A fearless, globe-trotting, terrorist-battling secret agent has his life turned upside down when he discovers his wife might be having an affair with a used-car salesman while terrorists smuggle nuclear war heads into the United States.

Director:

James Cameron

Writers:

Claude Zidi (screenplay "La Totale!"), Simon Michaël (screenplay "La Totale!") | 2 more credits »
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Popularity
988 ( 340)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 8 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Arnold Schwarzenegger ... Harry Tasker
Jamie Lee Curtis ... Helen Tasker
Tom Arnold ... Albert Gibson
Bill Paxton ... Simon
Tia Carrere ... Juno Skinner
Art Malik ... Salim Abu Aziz
Eliza Dushku ... Dana Tasker
Grant Heslov ... Faisil
Charlton Heston ... Spencer Trilby
Marshall Manesh ... Jamal Khaled
James Allen James Allen ... Colonel
Dieter Rauter Dieter Rauter ... Boathouse Guard (as Deiter Rauter)
Jane Morris ... Janice
Katsy Chappell ... Allison
Crystina Wyler ... Charlene
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Storyline

Harry Tasker (Arnold Schwarzenegger) leads a double life. At work he is a government agent with a license to do just about anything, while at home he pretends to be a dull computer salesman. He is on the trail of stolen nuclear weapons that are in the hands of fanatic terrorists when something more important comes up. Harry finds his wife is seeing another man (Bill Paxton) because she needs some adventure in her life. Harry decides to give it to her, juggling pursuit of terrorists on one hand and an adventure for his wife on the other while showing he can Tango all at once. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

When he said I do, he never said what he did.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for a lot of action/violence and some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

As of 2020, this film, along with The Abyss (1989) are the only theatrical feature films by James Cameron that have not been released on a high definition home video format. Basically any other major feature film has been released on Blu-ray, with some already released on Ultra HD Blu-ray. The delay stems from the fact that all film transfers must be approved by Cameron and he is simply too busy with the Avatar sequels. See more »

Goofs

Harry breaks the window of the van but it is intact in later shots. See more »

Quotes

Harry: [referring to Helen] So who are you working on right now?
Simon: I always got a few on the line. But there's this one chick I got right now. I got her panting like a dog. Its great.
Harry: What does she do?
Simon: Some sort of legal secretary. Married to some boring jerk.
Harry: Married to some boring jerk.
Simon: Aww, but she could be so hot if she wanted to. She's like all these babes, you get their pilot lit, they could suck start a leafblower. And she's got the most incredible body too and a pair of titties that make you wanna ...
[...]
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Crazy Credits

In the middle of the credits, Gib (who's waiting outside in the stereotypical spy van as Harry's having fun inside the party) says, "You know what? I'm sick of being in the van. You guys can be in the van next time. I've been in the van for fifteen years, Harry." See more »

Alternate Versions

The UK cinema version was cut by 1 second to remove an ear-clap, and VHS versions received a further 8 seconds of cuts (the video sleeve actually carried the note, "This film has been edited for censorship purposes"). These cuts included: removal of a head-butt; a reduction in impacts to the face with a hand dryer; a reduction in impacts to a head being rammed into a urinal; a reduction in length of sight of bloody facial injury; sight of a trocar being thrown and embedded into an eye; removal of neck breaks (including a rearranging of footage); removal of a tire iron being rammed into a ribcage. The original 2001 DVD release (issued by Universal) was an uncut version, likely taken from the Australian DVD, and wrongly featured the fully uncut print. It was recalled shortly afterwards and replaced in 2003 with a Columbia release, which features the same cuts but edited in a much more obvious and choppy fashion, using repeated and slowed-down footage in an attempt to maintain a consistent runtime. The 2008 "Greatest Ever Action Heroes" DVD collection features the full uncut version, but the BBFC did not officially waive the cuts until February 2010. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Charlie's Angels (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Edelweiss
(1959) (uncredited)
Music by Richard Rodgers
Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
(a couple lines were whistled during the exit from the chateau after the first tango)
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User Reviews

 
What a hoot! This might be Arnie's best, even though Jamie Lee almost steals the show.
3 January 2001 | by scaevolaSee all my reviews

I had forgotten how funny this film is. From the very start it begins to laugh at itself and the entire genre, with great audacity. Every single scene is worth watching and I am still giggling about many of them. (Well, ok, the camera angle on the scene with terrorist-as-missile is a teensy bit overdone.)

I delayed renting it again because I remembered the Jamie-Lee-as-prostitute scene was difficult to sit through--her predicament is just so embarrassing. But this time I discovered it is probably my favorite scene. She is just a scream (and surprisingly erotic), while her underplayed klutziness throughout is hysterical, right down to the tango at the end. Especially in contrast to her husband's ridiculously effortless physical skills and unruffled cool. The only time he loses it, and hilariously so, is with Bill Paxton. (And I love that she gets her own back for Arnie's sleazy trick. A woman who packs a punch.)

Even the excellent special effects are pure humor. They are just huge enough to be ridiculous, and yet never seem overblown--and this with a nuclear explosion and a Harrier on an urban rampage. This film is a work of genius. How an action/espionage/romance spoof could deliver such outrageous tongue-in-cheek and yet never feel like corn, slap or déjà vu is a mystery to me.

I give this 8/10 for being relentlessly entertaining, at a very high level. And the acting is top notch all around.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French | Arabic | German

Release Date:

15 July 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

True Lies See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Clarita, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$115,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$25,869,770, 17 July 1994

Gross USA:

$146,282,411

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$378,882,411
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby Digital (35 mm prints)| DTS | Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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