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The Siege (1998)

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The secret U.S. abduction of a suspected terrorist leads to a wave of terrorist attacks in New York City, which leads to the declaration of martial-law.

Director:

Edward Zwick

Writers:

Lawrence Wright (story), Lawrence Wright (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Popularity
4,892 ( 471)
2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Denzel Washington ... Anthony Hubbard
Annette Bening ... Elise Kraft / Sharon Bridger
Bruce Willis ... General William Devereaux
Tony Shalhoub ... Frank Haddad
Sami Bouajila ... Samir Nazhde
Ahmed Ben Larby Ahmed Ben Larby ... Sheik Achmed Bin Talal
Mosleh Mohamed Mosleh Mohamed ... Muezzin
Lianna Pai ... Tina Osu (as Liana Pai)
Mark Valley ... Mike Johanssen
Jack Gwaltney ... Fred Darius
David Proval ... Danny Sussman
Lance Reddick ... FBI Agent Floyd Rose
Jeremy Knaster Jeremy Knaster ... INS Official
William Hill ... INS Uniform
Aasif Mandvi ... Khalil Saleh
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Storyline

After the abduction by the US military of an Islamic religious leader, New York City becomes the target of escalating terrorist attacks. Anthony Hubbard, the head of the FBI's Counter-Terrorism Task Force in New York, teams up with CIA operative Elise Kraft to hunt down the terrorist cells responsible for the attacks. As the bombings continue, the US government responds by declaring martial law, sending US troops, led by Gen. Devereaux, into the streets of New York City. Written by Karen Eiler <keiler@sprintmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

On November 6th our freedom is history See more »

Genres:

Action | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, language and brief nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Arabic | Spanish

Release Date:

6 November 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Blowback See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$70,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$13,931,285, 8 November 1998, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$40,981,289

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$116,672,912
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to an interview that screenwriter Lawrence Wright gave to CBS in 2007, the film was a box-office failure upon its theatrical release, "but it was the most-rented movie in America after 9/11." Wright also claimed that the initial release bombed because "Muslim and Arab protesters picketed the theaters. They were furious at being stereotyped as terrorists." See more »

Goofs

In one scene before the bus explodes, Hub and Frank are driving in a car and Elise / Sharon is sitting on the rear seat. During the shots in which she is shown, you can clearly see through the rear window that the following cars are changing between shots. See more »

Quotes

[a big discussion is underway about the fight against terrorism in New York City]
Chief of Staff: General?
General William Devereaux: The Army is a broadsword, not a scalpel. Trust me, senator, you do not want the Army in an American city.
Chief of Staff: But hypothetically... how long would it take you to deploy?
General William Devereaux: You know we can't go in until the President invokes the War Powers Act.
Chief of Staff: I understand that, General. Let's assume, for a moment, that the order has been given.
General William Devereaux: Twelve hours after the President gives the order we can be on the ground. One light ...
[...]
See more »

Alternate Versions

Some post-2001 versions have the World Trade Center digitally removed from the New York skyline. See more »

Connections

Featured in Light It Up (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Great Leap Forward
Written by Jim Kerr (as James Kerr) and Charlie Burchill (as Charles Burchill)
Performed by Simple Minds
Courtesy of Virgin Records America, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Still stands up
20 November 2003 | by SurecureSee all my reviews

I remember hearing about this film before its release. It had caught a great deal of flack for its use of Arabs and Muslims in particular as violent extremists. Even at that time I knew that the protests against this film were nothing more than politically correct nonsense, as even then the only trans-oceanic terrorists that existed were of the fake-Muslim variety that today we hear about every hour.

When I saw the film, I was impressed by the fair nature of the film, in that it portrayed the truth: these extremists exist in the overwhelming minority of Muslims, and that it is unwise and unfair to paint them all with the same brush. With a very good script, excellent performances and exciting action pieces, I was impressed.

Jump ahead a few years, and we see what we have learned. This film was not just an intelligent story. It was a warning sign. It examined things that people did not want to talk about. It examined things that people thought it more politically correct to ignore. It portrayed events realistically and in fact far less devastating than what was possible. If there is one thing that can be learned by examining a film such as this in retrospective of recent events, it is that our species chooses to ignore that which it does not want to accept.

Those who do not learn from their history are doomed to repeat it. Perhaps there are other subjects we should stop being so PC about and actually talk about instead of worrying about "how it will look."


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