A man is picked up by a fishing boat, bullet-riddled and suffering from amnesia, before racing to elude assassins and attempting to regain his memory.


Doug Liman


Tony Gilroy (screenplay), W. Blake Herron (screenplay) (as William Blake Herron) | 1 more credit »
1,141 ( 14)
3 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Matt Damon ... Bourne
Franka Potente ... Marie
Chris Cooper ... Conklin
Clive Owen ... The Professor
Brian Cox ... Ward Abbott
Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje ... Wombosi
Gabriel Mann ... Zorn
Walton Goggins ... Research Tech
Josh Hamilton ... Research Tech
Julia Stiles ... Nicolette
Orso Maria Guerrini ... Giancarlo (as Orso Maria-Guerrini)
Tim Dutton ... Eamon
Denis Braccini Denis Braccini ... Picot
Nicky Naudé ... Castel (as Nicky Naude)
David Selburg David Selburg ... Marshall


When a body is recovered at sea still alive, the mystery man (Damon) seems to have forgotten everything in life, including who he was. Eventually he begins to remember smaller details in life and soon finds out that his name was Jason Bourne. What he doesn't like is the gun and fake passports belonging to him. Now Bourne, and his new friend, Marie Helena Kreutz (Potente) travel from country to country in search of his new identity. But someone is not happy to see him alive, and is frantically trying to track him down. Written by Peet

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


He never asked to be Bourne. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for violence and some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Doug Liman didn't want to shoot Paris the way most American films shoot Paris only showing the most beautiful parts and making sure to include all the familiar landmarks the city has to offer. The scene with Bourne and Marie on the banks of the Seine is the only moment Liman "shows us we're in Paris" as he states. You can see the Notre Dame Cathedral in the background of this shot. The rest of the movie he wanted to shoot the city from the viewpoint of a local, not a tourist. This was done to add to the authenticity of the film. "When you speak French, if there's something not understood, you're the one not understanding it, and you know it, whereas, if you speak English, out of a sign of respect they'll mostly say, 'Yes' like they understood, and maybe they didn't." - Liman explaining his reasons for speaking French while filming with the European crew. Liman also mentions Damon's way of perfecting his accents as Bourne jumps between different languages throughout the film. Damon would listen to recordings in his trailer until he had the accent down perfect before shooting a scene. Just like that great Bawston accent he pulled off in Good Will Hunting. See more »


The Professor uses a SIG rifle with a suppressor on the barrel, as indicated by the sound of suppressed gunfire when he is shooting at Bourne and Wombosi. However, when the Professor is assembling and dissembling the rifle, the "suppressor" is clearly just a handguard that encloses the barrel, which would not silence the rifle. An actual suppressor is threaded onto the front of the barrel. When Bourne pursues the Professor in the field, you can see that the rifle also lacks the threads necessary to mount a suppressor. See more »


Jason Bourne: Look, I'm... you're acting like I'm trying to burn you here. I'm just trying to do the right thing.
Marie: Nobody does the right thing.
See more »

Crazy Credits

A thunderstorm sounds in the background of the Universal logo. See more »

Alternate Versions

The newly released DVD of the film contains the original never before seen opening to the film in which Bourne is seen in the same town seen at the end of the film wandering around, asking if anyone has seen the girl in the photo he is holding. After being pointed in the wrong direction, Bourne then falls to the ground, drugged, and the picture of Marie that he was holding drops from his hand. See more »


Edited into The Bourne Ultimatum (2007) See more »


In the Sun
Written and Performed by Joseph Arthur
(included in alternative ending only)
See more »

User Reviews

Tense, thrilling, and purely entertaining with Matt Damon as the action hero
28 July 2016 | by Screen_BlitzSee all my reviews

In 1962, Hollywood introduced British spy James Bond who made an iconic name in the action genre, and the legacy of this household action hero continues today through the longest running film franchise In the 1980s, we were introduced to Bruce Willis' John McClane, a New York cop who served justice as he took a dozen of German terrorists at the Nakatomi Plaza one by one, and his astonishing charisma has lead to a spawn of a few sequels. Matt Damon as Jason Bourne is what some describe as just a modern day James Bond. But with a powerful portrayal by Damon, he feels more like an original character, a spy agent with a highly trained set of fighting skills in both gun and hand-to- hand combat. In this spy action thrilled directed by Doug Liman, Matt Damon steps into what is arguably his most charismatic role aside from his Oscar-nominated performance in 'Good Will Hunting'. Damon plays the title character Jason Bourne, a CIA agent who wakes up on a boy after being rescued by a group of fisherman. Suffering from amnesia and covered in bullet wounds, he travels to Switzerland where he uses his old bank account to put together the puzzle pieces of his identity. He is soon assisted by German woman Marie (played by Franka Potente) to search for his identity but soon find himself by hunted down by ruthless assassins by Black Ops agent Alexander Conklin (played by Chris Cooper). Bourne must escape from the vicious criminals while searching for answers to what they want him for.

Not very many action flicks offer a spectacular mix of tense action and mystery like this action thriller. From the hyper-kinetic action sequences, to it's slick editing, to the highly compelling plot, to the overall likability of the lead character; this film stops at almost nothing to deliver the strong, visceral experience viewers come to root for. In an age where many films of the action genre struggle to find a solid balance of both action and coherent plot development, this one manages to stand out. The plot moves through the title character's search of his identity and the conspiracy that surrounds, and what ensues is a nice array of tension and unpredictable scenes. The fiercest moments show Jason Bourne engaging in brutal martial arts combat against the baddies, complete with stunning choreography and camera-work that, while a bit shaky, successfully express the intensity of the scenes. One of the most intense moments lies in a beautifully shot staircase shootouts scene. The film definitely has a sweet taste in action, and it delivers quite well especially with Matt Damon who's quite energizing vibrant in the lead role. Franka Potente is also very strong as her character who makes a competent supporting character rather than a typical damsel-in-distress. Praise can also be given to Chris Cooper as the main villain. He may not serve as a memorable antagonist, but that's not the point as the lead character's primary goal is not to capture or kill the villain but to search for the reason why he (the antagonist) trying to take him down.

The Bourne Identity is tense, thrilling, and purely entertaining experience for action fans everywhere. This film is easily a household name in Matt Damon's career as well as the action genre of the 2000s. For all looking for a great popcorn flick, this one is worth checking out.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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English | French | German | Dutch | Italian | Yoruba

Release Date:

14 June 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Bourne Identity See more »

Filming Locations:

Seine River, Paris, France See more »


Box Office


$60,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$27,118,640, 16 June 2002

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS | DTS (DTS: X)



Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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