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:

A message from deep space. Who will be the first to go? A journey to the heart of the universe. 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

Author and producer Carl Sagan died during production. He was reportedly taking great care to ensure that "science" was accurately depicted in this movie. See more »

Goofs

In the opening galactic pullback scene, the oldies in the soundtrack are out of sync with the indicated distance from Earth. It takes 4 hours for a radio transmission to travel from Earth to the edge of our solar system, yet 1960s music and news cues are heard as the "virtual camera" passes Jupiter. 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 The Andy Griffith Show (1960) See more »

Soundtracks

Over the Rainbow
(uncredited)
Music by Harold Arlen
Lyrics by E.Y. Harburg
Performed by Judy Garland
Played briefly during the opening sequence
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User Reviews

 
No film has moved me more than this one, ever
5 November 2004 | by SteveHevetSSee all my reviews

This, for me, is a masterpiece. I have enjoyed it more with each viewing.

Carl Sagan was a great man. He promoted science in the way it should be, portraying the profound mysteriousness of our universe with humility, and without dogma. In his book, the Demon-Haunted World, he quoted Einstein:

"All our science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike -- and yet it is the most precious thing we have".

Contact conveys this simple message in a subtle yet immensely powerful way. The performances are some of the most compelling I have seen, particularly by Jodie Foster and David Morse.

Just magnificent.


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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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