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Total Recall (1990)

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When a man goes in to have virtual vacation memories of the planet Mars implanted in his mind, an unexpected and harrowing series of events forces him to go to the planet for real - or is he?

Director:

Paul Verhoeven

Writers:

Philip K. Dick (short story "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale") (as Phillip K. Dick), Ronald Shusett (screen story) | 5 more credits »
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Popularity
859 ( 168)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 7 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Arnold Schwarzenegger ... Quaid
Rachel Ticotin ... Melina
Sharon Stone ... Lori
Ronny Cox ... Cohaagen
Michael Ironside ... Richter
Marshall Bell ... George / Kuato
Mel Johnson Jr. ... Benny
Michael Champion ... Helm
Roy Brocksmith ... Dr. Edgemar
Ray Baker ... McClane
Rosemary Dunsmore ... Dr. Lull
David Knell ... Ernie
Alexia Robinson ... Tiffany
Dean Norris ... Tony
Mark Carlton Mark Carlton ... Bartender
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Storyline

Douglas Quaid is haunted by a recurring dream about a journey to Mars. He hopes to find out more about this dream and buys a holiday at Rekall Inc. where they sell implanted memories. But something goes wrong with the memory implantation and he remembers being a secret agent fighting against the evil Mars administrator Cohaagen. Now the story really begins and it's a rollercoaster ride until the massive end of the movie. Written by Harald Mayr <marvin@bike.augusta.de>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

How would you know after memory implantation if your mind is yours? See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »

Goofs

When Quaid is in the slum hotel room, the phone in the room starts to ring. The person on the other line is a 'buddy' of his from the agency on Mars who says that he was supposed to find him if he ever disappeared. After Doug wraps a towel around his head to muffle the bug signal, the friend tells him to go to the window to see a suitcase that he was going to leave for Quaid. The 'friend' on the visual phone looks up to the right as though he's looking up to Quaid in the hotel room. In fact, Quaid's 'friend' has to turn to the left and look up, not right as shown on the videophone. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[Doug awakens from a nightmare]
Lori: Doug? Honey, are you all right?
[nods]
Lori: You were dreaming. Doug? Was it about Mars?
[nods]
Lori: [kisses him] Is that better?
Douglas Quaid: Hmm.
Lori: My poor baby. This is getting to be an obsession.
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Crazy Credits

Play the Total Recall (1990) video game by Acclaim. See more »

Alternate Versions

As with RoboCop, the theatrical release of Total Recall in Australia was an M rated censored version of the USA R-rated cut which lacked the bloodier moments. The American R rated cut was released on VHS with an Australian R rating. Both the M and R versions are available on VHS. Some of the cuts in the M rated version included:
  • Alternate camera angles in the subway fight after Quaid has been to Rekall;
  • In the scene where the man from the Rekall ad comes to see Quaid and Lori, the shot of his brains splattering on the curtain behind him is omitted;
  • The fight in the bar on Mars is edited, in particular the stabbing.
  • Benny's death is severely cut
  • The frontal shot of the three breasted woman asking Ricther if he would "like some fun" is replaced with a shot taken from higher up and behind her.
  • The second-last shot of Cohaagen's "expansion" is shortened. The final shot is removed completely.
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Soundtracks

Mutant Dancing
Written and Performed by Bruno Louchouarn
Produced by Joe La Mont
Published by Lygon St. Music and Barney Sue Music
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User Reviews

One of Arnie's best – an action movie with a very good core plot
17 July 2002 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

In 2020, Douglas feels he needs a break from the day to day life and goes to Total Recall – where memories are planted in your head to make you think you are someone else for a while – a holiday in your head if you will. However before he can be injected he begins to have flashbacks and suddenly finds that people are trying to kill him and that somehow he must get to Mars to uncover the reasons. However what is truth and what is fake and is the whole thing really happening or not?

Based on a Phillip K. Dick story this was always going to be intelligent – however it's surprising that Verhoeven manages to keep that core well. The plot allows his excessive violence but is also a great story that more than holds the interest with twists and turns and neither Douglas or us fully knowing what's going on. The action is great – even 10 or so years on, and the tension just stays solid throughout.

Schwarzenegger does his usual invincible muscles stuff and looks happy blasting crowds, but he is also OK in other areas too. Tictin is good but never repeated this success for herself. The baddies (or maybe not?) are the best roles – solid baddies like Ironside and Cox are just as good as they were in other similar roles and Sharon Stone is good as Douglas' wife.

Overall this continues Verhoeven's trend of making ultra-violence and clever plots and satire work well together (Robocop, Starship Troopers and this) as opposed to his trend of making trash! Everything about this film works well – whether it be the action or the acting or the plot – a surprisingly nice package for a violent action movie!


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

Facebook

Country:

USA | Mexico

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 June 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El vengador del futuro See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$65,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$25,533,700, 3 June 1990

Gross USA:

$119,412,921

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$261,317,921
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby SR (35 mm prints) (4 channels)| Dolby Atmos

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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