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Hackers (1995) Poster

(1995)

Trivia

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Jonny Lee Miller and Angelina Jolie were married shortly after the making of the film, and then were divorced four years later.
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All of the hacker handles proposed by the Joey were actual handles already used by real hackers.
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The film's writer, director, and some cast members attended the New York City 2600 meeting, a monthly hangout of the local hacker community, to observe and talk with real-life hackers.
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The "Hacker Manifesto" read by Agent Bob was actually written by a hacker of great renown in the 1980s named Loyd Blankenship, who went by the name of The Mentor. It was published in PHRACK magazine, issue 07, file 03 in 1986.
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The high school scenes were filmed at Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan, one of a few elite, exclusive high schools for students gifted in math, science and computers. Real school seniors were extras in many scenes. In the real school, the pool is on the first floor.
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The character name "Emmanuel Goldstein" is taken from George Orwell's novel "Nineteen Eighty-Four". It is also used as a pseudonym by Emmanuel Goldstein (aka Eric Corley), who publishes the magazine "2600, The Hacker Quarterly". Corley was an uncredited consultant for this film.
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The "pool on the roof" prank is actually based on an old Stuyvesant H.S. prank of the "Sixth Floor Pool". The original Stuy building on East 15th Street in Manhattan had only five floors, and freshman were sent to look for a pool upstairs. The building had no pool. There was a literary publication at Stuyvesant referencing the prank called "Sixth Floor Pool". The school moved into the new building (featured in the movie) shortly before filming began.
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Eugene Belford uses the pseudonym Babbage at the end of the film. Charles Babbage was the inventor of an early form of the computer.
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The "hacking"-sequences - the scenes where you see the "inside" of a computer - are mostly motion-controlled models, because director Iain Softley thought that actual computer graphics would look too artificial.
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William Gibson "invented" the term "Cyberspace" in 1982 for his book, Neuromancer.
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The computer they break into is a fictional mainframe computer called a "Gibson" - a homage to cyberpunk author William Gibson.
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"ARF! ARF! GOTCHA", which appears near the end, when the Gibson is about to crash, is a reference to one of the earliest Trojan horse programs, EGABTR from 1985. Disguised as a graphics utility, EGABTR spread by email, wiped out everything on a victim's hard disk, and left only the message, "Arf, arf, Gotcha!" on the screen. "ARF" may also serve double duty as a reference to the German hacker group "Asoziale Randgruppe Frankfurt".
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Around the movie's release, the official website was modified by its webmasters to appear that it had been "hacked into," and digital graffiti and instructions to "see 'The Net' instead" was added to the site's graphics.
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All of the books identified by Dade at the club were real manuals. All but two, the Pink Shirt Book and the Unix Bible, were published by the DoD and were part of a set of books known as the Rainbow Series.
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Scenes in the movie, and in Razor and Blades show, depict using a cassette recorder to play tones into a phone to make free calls. Coins dropped into pay phones used to trigger specific sounds that actually could be duplicated and used to fool pay phones into thinking you had paid for a call. This was also accomplished using a device called a tone generator. Also known as a Red Box.
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Penn Jillette's character is named Hal in the credits, most likely a reference to the HAL9000 computer system from the sci-fi movie 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968).
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At the beginning of the movie when Dade phones the security desk of the television station he is hacking in to he gives the name of Eddie Vedder, the singer of the rock band Pearl Jam.
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Cyberdelia was built from scratch in an abandoned indoor swimming pool on the outskirts of London, with the center of the club in the depths of what was the pool. Producer Ralph Winter notes, "We never knew why, but the pool was designated an historic landmark, so great care had to be taken not to damage anything and to return it to its original state."
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The poster for this movie shows Acid Burn and Crash Override with various words and ASCII symbols transposed on their faces. Amongst the words are:
  • 1. Names of hackers in the movie, including Lord Nikon, Acid Burn, and Crash Override
  • 2. Some of the commonly-used passwords, according to Plague, such as God, Sex, Love, and Secret
  • 3. Phreak - a "phone freak" - a hacker who concentrates their knowledge on telephone systems. (Phantom Phreak was the main Phreaker in the hacker group)
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The distinctive ring Kate Libby wears is the "Original Armour Ring" by jewelry designer Marche' Noir.
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Although they were all playing high school students, Jonny Lee Miller was 23 at the time of filming, Angelina Jolie was 20 and Matthew Lillard was 25. Only Jesse Bradford really fit the bill, being 16 at the time.
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Jonny Lee Miller attended a hacking convention to help him get into character.
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When the character Phantom Freak says to Dade he is "the king of NYNEX" this is a reference to the NYNEX Corporation, a prominent telecommunications company covering New York and New England until 1997.
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The bearded London hacker is Dave Stewart of Eurythmics.
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At one point Eugene "The Plague" Belford uses the term "keyboard cowboy". This is likely a reference to the term "console cowboy" that author William Gibson uses in his novel Neuromancer.
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"The Plague" writes a program that embezzles small amounts of money from the company at a time, thus amassing millions of dollars in a secret bank account. He tries to distract from his crime by framing the hackers with a computer virus set to capsize an oil tanker. The embezzlement-by-increments plot is called "salami slicing." Richard Pryor's character in Superman III (1983) does the same thing.
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When Zero Cool tries to get to Razor and Blade on stage, and gets thrown off by security, he crowd surfs. Some one can quickly be seen trying to steal his bright orange beeper from his belt.
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Jesse Bradford was originally brought in by casting directors to audition for the role of Dade Murphy but after reading the script, Bradford felt that he would rather audition for Joey Pardella and was eventually cast in that part.
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Iain Softley auditioned Hilary Swank, Heather Graham, and Liv Tyler for the role which ultimately went to Angelina Jolie.
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The cast were given three weeks to hang out together, get to know each other better and learn how to skateboard properly before filming began. They also spent most of that time studying computers and hacking.
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When Nikon is walking through Ellingson Mineral's office looking for people's passwords as they type them in, during the cut away sequence showing a person typing, the letters K-E-R-M-I-T are pressed. Kermit is a well-known file transfer protocol computers used to exchange files. The 'backronym' created to avoid legal issues with The Muppets is "KL10 Error-Free Reciprocal Microprocessor Interchange over TTY lines".
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Angelina Jolie complained that the movie typecast her to play "tough women with guns, the kind who wear no bra and a little tank top."
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Edward Norton auditioned for a role.
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The hackers take over the Gibson computer with a Cookie Monster virus that starts gobbling up all the data. This is based on a real program from the era. Cookie Monster would come up on the screen and demand a cookie. You would type "cookie" and it would go away for a while. If you typed "Oreo," it went away for a longer period of time.
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The part of Kate "Acid Burn" Libby was originally offered to Katherine Heigl, but due to prior commitments to Under Siege 2: Dark Territory (1995) she had to turn it down.
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The song that plays in the film's intro is Halcyon On & On by Orbital. This song was used at the ending of the film Mortal Kombat (1995), which was released a month prior to this film in the same year.
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For the cyberspace sequences, director Iain Softley insisted on not using CGI.
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The hacker handled 'Cereal' is most likely a tribute to actual hacker John Draper, who used the alias "Cap'n Crunch."
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During the subway scene Nikon had a marijuana leaf and supreme original box logo sticker pasted on his laptop.
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Lloyd's of London building used as a filming location.
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Two of the characters, Phantom Freak and Cereal Killer have hacking pseudonyms which are puns of actual hacking terms. Phantom Freak refers to Phreaking (hacking phone/telecommunications services). Cereal in Cereal Killer refers to serial keys which is a common name for software license keys.
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The telephone on Dade's desk seen while he is accessing the television station has an extra column of keys, used for PBX functions or to provide override functionality on the Autovon military telephone network.
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Spoilers 

The trivia item below may give away important plot points.

You see Angelina Jolie's breast twice
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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