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Dark City (1998)

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A man struggles with memories of his past, including a wife he cannot remember, in a nightmarish world with no sun.

Director:

Alex Proyas

Writers:

Alex Proyas (story), Alex Proyas (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Popularity
2,042 ( 796)
10 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rufus Sewell ... John Murdoch
William Hurt ... Inspector Frank Bumstead
Kiefer Sutherland ... Dr. Daniel P. Schreber
Jennifer Connelly ... Emma Murdoch
Richard O'Brien ... Mr. Hand
Ian Richardson ... Mr. Book
Bruce Spence ... Mr. Wall
Colin Friels ... Walenski
John Bluthal ... Karl Harris
Mitchell Butel ... Husselbeck
Melissa George ... May
Frank Gallacher Frank Gallacher ... Stromboli
Ritchie Singer ... Hotel Manager / Vendor
Justin Monjo Justin Monjo ... Taxi Driver
Nicholas Bell ... Mr. Rain
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Storyline

John Murdoch awakens alone in a strange hotel to find that he has lost his memory and is wanted for a series of brutal and bizarre murders. While trying to piece together his past, he stumbles upon a fiendish underworld controlled by a group of beings known as The Strangers who possess the ability to put people to sleep and alter the city and its inhabitants. Now Murdoch must find a way to stop them before they take control of his mind and destroy him. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

They built the city to see what makes us tick. Last night one of us went off. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violent images and some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Australia | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 February 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dark City See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$27,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,576,953, 1 March 1998, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$14,378,331

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$12,821,985
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

American heavy metal band Iced Earth wrote a song titled "Dark City" that is directly inspired from the movie. The song is from their 2011 release "Dystopia" and features the lyrics, "Experimenting to understand the human soul, endangered they'll fade away" and "Fill our heads with false identity, synchronizing our confusion". See more »

Goofs

(at around 1h 8 mins) When the doctor is pointing a gun at Murdoch and trying to give him the injection containing his memories, it is daylight outside through the windows behind them, but there is supposed to be no daylight. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Dr. Schreber: [voiceover] First there was darkness. Then came the strangers. They were a race as old as time itself. They had mastered the ultimate technology. The ability to alter physical reality by will alone. They called this ability "Tuning". But they were dying. Their civilization was in decline, and so they abandoned their world seeking a cure for their own mortality. Their endless journey brought them to a small, blue world in the farthest corner of the galaxy. Our world. Here they ...
See more »

Alternate Versions

The DVD release is slightly longer than the one on video, with more footage towards the end of the film. There are more scenes of the duel between Murdoch and Mr. Book (the scene with the lightening and huge spikes) as well as both of them ascending into the air to continue their battle. A few scenes later, when Emma gets on the bus, there is an additional shot of the bus driving away. See more »

Connections

References Citizen Kane (1941) See more »

Soundtracks

The Night Has 1000 Eyes
Written by Marilyn Garrett, Dorothy Wayne (as Dottie Wayne) and Ben Weisman
Sung by Anita Kelsey
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Matrix this is not...it much much better.
2 May 2003 | by SinnermanSee all my reviews

I will be part of the rabid throngs of people lining up to catch a spectacle as huge as Reloaded and Revolution. Despite(and maybe because of) Matrix sky high hype right now, my thoughts drift back to this overlooked classic...but a little on Neo and gang first below...

The Matrix just happened.

With an uncanny midas touch, The Warchowski bros launched this(then unknown film) at the the right place, in the right time. With an execution commercial enough to bring in the box office moola and a philosophical subtext accessible enough for the general public to latch on to, the rest, as they say...is history.

The philosophical under pinnings though, (of blue pills, red pills, the subreality of consciousness and all that mambo jambo etc), so successfully popularised by The Matrix, was infact neither originated by The Matrix nor as fully realised than in other more accomplished works.

Which leads me to....drumroll.....

As such, IMHO, the best execution on the concept of reality and perception was already explored in a much more unbelievably visual opus, one year earlier, the grossly overlooked, criminally under-rated,

"Dark City". (One of My Top 10 All time Favourite Films)

This scifi/ film noir hybrid was impactful both cinematically and ideologically. Most importantly, it rewarded my wildly abandoned reach for human imagination and thirst for ideas, by fulfilling as much promise a motion picture can ever hope to give.

On top of that, my background as a "trekkie" scifi nerd meant I instinctively respond to films which challenge me both intellectually and spiritually. Dark City was thus a near religious, life cleansing experience for me.

And any which way I look at it, this film soars to heights unseen since 2001: A Space Odyssey...

But due to its messed up(or near-absent) marketing campaign(positioning the film to resemble a horror film for the teenage crowd), the film did not find its intended audience and flopped unceremoniously. Of course it found its audience but by then its was too late...

That said, the thirst for something better than our run of the mill pop corn fare is still there, waiting to be quenched.

And The Matrix filled that void.

Too bad it wasn't this film. But in a ideal world, it would. Sad.


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