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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
939 ( 99)
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 FBI. Soon after his fiancée Carla Pestalozzi announces that she is pregnant, Stanley gets a call from FBI director James Womack. Womack tells Stanley that San Francisco's Alcatraz Island has been taken hostage, along with 81 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 Hummel 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 Stanley 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:

Cocked, locked, and Ready to Rock! 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

The furnace on Alcatraz is made by "Bay Foundry", a reference to Michael Bay. See more »

Goofs

(at around 1h 5 mins) When Mason is with the troops in the basement of Alcatraz, he states that he studied the timing of the boiler that he must roll through. The question has often been asked why he wouldn't then just be able to open the door during his original escape. However, when Alcatraz was functional, the door may well have been guarded or locked from the other side. 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 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

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Sympathetic Villains in Movies (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Rocket Man
Written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin
Performed by Elton John
Courtesy of Mercury Records, Ltd.
By Arrangement with PolyGram Film & TV Licensing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Finally an action film about its characters
2 May 1999 | by Tin Man-5See all my reviews

"The Rock" is an action movie, alright, but it's an action move about its characters, and that's what saves it. It has a strong cast and strong characters and therefore the plot, about a militia group taking Alcatraz hostage and threatening to fire bombs into San Francisco if they don't get 100 million dollars, isn't what comes off the best.

There are four central characters in this film. Hummel is the man in charge of this hostage takeover. He is a highly-ranked general who is doing this to teach the government a lesson: they've been neglecting forgotten soldiers who died in the Gulf and Nam, and instead of their families being told the truth, they've simply been marked as "Missing in Action." He is played by Ed Harris, who does such a good man torn between duty, conscience, and vengeance, he is the best film villain since Jack Nicholson in "The Shining."

Goodspeed is a computer nerd working for the C.I.A. He's never been in combat situations, but because of his advanced knowledge of chemical bombs, they've sent him into Alcatraz with a group of Navy SEALS, and he has no idea how to react in war-like situations. Played by Nicolas Cage, his performance is believable and powerful.

Anderson is the man in control of the Navy SEALS on the mission to Alcatraz. Tough as nails, bound by duty, he freely admits he agrees with Hummel's reasoning, but he says those are risks that are part of the job, and Hummel is wrong in his action because he took an oath to serve his country no matter what. He is played by Michael Biehn, who delivers a top-notch performance, and one similar to his role in "Terminator."

But the most powerful character in the film is Mason, the only man who has ever escaped from Alcatraz. Tough, cunning, and full of one-liners, he has been caged up in a maximum security prison for years. It's hard to say whether the viewer can trust him or not, and he has many secrets and much knowledge of the facility...which is why he was chosen to go with the SEALS. He is played by Sean Connery, who's performance is perfectly Sean Connery-ish. But who would want it any other way?

This film is great, and it is a great character study for anyone who might be majoring in it or just likes to watch films with good casts. Recommended. ****1/2 out of *****.


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