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Sphere (1998)

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A spaceship is discovered under three hundred years' worth of coral growth at the bottom of the ocean.

Director:

Barry Levinson

Writers:

Michael Crichton (novel), Kurt Wimmer (adaptation) | 2 more credits »
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4,338 ( 773)
3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Dustin Hoffman ... Norman
Sharon Stone ... Beth
Samuel L. Jackson ... Harry
Peter Coyote ... Barnes
Liev Schreiber ... Ted
Queen Latifah ... Fletcher
Marga Gómez Marga Gómez ... Jane Edmunds
Huey Lewis ... Helicopter Pilot
Bernard Hocke Bernard Hocke ... Seaman
James Pickens Jr. ... O.S.S.A. Instructor
Michael Keys Hall Michael Keys Hall ... O.S.S.A. Official
Ralph Tabakin Ralph Tabakin ... O.S.S.A. Official
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Storyline

1000 feet below the ocean, navy divers discover an object half-a-mile long. A crack team of scientists are deployed to the site in Deepsea Habitats. What they find boggles the mind as they discover a perfect metal sphere. What is the secret behind the sphere? Will they survive the mysterious 'manifestations'? Who or what is creating these? They may never live to find out. Written by Michael Hofer <fbci4@escape.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A thousand feet beneath the sea, the blackest holes are in the mind... See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sci-fi action including some startling images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Warner Bros.

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 February 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sphere See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$80,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$16,586,765, 13 February 1998, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$37,020,277

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$13,100,000, 5 April 1998
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

While this movie was held up in production, Director Barry Levinson was able to make another film with Dustin Hoffman in the interim, Wag the Dog (1997). See more »

Goofs

The team needs to decompress each time that they enter the sub/ habitat module/ spaceship while scuba diving, which at 1000 ft, actually takes ~15 hrs. There is no need to decompress on board the surface ship since the sub's interior air pressure is always ~15 psi (1 atm) during the entire ascent (and descent) - as are presumably the habitat module and spaceship. See more »

Quotes

[the group is breathing helium]
Dr. Ted Fielding: [high pitched voice] Oxygen is a corrosive gas, in the same family as fluorine and chlorine - hydrochloric acid, hydrofluoric acid. That's why we're breathing helium down here, because oxygen at any level higher than 2.3 becomes toxic.
Norman Goodman: [high pitched voice] Can you run that by me again, Ted? I don't speak balloon.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits are cast over an invisible sphere. See more »

Alternate Versions

SPOILER ALERT: An alternate television edit has been shown with a simplified and more ambiguous ending that follows the shooting script; Harry warns them that the authorities are on their way to debrief them, and they will demand answers. The three survivors ready themselves to forget about their mission and the power they possess. Outside, a helicopter sets down. Subsequently, we see the three survivors being interviewed in a debriefing room after decompression, each shot individually against the same background. They react as if they're oblivious to anything going wrong in the Habitat, unaware of anything that happened to Ted, Barnes or the Sphere. The helicopter leaves, and the camera pans down to the ocean, where the Sphere supposedly still remains. See more »


Soundtracks

Horn Concerto No. 3 in E Flat Major, K.447
Written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performed by Vienna Mozart Ensemble; Herbert Kraus, Conductor
Courtesy of LaserLight Digital
By Arrangement with Source/Q
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

The best underwater action film!
27 November 2002 | by Damian-SawyerSee all my reviews

This is the rarest of action films - one that engages your intellect not just your senses.

On the seabed in mid-ocean a huge vessel is discovered. A team is dispatched to investigate - and what they find is beyond belief.

Admittedly there were a couple of scenes which I felt missed the intended realism of the film, and occasionally it seemed far too obvious what was going on, but the ending resolved everything beautifully.

I suspect that fans of action films will feel let down by the thought necessary to follow this film, and fans of science fiction may well feel that after the first half hour there is a lack of a traditional sci-fi element. Many people I'm sure will feel that too little is explained, but the point of the film is that it doesn't need to be - the message of the ending is strong enough that we don't need explanation.

I'd particularly recommend this film to anyone who likes psychological thrillers. I was fairly impressed by the action integrated in The Abyss, but Sphere far surpasses it in terms of plot. Most of all, if you like films that simply entertain, this is not for you. It's more about the reactions it causes in you when you follow the story. If you come away from this film unchanged, you've missed the point.


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