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Independence Day (1996)

PG-13 | | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi | 3 July 1996 (USA)
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2:27 | Trailer

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The aliens are coming and their goal is to invade and destroy Earth. Fighting superior technology, mankind's best weapon is the will to survive.

Director:

Roland Emmerich
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Popularity
685 ( 474)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 34 wins & 34 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Will Smith ... Capt. Steven Hiller
Bill Pullman ... President Thomas J. Whitmore
Jeff Goldblum ... David Levinson
Mary McDonnell ... Marilyn Whitmore
Judd Hirsch ... Julius Levinson
Robert Loggia ... General William Grey
Randy Quaid ... Russell Casse
Margaret Colin ... Constance Spano
James Rebhorn ... Albert Nimziki
Harvey Fierstein ... Marty Gilbert
Adam Baldwin ... Major Mitchell
Brent Spiner ... Dr. Brakish Okun
James Duval ... Miguel
Vivica A. Fox ... Jasmine Dubrow
Lisa Jakub ... Alicia
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Storyline

On July 2nd, communications systems worldwide are sent into chaos by a strange atmospheric interference. It is soon learned by the military that a number of enormous objects are on a collision course with Earth. At first thought to be meteors, they are later revealed to be gigantic spacecraft, piloted by a mysterious alien species. After attempts to communicate with the aliens go nowhere, David Levinson, an ex-scientist turned cable technician, discovers that the aliens are going to attack major points around the globe in less than a day. On July 3rd, the aliens all but obliterate New York, Los Angeles and Washington, as well as Paris, London, Houston and Moscow. The survivors set out in convoys towards Area 51, a strange government testing ground where it is rumored the military has a captured alien spacecraft of their own. The survivors devise a plan to fight back against the enslaving aliens, and July 4th becomes the day humanity will fight for its freedom. July 4th is their ... Written by Gustaf Molin <gumo@hem2.passagen.se>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

On July 2nd, they arrive. On July 3rd, they strike. On July 4th, we fight back. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sci-fi destruction and violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 July 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

ID4 See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Clarita, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$75,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$50,228,264, 7 July 1996, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$306,169,268, 31 December 1997

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$817,400,891, 31 December 1997
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (extended cut)

Sound Mix:

DTS 70 mm (70 mm print)| DTS (35 mm prints)| Dolby Digital (35 mm prints)| SDDS (35 mm prints)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Holds the record for most miniature model work to appear in one film. Model shop supervisor Michael Joyce estimated that more miniatures were used for this film than in any other two films combined. Due to the advances in digital technology since this film's release, most experts believe this record may stand forever. See more »

Goofs

(at around 2h) Several of the shots of the underside of the spaceship arriving at Area 51 and about to deploy its main weapon are actually shots of the spaceship closing its main weapon and departing after destroying New York run in reverse. You can see the tops of the destroyed skyscrapers along the bottom of the screen. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
SETI Chief: [answering telephone] If this isn't an insanely beautiful woman, I'm hangin' up.
SETI technician: Sir, I - I- I think you should listen to this.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Frank Bollinger, originally from the art department is credited as "Alien Supervisor" because he wasn't member of the union, so he wouldn't be allowed to work in that department. See more »

Alternate Versions

In some cinemas in the Middle East, all scenes including Judd Hirsch were removed. In the film, Hirsch's character speaks Yiddish and wears the traditional Jewish yarmulke. See more »

Connections

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Good Movies by Bad Directors (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Live It Cool
Written by Junior Vasquez and Lydia Rhodes
Performed by Lydia Rhodes
Courtesy of MCA Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Limited character development and an uncomplicated plot result in a one-shot movie
23 January 2006 | by mstomasoSee all my reviews

Independence Day doesn't stand up particularly well to a second viewing. It is basically a millenial version of The War of the Worlds with grand-scale effects and a cast which probably cost almost as much as the effects. Will Smith, Randy Quaid, Jeff Goldblum, Adam Baldwin and Judd Hirsch help pick up a surprisingly talented (but underexploited) cast and seem to have enjoyed their parts. Unfortunately, the mediocre script allowed few of the other actors to make their roles shine.

The plot is so simple it's hard to imagine a 140+ minute film about it. The earth is under invasion from a highly advanced and merciless alien culture hell bent on intergalactic conquest. Our most powerful weapons can not pierce their shields and their weapons are capable of incinerating cities the size of Washington DC with one shot. After the first wave of attacks, all seems lost, and humans must find some way to fight back.

Roland Emmerich's direction is good. There are few dull moments and very little in the way of uninteresting and pointless scenes. Unfortunately, the characters are generally two-dimensional - even Bill Pullman's brooding, depressed President of the United States comes across as an uncomplicated, uninspired and unemotional individual. Limited character development and an uncomplicated plot result in a one-shot movie.

The best performances in Independence Day are the semi-comedic ones (note the actors mentioned above. This should tell you most of what you need to know about the film. Enjoy it by not taking it seriously, but spare yourself a second viewing unless intoxicated. And, oh yea, don't see it if you have a problem with American nationalism - the film is full of it.


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