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150 min
Drama | Mystery | Sci-Fi | Thriller
IMDB rate:
Robert Zemeckis
Nominated for Oscar. Another 14 wins & 25 nominations
Country: USA
Release Date: 1997-07-11
Filming Locations: Arecibo Observatory, Arecibo, Puerto Rico
Budget: $90,000,000
Opening Weekend: $20,584,908 (USA) (13 July 1997)
Gross: $100,853,835 (USA) (2 November 1997)
Jena Malone
Young Ellie
David Morse
Ted Arroway
Jodie Foster
Eleanor Arroway
Geoffrey Blake
William Fichtner
Sami Chester
Vernon (as SaMi Chester)
Timothy McNeil
Laura Elena Surillo
Cantina Woman
Matthew McConaughey
Palmer Joss
Tom Skerritt
David Drumlin
Henry Strozier
Michael Chaban
Hadden Suit
Max Martini
Larry King
Larry King
Thomas Garner
Ian Broderick
Conroy Chino
KOB-TV Reporter
Dan Gifford
Jeremy Roth
James Woods
Michael Kitz
Vance Valencia
Senator Valencia
Angela Bassett
Rachel Constantine
Donna Kelley
Donna Kelley (as Donna J. Kelley)
Leon Harris
Leon Harris
Claire Shipman
Claire Shipman
Behrooz Afrakhan
Middle Eastern Anchor
Saemi Nakamura
Japanese Anchor
Tabitha Soren
Tabitha Soren
Geraldo Rivera
Geraldo Rivera
Ian Whitcomb
British Anchor
Jay Leno
Jay Leno
Natalie Allen
Natalie Allen
Robert D. Novak
Robert D. Novak
Geraldine A. Ferraro
Geraldine A. Ferraro
Ann Druyan
Ann Druyan
Rob Lowe
Richard Rank
Jake Busey
Kathleen Kennedy
Kathleen Kennedy
Michael Albala
Decryption Hacker
Ned Netterville
Decryption Expert
Leo Lee
Major Domo
John Hurt
S.R. Hadden
William Jordan
Chairman of Joint Chiefs
David St. James
Joint Chief
Jill Dougherty
Jill Dougherty
Haynes Brooke
Drumlin Aide
John Holliman
John Holliman
Bobbie Battista
Bobbie Battista
Dee Dee Myers
Dee Dee Myers
Bryant Gumbel
Bryant Gumbel
Linden Soles
Linden Soles
Steven Ford
Major Russell
Alexander Zemeckis
Major Russell's Son (as Alex Zemeckis)
Janie Peterson
Major Russell's Daughter
Philippe Bergeron
French Committee Member (as Phillip Bergeron)
Anthony Hamilton
British Committee Member (as Anthony Fife Hamilton)
Rebecca T. Beucler
NASA Public Relations
Marc Macaulay
NASA Technician
Pamela Wilsey
Voice of NASA
Tucker Smallwood
Mission Director
Jeffery Thomas Johnson
Mechnical (as Jeff Johnson)
Yuji Okumoto
Gerry Griffin
Brian Alston
Rob Elk
Pad Leader
Mark Thomason
José Rey
Controller #8
Todd Patrick Breaugh
New VLA Technician
Alex Veadov
Russian Cosmonaut
Alice Kushida
Robin Gammell
Project Official
Richardson Morse
Mission Doctor
Seiji Okamura
Japanese Ensign
Bernard Shaw
Bernard Shaw
Mak Takano
Japanese Tech #1
Hiroshi Tom Tanaka
Japanese Tech #2 (as Tom Tanaka)
Catherine Dao
Life Support
Kristoffer Ryan Winters
Dynamics #2
Valorie Armstrong
Woman Senator
Jim Hild
Reporter #5
William L. Thomas
Reporter #6
Diego Montoya
School Boy
Jonathan Adler
White House Official (uncredited)
Robert Aguilar Jr.
NASA Controller #2 (uncredited)
Neil Armstrong
Himself - Voice Through Space (archive sound) (uncredited)
Mark Bailey
Four-Star General (uncredited)
Matt Bennett
Senate Observer (uncredited)
Tony Boldi
Robert Hand (uncredited)
Christopher Boyer
Scientist (uncredited)
Aixa Clemente
President's Secretary (uncredited)
Bill Clinton
Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Candice Cook
Supporter (uncredited)
Derrick Damions
Ailing Believer (uncredited)
Russell Darling
Protestor (uncredited)
Elaina Erika Davis
Philanthropy Bureaucrat (uncredited)
Joey Dente
Factory Worker (uncredited)
Michael Egan
IMC Police Officer (uncredited)
Jeff Elmore
Monk (uncredited)
Pamela Fischer
Pedestrian (uncredited)
Carl Gilliard
Controller (uncredited)
Adolf Hitler
Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
William B. Kaplan
TV Interviewer (uncredited)
Martin Luther King
Himself - Voice Through Space (archive sound) (uncredited)
Ming Lo
Pod Systems Control (uncredited)
Sunshine Logroño
Puerto Rican Taxi Driver (uncredited)
Douglas MacArthur
Himself - Voice Through Space (archive sound) (uncredited)
Neal Matarazzo
Kitz's Aide (uncredited)
Joseph McCarthy
Himself - Voice Through Space (archive sound) (uncredited)
Cassidy McMillan
Student Reporter at NASA (uncredited)
Molly Mueller
Family Exchange (uncredited)
Richard Nixon
Himself - Voice Through Space (archive sound) (uncredited)
Paul L. Nolan
Ellie's Attorney (uncredited)
Marisa Petroro
Oval Office Secretary (uncredited)
Errica Poindexter
Police Officer (uncredited)
J.A. Preston
Senator (uncredited)
Frank Principe
Ailing Believer (uncredited)
Thomas Reid
Senate Hearing (uncredited)
Leo Rogstad
Ailing Believer (uncredited)
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Himself - Voice Through Space (archive sound) (uncredited)
Russell Sanderlin Sr.
Photographer (uncredited)
Frank Silva
Army Officer (uncredited)
John A. Taylor
Senate Hearing Attendee (uncredited)
Todd Thompson
News Reporter (uncredited)
Richard Allen Waite
Extra (uncredited)
Delaney Williams
Believer #1 (uncredited)
Gregory L. Williams
Extra (uncredited)
Walter Winchell
Himself - Voice Through Space (archive sound) (uncredited)
Did you know?
The suicide pill scene is controversial. Carl Sagan claimed that such pills were made available on all NASA missions for use if astronauts were unable to return to Earth. Former astronaut Jim Lovell, commander of the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission, disputes this claim.
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Ellie's father called her "Sparks". Young Ellie is played by Jena Malone, who was born in Sparks, Nevada.
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Gillian Anderson was considered for the role of Ellie Arroway.
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A satellite image of Earth is shown when Ellie first receives the alien signal in the evening, however, the satellite image suggest morning in New Mexico as the sun is centered off the U.S. east coast.
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As Ellie drives madly after first hearing the signal, her face is visible in the rear view mirror from alongside the car.
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When Ellie is flown to the Naval vessel in the VTOL plane, the wide-shot shows the plane as military grey. In the following close-up, when she steps out of the plane, it has a colourful livery.
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Palmer Joss: I'm not against technology, doctor. I'm against the men who deify it at the expense of human truth.
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S.R. Hadden: [over video feed from Mir space station] I wanna show you something.
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Ellie Arroway: I work for a project called SETI.
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What is 'Contact' about?
Fascinated by science, astronomy, and making radio contact to people far away since she was a young girl, Doctor Eleanor 'Ellie' Arroway (Jodie Foster) works as a SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) researcher at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. When her National Science Foundation (NSF) funding is pulled from her by her boss David Drumlin (Tom Skerritt), she obtains private funding from secretive billionaire industrialist S. R. Hadden (John Hurt) and moves to the Very Large Array (VLA) in New Mexico. Just when it looks like her access to the VLA's radio telescopes is going to be cut, Ellie receives a transmission of prime numbers emanating from the star Vega. When the transmission is confirmed by other scientists around the world, Ellie becomes involved in making humanity's first contact with extra-terrestrial life.
Where is Vega?
Vega, about 25 light years away from the earth, is the principle star in the constellation Lyra, visible overhead in the northern hemisphere from spring through autumn. In temperate latitudes, it is visible during the summer months. In the southern hemisphere, it is visible low in the northern sky during the winter months.
Is 'Contact' based on a book?
Yes. The movie is based on Contact, a 1985 novel by American astronomer Carl Sagan [1934-1996]. Sagan actually conceived of the idea for Contact in 1979 and, along with his wife Ann Druyan, wrote a 100+ page film treatment. When the project got stuck in development hell, Sagan published Contact as a novel. The novel was eventually adapted for the movie by American screenwriters James V. Hart and Michael Goldenberg.
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Photos from cast
Maria Celeste Arraras Jennifer Balgobin