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Contact [1997] (1 disc)

Director:Robert Zemeckis
Writer:James V. Hart
Michael Goldenberg
Composer:Alan Silvestri
Length:153 minutes
(2 hours 33 minutes)
MPAA Rating:PG
Sorting Category:SciFi
Sorting Tub:Hotel
IMDB Rating:7.3/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating:65%
Amazon Rating:4.0/5 stars
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Synopsis: Ellie spends her time looking to the stars wishing for some sign of intelligent life. When something finally happens, she's in for more than she could have imagined.

Reaction: For a sci-fi movie, this one is surprisingly introspective. It gets you thinking and that's what speculative fiction is for.

Personal Rating: 7/10

Robert Zemeckis => Director
James V. Hart => Writer
Michael Goldenberg => Writer
Alan Silvestri => Composer
Carl Sagan => Original Story
Adolf Hitler => Himself (archive footage)
Angela Bassett => Rachel Constantine
Bill Clinton => Himself (archive footage)
David Morse => Ted Arroway
Franklin Delano Roosevelt => Himself (Voice Through Space) (archive footage)
Geoffrey Blake => Fisher
Geraldo Rivera => Himself
Jake Busey => Joseph
James Woods => Michael Kitz
Jay Leno => Himself
Jena Malone => Young Ellie
Jodie Foster => Eleanor Arroway
John Hurt => S.R. Hadden
Joseph McCarthy => Himself (Voice Through Space) (archive footage)
Kathleen Kennedy => Herself
Larry King => Himself
Martin Luther King => Himself (Voice Through Space) (archive footage)
Matthew McConaughey => Palmer Joss
Neil Armstrong => Himself (Voice Through Space) (voice)
Richard Nixon => Himself (Voice through space) (archive footage)
Rob Lowe => Richard Rank
Tom Skerritt => David Drumlin
Tucker Smallwood => Mission Director
William Fichtner => Kent

Random Trivia For This Title:

  • The Carl Sagan book Contact is different from the movie in several key places. First, the book had three machines built; One in the USA, one in the Soviet Union, and the third built by Hadden on Hokkaido, Japan. The movie had only two machines. The second major difference is that the book's machines held five passengers, and Ellie was accompanied on the voyage by four diverse intellectuals from around the world. Finally, the book makes no mention of a relationship with Joss.
  • Sidney Poitier was announced for this film but was replaced before filming.
  • Carl Sagan and [?] Ann Druyer began the concept in 1980 as a movie treatment that was never picked up. Sagan finished the story alone and in 1985, Sagan released the book, Contact with no further assistance from Druyer.
  • Dr. Arroway hypothesizes that the message could be an "Encyclopaedia Galactica", a concept envisioned by Carl Sagan as well, featured prominently in the TV series [Cosmos] and meant to be an planetary database for all the worlds within the Milky Way Galaxy. The term originates from Isaac Asimov's science fiction novel, Foundation.
  • People in the crowds at the end of the movie seem to be wearing the same exact shade of blue. According to the DVD commentary with the director and producer, that shade is the "machine consortium blue" (a blue used in the film by the corporate ID of the consortium which builds the huge travel devices). It is supposed to suggest that those people believe in Dr Arroway's story as the main theme of the movie is "belief".
  • Peter Jackson did some visual effects for this film, repaying the favor to Robert Zemeckis, who executive-produced his film The Frighteners.
  • President Clinton's appearance was taken from an actual press conference on the White House South Lawn in 1997. His remarks were regarding the real-life discovery of an arctic meteorite discovered to be from Mars. Footage of the press conference by President Bill Clinton was re-edited and altered to make it appear as if he was speaking about alien contact. This manipulation of news footage caused some controversy. A few years later, CNN would ban the use of its logo in fictional movies, as well as bar its reporters from doing cameo appearances (although Larry King does appear from time to time).
  • George Miller was slated to direct until Warner Bros. offered him the rights to Mad Max 2 and Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome to pull out and let Robert Zemeckis take his place.
  • The succession of colors in the space tunnel match the colors of the chakra points as described in the New Age "religion", starting with red (materialism) and reaching gold (enlightenment). The SFX crew deliberately inserted contradicting images in the Pensacola scene at the end, to create a dreamlike feeling. So the beach is brightly lit with no sun in sight, the waves move backwards and the shadows slowly change from one scene to the next.
  • During one of the most intense scenes in the pod ("I had no idea...") Jodie Foster shows a wide range of conflicting emotions. Director Robert Zemeckis had asked her to repeat the scene six times, each time with a different expression (intense joy, fear, sadness and so on) and then the SFX crew quickly morphed her face from one take to the next. For a brief moment they also used the face of Dr. Arroway as a child.
  • Argus Project, featuring 100+ radio telescopes, is named after a monster with a hundred eyes from Greek mythology.