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Starship Troopers (1997)

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Humans in a fascist, militaristic future wage war with giant alien bugs in a satire of modern world politics.

Director:

Paul Verhoeven

Writers:

Edward Neumeier (screenplay) (as Ed Neumeier), Robert A. Heinlein (book)
Popularity
468 ( 79)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »

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Director: Edward Neumeier
Stars: Casper Van Dien, Jolene Blalock, Stephen Hogan
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Casper Van Dien ... Johnny Rico
Dina Meyer ... Dizzy Flores
Denise Richards ... Carmen Ibanez
Jake Busey ... Ace Levy
Neil Patrick Harris ... Carl Jenkins
Clancy Brown ... Sgt. Zim
Seth Gilliam ... Sugar Watkins
Patrick Muldoon ... Zander Barcalow
Michael Ironside ... Jean Rasczak
Rue McClanahan ... Biology Teacher
Marshall Bell ... General Owen
Eric Bruskotter ... Breckinridge
Matt Levin ... Kitten Smith
Blake Lindsley ... Katrina
Anthony Ruivivar ... Shujimi
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Storyline

In the distant future high school kids are encouraged to become citizens by joining the military. What they don't know is that they'll soon be engaged in a full scale war against a planet of alien insects. The fight is on to ensure the safety of humanity. Written by Christopher Van Pelt

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

You can't step on these ones See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for graphic sci-fi violence and gore, and for some language and nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 November 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bug Hunt at Outpost Nine See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$105,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$22,058,773, 9 November 1997, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$54,814,377

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$121,214,377
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | SDDS (8 channels)| Dolby Digital

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The heavy weapons mounted on towers featured in the bug assault on the base at Planet P were Browning M2 .50 cal machine guns mocked up to look like Degtyaryov-Shpagin Krupnokalibernyi DShK's ("Degtyaryov-Shpagin Large Caliber"), in a twin-gun arrangement on a gimbal mount. The DShK was designed in the Soviet Union in the 1930s and fires a 12.7x108mm cartridge, roughly the Soviet equivalent of the American .50-cal. BMG. At the time of filming, real DShK's - as well as blank ammunition for them - were all but impossible to obtain, so most appearances of them in film feature M2's with a mocked-up barrel. See more »

Goofs

During the punishment, the leather piece Rico is biting down on changes positions between shots. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Newsreel announcer: Young people from all over the globe are joining up to fight for the future.
Soldier #1: I'm doing my part.
Soldier #2: I'm doing my part.
Soldier #3: I'm doing my part.
Young kid dressed up as a soldier: I'm doing my part too.
[Soldiers laugh]
Newsreel announcer: They're doing their part. Are you? Join the Mobile Infantry and save the world. Service guarantees citizenship.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The Australian Cable, VHS, DVD, and theatrical releases are uncut. The free-to-air TV version makes a few cuts in order to receive an 'M' rating so that the movie may be shown at an earlier 8:30pm time-slot. Nudity and language are intact, and the following scenes are cut for violence:
  • The decapitation/trench run at the beginning is cut by a few seconds. In the middle of the movie where the scene is replayed, it is still cut. The death of the cameraman is not shown and cuts to Rico shooting the bug still.
  • The 'knife' scene is cut. The knife is thrown, but it is not actually shown going into the hand, let alone Zim calling out Medic! when he pulls the knife out.
  • Shujumi's death is cut, the Bug doesn't carry him around before chucking him away.
  • One of the announcement breaks are cut, The one when the reports of Mormons settle on a military base, with the corpses being shown.
  • When the Radio Technician is picked up by a Flying Bug, the initial stinging of him is cut.
  • When Rasczak has his legs bitten off, the shot of Rico fully plays out over the gunshot wound to Rasczak, instead of cutting to the shot.
  • The three victims of the Tanker Bug are cut.
  • The showing of Farley with his brains gone is cut.
  • Numerous cuts occur on the attack on the military base.
  • Dizzy's death is cut, the initial 2 stabs are in, the next 2 stabs are cut and the pulling out of the claw is cut too, just Rico and Levy carry her back to the lifeboat.
  • A shot of Carmen wincing in pain after she gets stabbed by a Bug is cut
  • The scene where the brain bug sucks Zander's brains out is cut; it cuts away to a shot of Carmenafter the head is pierced.
See more »

Connections

Followed by Starship Troopers: Invasion (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Dixie
(uncredited)
Written by Daniel Decatur Emmett
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Unique, subversive masterpiece
15 December 2013 | by gogoschka-1See all my reviews

This film is about the ignorance of conquerors and the fact that war makes fascists of us all. Now that doesn't sound like a lot of fun, does it. But guess what: it is fun (by the truckload - at least if you have a pitch-black sense of humour and you do realise what this film is and what it wants to achieve).

Paul Verhoeven was a master at making Sci-Fi films which worked both as perfect mainstream popcorn cinema and as very intelligent social commentary on the direction - he felt - society was headed. And despite the fact that the over-the-top satirical elements and highly political undercurrents in his two previous sci-fi extravaganzas Robocop and Total Recall were only appreciated by a few critics at the time, those two films became huge hits at the box office: because they also offered great action, amazing special effects and overall great entertainment.

My guess is that Verhoeven felt encouraged by that success, and so with Starship Troopers, he didn't just sneak in some subversive parts: he went full-blown satire. Sadly, that didn't go down too well with audiences and critics alike; apparently most viewers didn't get the film at all (the - seemingly - good guys wear Nazi uniforms? What the heck?). Verhoeven even got accused of being a fascist, and it took the director's commentary on the DVD to finally make it once and for all clear what Starship Troopers is about and what the writer's and the director's intentions were.

I wonder whether the studio execs realised what Verhoeven was up to with that film; maybe the director just took their 100 million dollars and ran with it. The result, in any case, is a unique oddity that I personally feel is on par with films like District 9 or even Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove. It's a masterpiece. And much like another glitch in the Hollywood machine, David Fincher's Fight Club, films like that rarely get made (and not with such budgets), because more often than not, they end up as flops.

Apart from the underlying themes, on the surface Starship Troopers also has a lot going for it: amazing effects that still hold up very well and insanely intense battle scenes with more blood and guts than even the meanest gore-hound could wish for. So no matter how it came about that a studio ever green-lit this and gave Verhoeven a 100 million dollars - I for one will forever be grateful for this unique subversive masterpiece. My vote: 10 out of 10

Favorite films: IMDb.com/list/mkjOKvqlSBs/

Lesser-Known Masterpieces: imdb.com/list/ls070242495/

Favorite Low-Budget and B-Movies: imdb.com/list/ls054808375/

Favorite TV-Shows reviewed: imdb.com/list/ls075552387/


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