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Gattaca (1997)

Trailer
0:31 | Trailer
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
1,763 ( 110)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ethan Hawke ... Vincent / Jerome
Uma Thurman ... Irene
Gore Vidal ... Director Josef
Xander Berkeley ... Lamar
Jayne Brook ... Marie
Elias Koteas ... Antonio
Maya Rudolph ... Delivery Nurse
Una Damon ... Head Nurse
Elizabeth Dennehy ... Pre-School Teacher
Blair Underwood ... Geneticist
Mason Gamble ... Younger Vincent
Vincent Nielson Vincent Nielson ... Younger Anton
Chad Christ ... Young Vincent
William Lee Scott ... Young Anton
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:

A life is a dangerous thing to share. 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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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was shot under the title "The Eighth Day". This was a reference to the Biblical creation story, which states that the earth was created in six days and on the seventh day, God rested. The original title implies the tampering of man with what God has already made, and "The Eighth Day" is still the name of the center in the movie where the children are engineered, as noted on the DVD deleted scenes. By the time the much-delayed release of the film came around, the same title had been used by the Belgian film The Eighth Day (1996). Because of this, writer-director Andrew Niccol was forced to choose a new title for his film. "The Eighth Day of Creation" is also a history of molecular biology, written by Horace Judson in 1979 and updated in 1996. The coincidence of the second edition may also have forced reconsideration. See more »

Goofs

When Vincent alias Jerome has his interview at Gattaca you can see that the machine clearly shows a GNQ of 9.8612. When Irene gives the hair sample away for analysing, the woman at the counter states "9.3, quite a catch". 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.
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Crazy Credits

After the credits complete, there is slow-motion footage, tinted blue, of the fingernails from the first scene hitting the pavement. 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.
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Soundtracks

Nuages
Music by Django Reinhardt
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User Reviews

It's the little things that tell you you've found quality!
12 October 2004 | by john in missouriSee all my reviews

I rented this film cold at the video store -- and was very pleasantly surprised with a very well done movie. If you don't know anything else about Gattaca, the less you know, the better. Stop reading this review right now, go watch it, and come back when you're done!

It was after my first viewing of the film that several little details dawned on me:

1) The term "borrowed ladder" is a utterly-brilliantly-conceived bit of future slang that carries a *double meaning*. I'm still amazed that the producers didn't make more of this. Instead, they were content to leave this gem to be discovered by the thinking and missed by the vast masses. I was very definitely impressed.

2) As I was explaining the film to my wife, it occurred to me in mid-explanation that this is really a film that has to do with what is properly called =eugenics=; one of the things the Nazis were about. Then my mind wandered to word etymologies: I recalled that the name "Eugene" = "well born." And then I realized...

!!!

3) It's interesting the extent to which so many of the characters in the film *didn't* live up to their genetic destiny, one way or another.

4) Because I hadn't seen any previews, I had no immediate reference for where the name "Gattaca" had come from. And then I suddenly realized...

!!!

5) It wasn't until I watched the movie the second time that I caught the effects with the title sequence letters...

Now I had figured out by this time that there were likely to be other intriguing little details I've missed, so I was fascinated to read from another reviewer here about the boy Vincent falling with a toy rocket in his hand.

I wonder what else is in there?

All in all, this is a very well written, tightly woven movie. Seen cold, with no real prior knowledge of the film, it came off as a tremendous science-fiction SUSPENSE THRILLER. There were several scenes that just had me climbing the walls with tension. Fabulous job!

And I'm not the only one who thinks so. When my WIFE says she wants to see a SCIENCE FICTION movie for the SECOND TIME... well, I don't think THAT has EVER happened before!


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Frequently Asked Questions

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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

Gross USA:

$12,532,777

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$12,532,777
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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