another patient in the bed behind his father, but at the end of the scene a wide shot from above shows the bed is empty. See more »

Quotes

[After Sam rescues Andrew by shooting him]
Andrew: [musingly] I can't believe you shot me.
Sam: Well, what would you have done?
Andrew: [nonchalant] Oh, I'd have shot you, of course.
See more »

Connections

References Alien (1979) See more »

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User Reviews

This just ain't Heinlein...
22 June 2003 | by EdSi2001See all my reviews

How the producers got away with calling this "Robert A. Heinlein's Puppet Masters" amazes me - because the only resemblance to Heinlein's genuinely chilling short story about Titan 'slugs' are the character names. That's it. None of the wonderfully satirical espionage group shenanigans, none of the gripping suspense, none of the character development, and none of the setting. "Puppet Masters" is not supposed to be set in 1994, it's supposed to be set in 1957 - but a different 1957 to the one we know. I mean, this film didn't even attempt the flying cars or the hand-held lasers. Like so many new sci-fi films made from older literature classics, the fiction has been cut out like some sort of hideous tumor and the science has been exaggerated to make sure the audience knows it's SCIENCE fiction. The fact that the science is largely irrelevant is lost on most modern screen writers - and this movie is no exception.

Another example of a perfectly good story that has been shredded to make it 'fit' Hollywood's version of science-fiction, which is largely made up of clanking robots, flashing lights and explosions.

"The Faculty" was a good SF movie. And it was right - Body Snatchers is a rip-off from this story, but it never pretended to be anything but. Faculty had some enjoyable sequences. It wasn't perfect, and elements were laughable, but despite this, it was true to itself..._this_ film was just the massacre of a perfectly good story.

I only hope anyone else who ever tries to make a movie of a Heinlein classic will stick to the book and make a decent movie, not rehash the story until it sounds good - because they sounded good before.


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