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The Rock (1996)

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A mild-mannered chemist and an ex-con must lead the counterstrike when a rogue group of military men, led by a renegade general, threaten a nerve gas attack from Alcatraz against San Francisco.

Director:

Michael Bay

Writers:

David Weisberg (story), Douglas Cook (story) (as Douglas S. Cook) | 3 more credits »
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Popularity
802 ( 345)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 9 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sean Connery ... John Patrick Mason
Nicolas Cage ... Stanley Goodspeed
Ed Harris ... General Francis X. Hummel
John Spencer ... F.B.I. Director Womack
David Morse ... Major Tom Baxter
William Forsythe ... Ernest Paxton
Michael Biehn ... Commander Anderson
Vanessa Marcil ... Carla Pestalozzi
John C. McGinley ... Marine Captain Hendrix (as John C. Mc Ginley)
Gregory Sporleder ... Captain Frye
Tony Todd ... Captain Darrow
Bokeem Woodbine ... Sergeant Crisp
Jim Maniaci Jim Maniaci ... Private Scarpetti
Greg Collins ... Private Gamble
Brendan Kelly ... Private Cox
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Storyline

Stanley Goodspeed, who lives in Washington, D.C., is a biochemist who works for the F.B.I. Soon after his fiancée Carla Pestalozzi announces that she is pregnant, Stanley gets a call from F.B.I. Director James Womack. Womack tells Stanley that San Francisco's Alcatraz Island has been taken hostage, along with eighty-one tourists, by Marine General Francis Xavier Hummel who, for years, has been protesting the government's refusal to pay benefits to families of war veterans who died during covert military operations. The death of his wife Barbara on March 9, 1995 drove General Hummel over the edge, and now he's holding hostages in order to get his point across. Stanley is needed because General Hummel has stolen some VX gas warheads and has announced that he will launch them onto San Francisco unless his demands are met. Stanley knows how to disarm the bombs, but he needs someone who knows Alcatraz well enough to get him inside. That man is former British Intelligence Agent John Patrick... Written by Todd Baldridge

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

America is Rocking! See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, language and a sex scene | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 June 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Rock See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$75,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$25,069,525, 9 June 1996

Gross USA:

$134,069,511

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$335,062,621
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Aside from the obvious references to Sir Elton John's "Rocket Man", there is another, more subtle astronaut-themed reference: Major Baxter's first name is Tom, hence Major Tom, the ill-fated astronaut from David Bowie's "Space Oddity". See more »

Goofs

VX in liquid form, as presumably shown in the film by the small balls containing the substance, does not take effect immediately. After absorption through the skin and/or mucous membranes, it takes approx 1 to 2 hours before visible nerve agent symptoms begin to show. However, if a person is exposed to the aerosol form of VX, effects are immediate. In either case, the symptoms of VX poisoning resemble more of a full-body seizure than a bubbling/melting of the skin. Atropine must only be injected into the heart when poisoning by the aerosolized version occurs. Otherwise, the atropine is injected into the thigh. Furthermore, Atropine is also poisonous to the human body when it's injected into the body before aerosolize exposure occurs, either case Atropine's main side effect weakens the human body to the point of incapacitation and would be in no fit state to diffuse a bomb or get up and run and wave flares as depicted in the movie. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
General Hummel: Congressman Weaver and esteemed members of the Special Armed Services Committee, I come before you to protest a grave injustice... It has to stop.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The UK channel 5 version cuts Commander Anderson's death, when he is shot the first time; the shot of his blood spilling out of his back was replaced by a shot of Sean Connery. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Galaxy Quest (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Leaving On A Jet Plane
Written by John Denver
Performed by Frank Sinatra
Courtesy of Reprise Records
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
An action packed, high octane thriller with great performances. ***1/2 out of ****.
20 March 2000 | by Movie-12See all my reviews

THE ROCK / (1996) ***1/2

Starring: Sean Connery, Nicolas Cage, Ed Harris, Jon Spencer, David Morse, William Forsythe, Bokeem Woodbine, and Vanessa Marcil. Directed by Michael Bay. Running time: 135 minutes. Rated R (for strong intense violence, language and brief sexuality)

Notes taken while screening The Rock:

· The film contains superior character development of both the antagonist and protagonist. Each is clear and well defined. We also learn the characters motives, reasoning, dramatic situation, and premise--all brilliantly introduced within the setup.

· Sean Connery provides us with strong character development through John Patrick Mason--although the character is somewhat a rip off of the Anthony Hokins' Hannibal from "The Silence of the Lambs."

· It is uncanny how well the movie's visual style works. It propels the film's suspense the extra mile, increasing the tension and enticement. Also contributing to the style is the fitting soundtrack.

· Some of the events are excessively coincidental. For example, during an exciting chase scene, Mason dashes out of a building, escaping the clutches of concealing police, discovering a Hum-V seemingly awaiting his arrival. Experienced chemist, Stanley Goodspeed (Nicolas Cage), chases after him, in a high speed Ferrari sitting outside his position in a building. Another coincidence occurs in the high security prison, where Mason escapes a grenade blast by dashing at random into a room, where, of course, there just so happens to be a secure bathtub to climb in.

· There is a stolid, aggressively effective cast present. Each actor contributes a taut, penetrating performance, especially Ed Harris as the film's villain, General Francis X. Hummel who demands a moral purpose holding the lives of an urban area at stake.

* The character's motives and perfectly defined, especially General Francis X. Hummel. Even as the film's bad guy, he serves an understandable position, thus we empathize with him, unlike most villains witnessed in modern day thrillers.

· The standard three act structure is flawless: each scene propels the plot forward. The sequences either create a new problem or complicate a previous conflict, favoring with the later concept. This raises the line of tension even further.

· Most of the production takes place in a high security prison, Alcatraz, crafted with a complex, awe-inspiring atmosphere towering over that of most action movies.

· Sean Connery handles the complicated role of John Mason with mere simplicity, yet easily torments the audience with a sense of omniscient knowledge of the plot.

· The picture is unpredictable and contains several inducing and unexpected twists proving this movie is imaginative and free to surprise us. The conclusion is not fomulatic. "The Rock" is filled with artful design and crafty performances. It is one of the year's best action films.

Brought to you by Hollywood Pictures.


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