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Terry Gilliam's nightmarish low-tech/high-tech future vision takes place in 1997, after a deadly virus has killed 99% of the human population--forcing the survivors to flee beneath our planet's surface. This leaves the (other) animals topside, to rule the Earth once again. The scientists select James Cole, an imprisoned sociopath, to return to the past and gather information useful in the defense against this contagion. Once back in time, he is to investigate the mysterious 'Army of the Twelve Monkeys' and report his findings. Scientific, social, and political themes like time travel (and its inherent paradoxes and nested loops), mental illness, the nature of reality, animal rights, and the Armageddon-potential of unchecked technological advances are artfully and cleverly explored.
The future is history.
Also Known As:
Title: Twelve Monkeys
Release Date: December 27, 1995
Runtime: 129 mins
All Genres: Mystery, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Sound: DTS-Stereo, DTS, Dolby SR
IMDB Rating: 8.1
Buried.com Rating: 9.1 - (Rate This Horror Movie at Buried.com)
Category: Horror Movies Starting With T
MPAA Rating: R
MPAA Rating Reason:
Rated R for violence and language.
Joseph Melito ...young Cole
Bruce Willis ...James Cole
Jon Seda ...Jose
Michael Chance ...Scarface
Vernon Campbell ...Tiny
H. Michael Walls ...Botanist
Bob Adrian ...Geologist
Simon Jones ...Zoologist
Carol Florence ...Astrophysicist
Bill Raymond ...Microbiologist
Ernest Abuba ...Engineer
Irma St. Paule ...Poet
Madeleine Stowe ...Kathryn Railly
Joey Perillo ...Detective Franki
Bruce Kirkpatrick ...Policeman No. 1
Wilfred Williams ...Policeman No. 2
Rozwill young ...Billings
Brad Pitt ...Jeffrey Goines
Nell Johnson ...Ward Nurse
Frederick Strother ...L.J. Washington (as Fred Strother)
Rick Warner ...Dr. Casey
Frank Gorshin ...Dr. Fletcher
Anthony 'Chip' Brienza ...Dr. Goodin
Joilet Harris ...Harassed Mother
Drucie McDaniel ...Waltzing Woman Patient
John Blaisse ...Old Man Patient
Louis Lippa ...Patient at Gate
Stan Kang ...X-Ray Doctor
Pat Dias ...WWI Captain
Aaron Michael Lacey ...WWI Sergeant
» [more cast members]
Kelley Smith Wait
David Webb Peoples
Twelve Monkeys Horror Film Trailer 1
"What a Wonderful World"
"The Earth Died Screaming"
"Woody Woodpecker Music"
"Silent Night, Holy Night"
More Movie Taglines:
- The future is history.
- They're Coming.
- Jeffrey Goines: There's no right, there's no wrong, there's only popular opinion.
L.J. Washington: I don't really come from outer space. Jeffrey Goines: Oh. L. J. Washington. He doesn't really come from outer space. L.J. Washington: Don't mock me my friend. It's a condition of mental divergence. I find myself on the planet Ogo, part of an intellectual elite, preparing to subjugate the barbarian hordes on Pluto. But even though this is a totally convincing reality for me in every way, nevertheless Ogo is actually a construct of my psyche. I am mentally divergent, in that I am escaping certain unnamed realities that plague my life here. When I stop going there, I will be well. Are you also divergent, friend?
Jeffrey Goines: Telephone call? Telephone call? That's communication with the outside world. Doctor's *discretion*. Nuh-uh. Look, hey - all of these nuts could just make phone calls, they could spread insanity, oozing through telephone cables, oozing into the ears of all these poor sane people, infecting them. Wackos everywhere, plague of madness.
Jeffrey Goines: There was this guy, and he was always requesting shows that had already played. Yes. No. You have to tell her before. He couldn't quite grasp the idea that the charge nurse couldn't make it be yesterday. She couldn't turn back time, thank you, Einstein! Now, *he* was nuts! *He* was a fruitcake, Jim!
[James Cole found a spider and knows he's got to take it with him, let's it crawl over his hand while deciding what to do with it] Jeffrey Goines: You know what crazy is? Crazy is majority rules. Take germs, for example. James Cole: Germs? Jeffrey Goines: Uh-huh. In the eighteenth century, no such thing, nada, nothing. No one ever imagined such a thing. No sane person, anyway. Ah! Ah! Along comes this doctor, uh, uh, uh, Semmelweis, Semmelweis. Semmelweis comes along. He's trying to convince people, well, other doctors mainly, that's there's these teeny tiny invisible bad things called germs that get into your body and make you sick. Ah? He's trying to get doctors to wash their hands. What is this guy? Crazy? Teeny, tiny, invisible? What do you call it? Uh-uh, germs? Huh? What? Now, cut to the 20th century. Last week, as a matter of fact, before I got dragged into this hellhole. I go in to order a burger in this fast food joint, and the guy drops it on the floor. Jim, he picks it up, he wipes it off, he hands it to me like it's all OK. "What about the germs?" I say. He says, "I don't believe in germs. Germs is just a plot they made up so they can sell you disinfectants and soaps." Now he's crazy, right? See? [James Cole finally takes the spider into his mouth, Jeffrey Goines is either too deep into his talk or unimpressed by this and continues his talk as if nothing happened] Jeffrey Goines: Ah! Ah! There's no right, there's no wrong, there's only popular opinion. You... you... you believe in germs, right?
- Director Terry Gilliam first met Bruce Willis while casting his film The Fisher King (1991). He was impressed by the sensitivity shown by Willis in the scene from Die Hard (1988) where McClane (Willis) talks about his wife while pulling glass from his feet. Talking to Willis, Gilliam discovered that this part was ad-libbed by Willis. Gilliam remembered this, and was convinced to cast him in this film.
Terry Gilliam gave Bruce Willis a list of "Willis acting clichés" not to be used during the film, including the "steely blue eyes look".
Features a fresnel (flat) lens, as did Brazil (1985), also directed by Terry Gilliam.
Director Terry Gilliam and producer Charles Roven had several arguments about how the film should end. Gilliam wanted to finish on the shot of Railly looking at young Cole while Roven preferred the scripted final scene in the parking lot outside the airport. In an attempt to dissuade Roven, Gilliam proposed an immensely complex setup involving two cranes on top of one another and a vast sea of cars in the hope that Roven would veto it as being too expensive. Roven not only okayed the shot but Gilliam so loved the result that he used it to end the film.
The scenes in the insane asylum were shot in Eastern State Penitentiary, a now-unused prison in Philadelphia.
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Rating: 9.1 out of 10.0 - 57 votes cast total