Dr. Ellie Arroway, after years of searching, finds conclusive radio proof of extraterrestrial intelligence, sending plans for a mysterious machine.

Director:

Robert Zemeckis

Writers:

James V. Hart (screenplay by), Michael Goldenberg (screenplay by) | 3 more credits »
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Popularity
1,438 ( 716)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 14 wins & 30 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jena Malone ... Young Ellie
David Morse ... Ted Arroway
Jodie Foster ... Eleanor Arroway
Geoffrey Blake ... Fisher
William Fichtner ... Kent
Sami Chester Sami Chester ... Vernon (as SaMi Chester)
Timothy McNeil ... Davio
Laura Elena Surillo Laura Elena Surillo ... Cantina Woman
Matthew McConaughey ... Palmer Joss
Tom Skerritt ... David Drumlin
Henry Strozier ... Minister
Max Martini ... Willie (as Maximilian Martini)
Larry King ... Larry King
Thomas Garner Thomas Garner ... Ian Broderick
Conroy Chino Conroy Chino ... KOB-TV Reporter
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Storyline

Astronomer Dr. Ellie Arroway has long been interested in contact to faraway lands, a love fostered in her childhood by her father, Ted Arroway (David Morse), who died when she was nine-years-old, leaving her orphaned. Her current work in monitoring for extraterrestrial life is based on that love and is in part an homage to her father. Ever since funding from the National Science Foundation (N.S.F.) was pulled on her work, which is referred to some, including her N.S.F. superior David Drumlin (Tom Skerritt), as more science fiction than science, Ellie, with a few of her rogue scientist colleagues, have looked for funding from where ever they could get it to continue their work. When Ellie and her colleagues hear chatter originating from the vicinity of the star Vega, Ellie feels vindicated. But that vindication is short lived when others, including politicians, the military, religious leaders, and other scientists, such as Drumlin, try to take over her work. When the messages received ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Get ready to take a chance on something that just might end up being the most profoundly impactful moment for humanity, for the history... of history. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some intense action, mild language and a scene of sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Ellie is released and dropped into the machine, she yells "Oh, God!" Throughout the movie, she said she needed proof to believe in God. See more »

Goofs

When giving testimony at the inquiry, Ellie states that the travel lasted 18 hours for her and just a second for the witnesses. She had no way of knowing the exact duration of her experience since she didn't have a watch and any scientist who admitted being subject to a vivid illusion would know that subjective time is hard to reckon. Besides, the duration of the static recording was unknown to her and the public. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Young Ellie: CQ, this is W9GFO. CQ, this is W9GFO here. Come back?
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Crazy Credits

"For Carl" See more »

Connections

References Red Planet Mars (1952) See more »

Soundtracks

Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini
(uncredited)
Written by Lee Pockriss and Paul Vance
Performed by Brian Hyland
Played briefly during the opening sequence
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User Reviews

 
A movie for the future generations
2 September 2020 | by omegacentauri21See all my reviews

The 90's movies have a certain charm you can not replicate. It makes you belive in better things, makes you want to be better. I liket this movie because it focused on mankind, and not just America. Do not take me wrong. I dont have any problem with America, but there are a lot of things you have to consider besides that nation. I liked the how it made me think about the everlasting parallel between belief and technology. It gives you the right to choose, what you want to belive in. That is a very nice thing nowadays.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish | German | Russian

Release Date:

11 July 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Contact See more »

Filming Locations:

Mojave Desert, Arizona, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$90,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$20,584,908, 13 July 1997

Gross USA:

$100,920,329

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$171,120,329
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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