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Independence Day (1996)

PG-13 | | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi | 3 July 1996 (USA)
Trailer
2:27 | Trailer
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
Reviews
Popularity
534 ( 175)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 34 wins & 35 nominations. See more awards »

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Photos

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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 2, 1996, the aliens came. On July 3, 1996, the aliens saw and struck. On Independence Day 1996, the human race will CONQUER! 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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Did You Know?

Trivia

(at around 24 mins) The smoky effect of the alien spacecraft as it moves into position above New York City was created by a double exposure on the film. The effect comes from recording water in a tank turning murky after a clod of dirt was dropped into it. See more »

Goofs

(at around 44 mins) During the first alien attack, Marty in New York and another driver in Los Angeles (the one who grabs his steering wheel) are shown stuck in traffic, facing the oncoming firestorm from the alien's primary weapon. All the cars on both streets are shown facing the alien attack and ship head-on. Why would any drivers be heading toward the Empire State Building, trying to move closer to where the ship is hovering and preparing to attack? 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.
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Crazy Credits

"Animal action was monitored by the American Humane Association. No animals or aliens were harmed in the making of this film." See more »

Alternate Versions

Several of the media reports shown in the movie were actually shot on videotape (including special effects). A number of these scenes, plus others not in the movie, were edited together into a fake newscast that is available on the DVD release. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The 5th Wave (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Rumble
Written by Link Wray and Milt Grant (as Milton Grant)
Performed by Link Wray
Courtesy of Barnaby Records Inc.
By arrangement with Celebrity Licensing
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User Reviews

 
Look at the size of that thing
2 September 2007 | by ExpendableManSee all my reviews

Independence Day is the sort of film that's best appreciated on a big screen, preferably a massive great plasma television that is so huge you had to cut the roof off your house and get airlifted in by helicopters just to get it in the living room. You should also have the most state of the art surround sound possible, with bass pickups so deep they cause earthquakes on the Eastern seaboard. Not because Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich's alien invasion flick is a masterpiece of cinematic art or anything, but because it's loud. Very loud. And if the windows in your house don't shatter when the spaceship flies over New York then well, you're just not experiencing it properly.

Taking the 1950's invasion narratives and pro-tooling them for 90's audiences, Independence Day is an absolute blast of visual flare and gung ho heroism. The plot is so straightforward as to be superfluous (aliens invade, fights ensue) but even so, it remains an invigorating watch purely because of the spectacle it provides. Back in 1996, the sight of that giant blue laser tearing apart lower Manhattan made jaws drop and while it's unlikely to do the same to today's overstimulated audiences, it's still an incredible visual feast. What's more, the ensemble cast makes it surprisingly unpredictable - we all know that the aliens will be defeated at the end, but what isn't so obvious is which characters are going to be alive to see it. Except for the kid and the dog. They're relatively safe bets.

Watching it now though, it does possess a cheerful naivety in the face of world politics. After all, this was 1996, the Cold War was over and 9/11 a long way off, so the entire world uniting against a common foe without being bogged down with petty arguments and personal agendas still seemed believable. Hell, even the gun-toting Arabs that briefly appear on screen are more than happy to rally behind Uncle Sam in the name of freedom. That's right folks, it's an Americans Save The World movie, complete with a snapshot of British officers drinking tea in the desert and waiting for those silly yanks to get a bally move on and show us what to do.

Needless to say, this is blockbuster entertainment through and through. The aliens are apparently here to strip mine the planet of all her natural resources, but they're quite happy to put that off for a bit in order to blow things up for the entire running time. Fans of in-depth characterisation, intelligent story telling and emotional engagement with the protagonists are wasting their time, but if you want to watch tourist attractions, jet planes and space craft exploding for three hours, you can't really go wrong. That business about a computer virus bringing down the mother-ship is a bit daft though, not once did they try switching everything on and off again.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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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

Gross USA:

$306,169,268

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$817,400,891
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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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)| DTS (DTS: X)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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