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Gattaca (1997)

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A genetically inferior man assumes the identity of a superior one in order to pursue his lifelong dream of space travel.

Director:

Andrew Niccol

Writer:

Andrew Niccol
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Popularity
1,738 ( 187)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ethan Hawke ... Vincent Freeman
Uma Thurman ... Irene Cassini
Gore Vidal ... Director Josef
Xander Berkeley ... Dr. Lamar
Jayne Brook ... Marie Freeman
Elias Koteas ... Antonio Freeman
Maya Rudolph ... Delivery Nurse
Una Damon ... Head Nurse
Elizabeth Dennehy ... Preschool Teacher
Blair Underwood ... Geneticist
Mason Gamble ... Vincent Freeman - Boy
Vincent Nielson Vincent Nielson ... Anton Freeman - Boy
Chad Christ ... Vincent Freeman - Teen
William Lee Scott ... Anton Freeman - Teen
Clarence Graham Clarence Graham ... Personnel Officer
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Storyline

In the not-too-distant future, a less-than-perfect man wants to travel to the stars. Society has categorized Vincent Freeman as less than suitable given his genetic make-up and he has become one of the underclass of humans that are only useful for menial jobs. To move ahead, he assumes the identity of Jerome Morrow, a perfect genetic specimen who is a paraplegic as a result of a car accident. With professional advice, Vincent learns to deceive DNA and urine sample testing. Just when he is finally scheduled for a space mission, his program director is killed and the police begin an investigation, jeopardizing his secret. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

There Is No Gene For The Human Spirit. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for brief violent images, language, and some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Esperanto

Release Date:

24 October 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Eighth Day See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$36,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,320,202, 26 October 1997, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$12,339,633, 1 March 1998

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,600,000, 22 March 1998
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS | DTS

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Many character names are symbolic. "Vincent" = "He shall conquer," which is what a "Freeman" does. Detective Hugo Coldspring = Human Genome Organization, which operates out of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. "Caesar" = Julius Caesar, who suffered from epilepsy. Ernest Borgnine typically plays strong leader roles, but here is limited to being a cleaner. "Cassini" = Cassini's division in the rings of Saturn, the destination of Vincent' flight. "Josef" = Josef Mengele, an SS doctor responsible for 'medical experiments' (Might this be a mistake for 'Gregor' = Gregor Mendel, Father of Genetics). "Eugene" = Eugenics, a program to 'improve' humans by selective breeding. "Flatfoot", used as an insult for a policeman, is also a genetically influenced condition. When Marie and Antonio consult the genetic counselor, they specify 'blue eyes, brown hair, and fair skin." The dark-eyed, head-shaved black counselor repeats these back, with a slight smile of condescension. See more »

Goofs

The simplest method of catching "borrowed ladders" would be to check the daily blood tests for anticoagulants. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Director Josef: You keep your work station so clean, Jerome.
Vincent: It's next to godliness. Isn't that what they say?
Director Josef: Godliness. I reviewed your flight plan. Not one error in a million keystrokes. Phenomenal. It's right that someone like you is taking us to Titan.
Vincent: Has the committee approved the mission? There's been talk of delay.
Director Josef: You shouldn't listen to talk. You leave in a week. You've got a substance test.
See more »

Crazy Credits

All instances of the letters A, C, G, and T (representing the four nucleotides of DNA -- see trivia entry) are emphasized in almost all names of people and companies credited in the film. These letters appear in a different typeface from the rest of the name; also, in the opening credits they appear onscreen a little before the rest of the name, while in the closing credits they appear in blue instead of white. See more »

Alternate Versions

The DVD contains deleted footage not included in the the theatrical release:
  • The original version of the "Eight Day Center" scene. Here the doctor offers Vincent's parents the possibility to further enhance the future Anton, charging $5,000. This is refused by both of them.
  • A briefing about the upcoming mission done by Director Josef. He is interrupted by Irene who tells him that the investigators wish to start their testing on all members of Gattaca.
  • Detective Hugo exposes Anton to be Vincent's brother.
  • Caesar tells Vincent to put the books away and accept his life.
  • Shortly before Vincent leaves for Titan, he visits Caesar and gives him a telescope.
  • A short sequence which shows some famous people who may had not been born if science had decrypted the human DNA sooner: Abraham Lincoln (Marfan's Syndrome), Emily Dickinson (Manic Depression), Vincent van Gogh (Epilepsy), Albert Einstein (Dyslexia), John F. Kennedy (Addison's Disease), Rita Hayworth (Alzheimer's Disease), Ray Charles (Primary Glaucoma), Stephen Hawking (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), and Jackie Joyner-Kersee (Asthma). The last sentence is: "Of course, the other birth that may never have taken place is your own."
  • Also included is an outtake where Xander Berkeley drinks one of the "urine" samples.
See more »


Soundtracks

Nuages
Written by Django Reinhardt & Jacques Larue
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Uses science fiction to explore ideas, and reveal some depths of the human spirit
2 July 2001 | by taishi81See all my reviews

"There is no gene for the human spirit." This is the TAG line of the movie Gattaca, a film that searches deep within the heart of man. This is one of Ethan Hawke's strongest performances as a man who refuses to trust the odds, and relies on fate and sheer will to achieve his dreams. He borrows the body of a man without dreams, played by Jude Law in his best performance to date as well. Law simply captures every scene with his sly intelligence and deeply darkened soul. He has no illusions about life, or himself, and he is the perfect counterpoint to Hawke's unrelenting dreamer.

The performances only enhance, however, a wonderful script by first time writer/director Andrew Niccol. It deals with science fiction and the future in the best way, by exploring ideas. He quickly and easily presents a future not unimaginable, and truly existing in a "not-too-distant future." Genetic engineering is happening today all the time in areas outside the human species, and sometimes within. How long will it take before the gloves are taken off and science truly starts to decide the type of people humanity will become? What issues will be addressed when that time comes? Niccol addresses many of them already, mostly dealing with the discrimination that would probably take place in society. The most subtle and yet important question he asks though is whether a man is truly the sum of his genes, or could his spirit somehow carry him beyond all expectations? Such thoughts are dealt with through intelligent characters given intelligent diolague and placed with intelligent situations. It is interesting how such a thoughtful picture can be at time a real thriller to watch as well.

Gattaca is one of my favorite movies because it is not afraid to address important issues that are truly current in modern day society, and do it with great thought and heart. It wisely stresses the subtle theological questions of whether man ought to tamper with God's work, and whether the result would be a better society, or a better humanity.


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