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.


Roland Emmerich
354 ( 107)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 34 wins & 35 nominations. See more awards »





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


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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


They only want one thing... DESTRUCTION! See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


(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 »


(at around 42 mins) When the White House is being evacuated, as Connie runs down the stairs in the shot facing her, she is speaking with a woman to her right, but in the next shot from behind the woman has vanished. See more »


[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

The opening credits including the title have all the letters break together. See more »

Alternate Versions

An extended version of the film contains ca. 8 minutes of extended/additional footage bringing it to 153 minutes total. The scenes include:
  • The first dialogue between President Whitmore and Constance Spano was extended.
  • A few sentences were added in the scene as Whitmore proposes to go to DefCon 3.
  • The first added scene is a dialogue between David Levinson and a colleague at the TV station. He explains that an unknown signal is responsible for the bad TV broadcasting and that he may be able to block this signal.
  • In the next extended scene Russell Casse meets his son after he was released from prison.
  • Up next the dialogue between Jasmine and Tiffany in the strip club was extended.
  • Then there is an extended dialogue between David and his father on the way to the White house. Right after this is an added scene in which David is searching for the number of Constance's handy.
  • Another added scene features David and his father in the oval Office. The father is talking about the persons who visited this office. Actors, football players and now himself...
  • Right after Jasmine found the truck, there is an added scene in which the illness of Russell's youngest son is described.
  • The next added scene features Jasmine as she drives the truck and some survivors through the destroyed city.
  • Later in Area 51 there is an added scene in which David Levinson and Dr. Brakkish Okun go into the alien spacecraft. Here the Doctor explains some of the alien technology.
  • As Captain Steven Hiller arrives with the alien visitor, a scene was added in which Russell asks for a doctor for his ill son.
  • The last extended scene shows Russell's daughter establishing a new friendship while the fight rages above Area 51.
See more »


Referenced in Mister America (2019) See more »


Oh Vicki
Written by Bill Elliott
Performed by Bill Elliott
Courtesy of Windswept Pacific Entertainment Co.
See more »

User Reviews

Funny, Entertaining, but not as Good as When I Saw for the First Time
7 October 2013 | by claudio_carvalhoSee all my reviews

On July 2nd, satellite stations experience interference in their systems and the scientists and military believe that it is caused by meteors. Soon they realize that it is originated from the Moon by a huge spacecraft that brings other ones that are positioned over the major cities on Earth including Washington, New York and Los Angeles and governments do not know the purpose of the alien force.

The scientist David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum) discovers that the aliens are preparing the invasion of Earth, destroying the human species, and he succeeds in reporting to the president of the United States, President Thomas J. Whitmore (Bill Pullman). With an inferior technology, Whitmore and General William Grey (Robert Loggia) decide to give a chance to Levinson's plan of downloading a virus in the computer of the alien spacecraft as the last chance of Earthlings to survive.

In 1996, when I saw "Independence Day" in a movie theater on the release, I liked a lot this sci-fi adventure. Yesterday I saw it again on DVD and I found it funny and entertaining, but not as good as when I saw it for the first time.

The story of an alien invasion still has great special effects, but the conclusion is lame with the idea of the virus and the nationalist speech of President Whitmore. Bill Pullman is awful, with his wooden face giving the sensation that he is sick and tired.

There are silly melodramatic subplots of soap opera, like for example, the death of First Lady Marilyn Whitmore (Mary McDonnell) that is forgotten by the president; or the desire of getting married of the stripper Jasmine Dubrow. But after 145 minutes running time, it is a good entertainment. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "Independence Day"

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Release Date:

3 July 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

ID4 See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Clarita, California, USA See more »


Box Office


$75,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$50,228,264, 7 July 1996

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (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)



Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

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