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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1,616 ( 67)
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:

Alcatraz. Only one man has ever broken out. Now five million lives depend on two men breaking in. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to William Forsythe, when he was three weeks into shooting the movie, and they were about to shift locations for filming, Forsythe was mistaken for an extra, when he was getting a hot dog from the set's catering. Forsythe said the employee told him that extras weren't allowed food from craft services, and she summoned security, who subsequently said that he was part of the main cast. Forsythe said "I ate my hot dog, but I'm thinking two things: the fact that, after three weeks on the movie, I was being forbade a hot dog, and, 'I don't know what the hell they've got for the extras today. Trail mix, maybe?'" See more »

Goofs

As the Marines are patrolling, they continuously charge their weapons. While on patrol, it would be assumed that they would already have a round in the chamber. As a result, charging the weapon again would not only be unnecessary, but it would cause the weapon to eject a perfectly good round. 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.
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Alternate Versions

The Australian theatrical and video release uses alternate footage during the shower room scene without graphic blood squibs. The brief shot of the knife entering the soldier's throat is omitted. The metal tank landing on the soldier's head has been shortened. Shots are removed and alternate footage is used in the shootout between Hummel's men. The brief shot of Darrow's impaled body is omitted. See more »

Connections

Referenced in National Treasure (2004) 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
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User Reviews

 
Adrenalized..... yikes
27 March 2005 | by mstomasoSee all my reviews

The Rock is one of my all-time favorite suspense - thrillers. Believability - almost always a problem for this sort of film - is enhanced by a very compelling script, sets, and powerful performances by masters Sean Connery and Ed Harris. Like a good work of fiction, it's the quality of the telling that makes it believable, not the likelihood that it might happen. There are no problems with the way this story is told. The acting, editing, directing and visuals do not slip at all. Nick Cage - in a performance which approaches his best work - adds a bit of campiness and humor to this explosive mixture, and John Spencer, Tony Todd, David Morse, and Michael Biehn all contribute substantially to an exciting, fast-paced and emotionally draining film. Any avid movie-goer will be hard pressed to find a single actor in this sizable cast who has not either become a major star or a fine character actor over the last nine years.

The plot takes a number of twists and turns along the road, so to discuss almost any aspect of it in detail would require at least mild spoilers. None of the plot twists are unbelievable if you are willing to accept the basic premise. The story begins with Ed Harris - a Viet Nam war hero and field leader who is now a general and has become fed up with the abandonment of covert forces operatives by the US government. To get what he wants, he recruits some of the best officers under his command to take control of and hold Alcatraz Island, holding 70-some-odd civilians hostage and aiming four missiles loaded with deadly Sarin gas directly at the heart of San Francisco.

Biehn heads an elite Navy SEAL team assigned to infiltrate and disable Harris' capabilities. Cage joins him as the FBI biochemical specialist assigned the task of disarming the warheads, and the only man who can get them in to do their respective jobs is an aging British intelligence agent who has been incarcerated for 30 years or so by the government that now needs his help. Connery's John Mason escaped from Alcatraz during his incarceration, and for all intents and purpose - is a much rougher, more real James Bond character without the gadgets and the comic-book super-villains. All of the above is established in the first ten minutes of the film and the next two hours is a wild ride, with some very tense moments and some very intense performances.

I'm sure a lot of people will pick this film apart for the occasional unbelievable scene, etc, but it's worth while to remember - as my spouse is always telling me - "its only a movie".

If you want reality, take a walk outside or go to work!

There are no discernible powerful political messages in this film. While it must be acknowledged that the USA does sometimes treat members of its armed forces in an unappreciative and cavalier manner, this film does not really drive this point home in the way that, for example, Saving Private Ryan did. While it is also true that the US government does occasionally cover-up its own illegal activities, or soft-pedal them with propagandistic white lies, these issues are not really the subject of this film. This is made abundantly clear by the oddly out-of-place references to Roswell, New Mexico. The writers either did not want to dignify any perceived political messages by bringing up real-world transgressions and cover-ups - many of which are far more sinister than the secret development of stealth planes. This film is pure entertainment and - at that - a work of art. Treat it as such and you might just have a good time with it.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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