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Iseseisvuspäev (1996) Online

Iseseisvuspäev (1996) Online
Original Title :
Independence Day
Genre :
Movie / Action / Adventure / Sci-Fi
Year :
Directror :
Roland Emmerich
Cast :
Will Smith,Bill Pullman,Jeff Goldblum
Writer :
Dean Devlin,Roland Emmerich
Budget :
Type :
Time :
2h 25min
Rating :

The aliens are coming and their goal is to invade and destroy Earth. Fighting superior technology, mankind's best weapon is the will to survive.

Iseseisvuspäev (1996) Online

On July 2nd, communications systems worldwide are sent into chaos by a strange atmospheric interference. It is soon learned by the military that a number of enormous objects are on a collision course with Earth. At first thought to be meteors, they are later revealed to be gigantic spacecraft, piloted by a mysterious alien species. After attempts to communicate with the aliens go nowhere, David Levinson, an ex-scientist turned cable technician, discovers that the aliens are going to attack major points around the globe in less than a day. On July 3rd, the aliens all but obliterate New York, Los Angeles and Washington, as well as Paris, London, Houston and Moscow. The survivors set out in convoys towards Area 51, a strange government testing ground where it is rumored the military has a captured alien spacecraft of their own. The survivors devise a plan to fight back against the enslaving aliens, and July 4th becomes the day humanity will fight for its freedom. July 4th is their ... {locallinks-homepage}
Cast overview, first billed only:
Will Smith Will Smith - Capt. Steven Hiller
Bill Pullman Bill Pullman - President Thomas J. Whitmore
Jeff Goldblum Jeff Goldblum - David Levinson
Mary McDonnell Mary McDonnell - Marilyn Whitmore
Judd Hirsch Judd Hirsch - Julius Levinson
Robert Loggia Robert Loggia - General William Grey
Randy Quaid Randy Quaid - Russell Casse
Margaret Colin Margaret Colin - Constance Spano
James Rebhorn James Rebhorn - Albert Nimziki
Harvey Fierstein Harvey Fierstein - Marty Gilbert
Adam Baldwin Adam Baldwin - Major Mitchell
Brent Spiner Brent Spiner - Dr. Brakish Okun
James Duval James Duval - Miguel
Vivica A. Fox Vivica A. Fox - Jasmine Dubrow
Lisa Jakub Lisa Jakub - Alicia

According to producer/co-writer Dean Devlin, the U.S. military had agreed to support the film by allowing the crew to film at military bases, consulting the actors who have military roles, etc. However, after learning of the Area 51 references in the script, they withdrew their support.

The scene in which Will Smith drags the unconscious alien across the desert was filmed on the salt flats near Great Salt Lake in Utah. Smith's line, "And what the hell is that *smell*?" was unscripted. Great Salt Lake is home to tiny crustaceans called brine shrimp. When they die, the bodies sink to the bottom of the lake (which isn't very deep) and decompose. When the wind kicks up just right, the bottom mud is disturbed and the smell of millions of decaying brine shrimp can be very very bad. Apparently, nobody warned Will.

Director Roland Emmerich was notified one day that Robert Loggia was very upset and refusing to leave his trailer. Several days earlier, producer Dean Devlin accidentally suggested to Loggia that he watch Airplane! (1980) for inspiration when he actually intended to suggest Airport (1970). Not familiar with either film, Loggia rented Airplane! and after watching it thought that he had unknowingly been participating in the production of a "spoof" movie.

The President's speech was filmed on August 6, 1995 in front of an old airplane hangar that once housed the Enola Gay, which dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima exactly fifty years earlier on August 6, 1945.

Production designer Patrick Tatopoulos presented Roland Emmerich with two concepts for the aliens. Emmerich liked both designs so much, he came up with the idea to use one design as the actual alien and the other to be a bio-mechanical suit the aliens could wear. Both of Tatopoulos's concepts appear in the film.

Dean Devlin said that most of the dialogue in the scenes Jeff Goldblum shared with Judd Hirsch and Will Smith was improvised.

Holds the record for most miniature model work to appear in one film. Model shop supervisor Michael Joyce estimated that more miniatures were used for this film than in any other two films combined. Due to the advances in digital technology since this film's release, most experts believe this record may stand forever.

In the briefing room scene at Area 51 behind Hiller and Grey there is a night vision pan of the base. What you are seeing are actual shots of the real Area 51 taken by a conspiracy theorist from a place called "Freedom Ridge". The ridge was commandeered by the U.S. government in the late 90s and is no longer accessible to the public.

Jeff Goldblum uses one of his lines from Jurassic Park (1993) in this film: "Must go faster, must go faster!", and is delivered with the same intensity.

On the Bonneville Salt Flats, cast and crew wearing long pants still managed to get sunburns on their legs; the white salty surface reflected the sunlight up their pant legs.

The film was banned in Lebanon under pressure from Hezbollah, because it included scenes where Israeli and Iraqi soldiers joined forces, in the montage where militaries around the world signed onto the U.S. plan to counter-attack the alien forces. For the last few decades, Lebanon officially boycotts any form of entertainment that features Israelis.

The huge hype that the film began generating in early 1996 caused Warner Bros. to postpone the release of Marss ründab! (1996) from summer to Christmas, and Steven Spielberg (temporarily) cancelled his plans to direct Maailmade sõda (2005).

The main helicopter used during the "Welcome Wagon" operation was a Sikorsky S-64 Skycrane which was outfitted with an array of flashing lights. In the DVD commentary, producer Dean Devlin said that when they first test-flew the helicopter with the lights on, over 150 calls were received in Orange County from callers who spotted the helicopter and, unsure of what it was, reported it as a "U.F.O. sighting".

According to the liner notes from the recent La La Land Records limited release of the complete score by David Arnold, the drum rhythm heard during the invasion scenes near the beginning of the film are Morse Code letters D-I-E.

President Whitmore was originally intended to be a Richard Nixon-like figure. The role was originally written for Kevin Spacey, Dean Devlin's friend from high school. An executive at Fox refused to cast Spacey, insisting he didn't have the potential to be a big star. The part was re-written and Bill Pullman was then cast in the role. Ironically, Spacey would later become a much bigger star than Pullman (until allegations of sexual harassment ended his career), was cast as an alien in K-PAX (2001), and as the President of the United States in Kaardimaja (2013).

The final sentence of the President's speech was not in the original script and was added at the last minute for dramatic effect in an effort to convince 20th Century Fox not to avoid a legal battle to earn the right to name the film "Independence Day." At the time, the production was nicknamed "ID4" because Warner Bros. owned the rights to the title Independence Day, and Dean Devlin had hoped if Fox executives noticed the addition in dailies, the impact of the new dialogue would help them win the rights to the title. The right to use the title was eventually won two weeks later.

Over seventy mock news broadcasts were created for the film. All used real-life newscasters, since the makers believed that actors would not look convincing in such scenes.

Shot in 72 days, an unusually short period of time for such a big blockbuster.

Mary McDonnell accepted her role immediately after her agent pitched the film by simply saying "It's about fifteen mile-wide spaceships".

To achieve the look of Houston as seen from the air at night, the crew simply poked holes in a sheet of black construction paper, placed the paper in front of a bright light in a smoke-filled room, and photographed it using special lighting to accomplish the effect.

Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin got the idea for the film while fielding a question about the existence of alien life during promotion for Tähevärav (1994). A reporter asked Emmerich why he made a film with content like that if he did not believe in aliens. Emmerich stated he was still fascinated by the idea of an alien arrival, and further explained his response by asking the reporter to imagine what it would be like to wake up one morning and discover fifteen mile-wide spaceships were hovering over the world's largest cities. Emmerich then turned to Devlin and said, "I think I have an idea for our next film."

The White House interiors were originally built for Presidendi pruut (1995), and were subsequently used for Marss ründab! (1996) and Nixon (1995).

Except for the bi-plane during the crop-dusting scene, any airplane seen in the air in this film is either a model or computer-generated effect.

Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich penned the script in four weeks. It was sent out on a Thursday, and they started fielding offers the next day. By Monday, they were in pre-production.

The highest-grossing movie of 1996.

Along with Anatomy of a Murder (1959), Glory (1989), Punane oht (1995), and Pimeduse rüütel (2008), this is one of only four films whose purely orchestral soundtracks won the Grammy Award for Best Score despite not being nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Score.

In the Special Edition, Vivica A. Fox's character quits her job as a stripper. When she leaves, she says to her boss, "Nice working for you, Mario!" in a sarcastic tone. This is a jab at producer Mario Kassar, who forced Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin to cut some scenes from their last film, Tähevärav (1994).

The White House which exploded was built at 1/12 scale, just to be blown up (although it was also used in one other shot, when David and Julius stop the car in front of the White House). Nine cameras filmed the explosion at various speeds, one of which was twelve times faster than normal, then played back at normal speed to make the explosion seem larger and slower on film. This scene appeared prominently in most teasers, trailers and TV spots, and is widely regarded as the film's most iconic shot. It even appeared on the cover of most VHS editions of the film.

The alien spacecraft in Area 51 was a full-scale model measuring 65 feet wide.

"Everybody Wants To Rule The World" by Tears for Fears was originally picked to play during the scene at S.E.T.I. before it was replaced by R.E.M.'s "It's the End of the World As We Know It".

The abbreviation "ID4" was invented due to legal problems with the title "Independence Day". Before 20th Century Fox reached a deal with Warner Bros. for the rights to the title, they suggested the film be called "Invasion" or "Sky on Fire" among many other titles.

The Macintosh laptop that David uses is shown as a Powerbook XXXX, a prototype model with no designation. Despite this, clips from the film, showing the laptop with its prominent Apple logo, were used a series of Powerbook ads at the time. The ads' slogan was "What kind of laptop would *you* choose to save the world?"

When Will Smith enters the squadron locker room, the extras (pilots) watching television are real pilots from VMFAT-101, the Marine Corps FA-18 Training Squadron.

When Captain Hiller is talking to General Grey about returning to El Toro, the giant screen behind them is displaying some sort of night vision display and the bottom of the screen is endlessly rotating through various numbers and stats. At one point, instead of numbers, the screen reads "And now I see with eye serene the very pulse of the machine - Wordsworth", an excerpt of a William Wordsworth poem entitled "She Was a Phantom of Delight."

Filming at the Los Angeles International Airport was delayed several days due to a threat from the Unabomber.

Spanish television advertisements for this movie, showing the large ships hovering over New York City, were mistaken by some Spaniards for real disaster news footage much as Orson Welles' War of the Worlds radio play sparked alien-war panic.

Will Smith's squadron were stationed at MCAS El Toro. This is the same name as the air base from which the Flying Wing Bomber flew out of to drop the A-bomb on the Martians in the movie The War of the Worlds (1953). MCAS El Toro was a real air base in Orange County, California, from 1943 until its decommissioning in 1999.

Bill Pullman used the memory of a decayed tooth which was pulled from his mouth in order to come up with a terrified expression when speaking with the alien invaders.

Struggling to write the score, David Arnold secluded himself in a Los Angeles hotel room for almost four months to avoid the escalating hype for the film. But from his window he saw helicopters carrying banners with taglines to the film as part of a marketing campaign, which only stressed him out even more.

The line, "Eh, f**k my lawyer," was said by Harvey Fierstein and the expletive was dubbed over with "forget" in the final cut to keep the movie from getting an 'R' rating.

The "futuristic" looking computer in the control center at Area 51 are components of an IBM AN/FSQ-7 Combat Direction Central, built in 1954 to protect the U.S. from a Soviet bomber attack. It was the largest and heaviest computer system ever built, the full system weighing 6,000 tons and taking up an entire floor of a bomb-proof blockhouse. Components of decommissioned systems were sold for scrap and bought by film and television production companies who wanted futuristic looking computers, despite the fact they were built in the 1950s. The components used in this film were previously used in The Time Tunnel (1966) and Leegitsev pilvelõhkuja (1974) amongst many others.

The character of Dr. Okun, portrayed by Brent Spiner, is based on Jeffrey A. Okun, digital effects supervisor on Roland Emmerich's and Dean Devlin's earlier science fiction hit, Tähevärav (1994). It is an almost perfect representation of Okun, right down to the hair and mannerisms.

The producers wanted to find real-life material that reflected how a small but elite air force could face off against overwhelming power (like the alien armada) and they contacted the Israeli Air Force to request footage. The IAF agreed after clearing post-combat videos of any classified materials, and the footage helped Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin script and film the climactic battle.

During the aliens' initial attack, the shots of cars landing on other cars was achieved by using cranes that released actual hollowed-out cars onto cars loaded with explosives.

In the Special Edition, during the scenes where David is searching for his ex-wife's telephone number, his computer screen displays humorous street names such as "Heresheis Avenue."

When Ally Walker suddenly became unavailable at the last minute, there was a rush to find a new actress to portray Connie. When then 37-year-old Margaret Colin jokingly told an inexperienced casting assistant that she was only 22, the man assumed she was too young and called the producers to tell them she was unavailable. When the confusion was cleared up, Colin landed the role, and began filming scenes in Utah less than 24 hours after she was cast.

Jada Pinkett Smith turned down the role of Jasmine Dubrow because of scheduling conflicts with The Nutty Professor (1996). She would later marry Will Smith.

Traditionally, Roland Emmerich's regular film crew gives several cast members nicknames by the end of filming. Will Smith was given the nickname "Mr. Charisma". Jeff Goldblum was nicknamed "Nice" because of his tendency to say "Nice! Nice!" when agreeing with Roland Emmerich's direction. Robert Loggia was nicknamed "The Turtle" because despite his hard exterior, he was soft on the inside. And Julie Moran received the nickname "Evil" because her name appears in the credits at the same time the music turns ominous (a tradition that had started on Emmerich's previous film, Tähevärav (1994)).

The man in the Los Angeles office building that is destroyed in the initial attack is played by Volker Engel, the movie's visual effects supervisor. The building also contains his initials on the exterior.

Shown on a computer monitor in the S.E.T.I. office is a diagram of "Deep Space Satellite Devlin" (named after Dean Devlin). The satellite is a miniature version of the Star wars: Osa IV - Uus lootus (1977) Death Star with solar arrays attached.

Most of the cast and crew, including Will Smith, were unpleasantly surprised to suffer severe sunburn on their legs during the filming in Utah of the Grand Canyon duel/crash scenes.

Within the first few minutes of the very first day of principal photography, a pigeon pooped on Dean Devlin's head. Locals were quick to inform Devlin that in New York City, this is considered a sign of good luck.

A scene in which Jeff Goldblum explains the nature of the alien signal and how it could be blocked was cut from the Theatrical Verson of the film, possibly to avoid controversy as Harvey Fierstein plants an unscripted kiss on an unsuspecting Goldblum. This scene was restored in its entirety for the Special Edition.

The smoky effect of the alien spacecraft as it moves into position above New York City (starts about 24 minutes and 22 seconds into the movie) was created by a double exposure on the film. The effect comes from recording water in a tank turning murky after a clod of dirt was dropped into it.

The phrases said by the pilots when firing their missiles is NATO brevity code for the types of missiles being launched. "Fox One" means a semi-active radar-guided missile (AIM-7 Sparrow), "Fox Two" is an infrared-guided (heat-seeking) missile (AIM-9 Sidewinder), and "Fox Three" is is an active radar-guided missile (AIM-120 AMRAAM).

Dean Devlin, who served as the second unit director, and directed the close-up shots of actors in F-18 cockpits, let Harry Connick Jr. improvise several takes while doing impressions of various celebrities. His impression of Reverend Jesse Jackson is included in the film.

Using a model previously used for the film Kiirus (1994), the crew filmed a scene where a bus crashes through a billboard for the movie Tähevärav (1994), also directed by Roland Emmerich. They also filmed a scene where a theater whose marquee reads "Coming Soon: Independence Day" is destroyed. However, neither scene appears in the final cut.

When David is searching the telephone directory, some street names include: Last Exit, Sub Wy, Drive Wy, Sky Walk, Hard Dr, Chuckjones Dr (cartoonist Chuck Jones), Theeme Pk, C. Old Maurice, Window Jump, Onthe Rd, Guesswho Blvd, Yumyum Rd and for Connie- Heresheis Av.

On the DVD commentary, visual effects supervisor Volker Engel reveals that the fire engine seen tumbling through the air was simply a model purchased at a toy store.

Robert Loggia got to decide which branch of the military his character was in, since it was never established in the script. Loggia ultimately decided that General Grey should be in the Marine Corps.

Dean Devlin wanted the alien invasion to be on a grand scale, because he disliked how in the movies, alien invasions always happened in a low-key manner (landing in cornfields, etc).

Footage of fiery debris was captured on film after a pyrotechnics malfunction occurred on set. The footage was used as the falling wreckage of the "Welcome Wagon" helicopters.

Matthew Perry was originally offered the role of Captain Jimmy "Raven" Wilder but pulled out at the last minute. His father John Bennett Perry plays a Secret Service Agent in the movie.

To give the aliens a slimy appearance, K-Y Jelly was used. It had to be applied to the alien prop several times during outdoor scenes because the intense heat in the Utah desert caused the jelly to evaporate in just a few minutes.

The character of Julius Levinson is based on one of Dean Devlin's uncles.

To achieve the effect of flames traveling along the street, the crew placed a downward-facing high-speed camera above a miniature model of a street tilted at roughly ninety degrees. When explosives were set off on the ground, the flames would rise toward the camera while engulfing the model. When the film was then played at normal speed, it gave the illusion that the flames were traveling laterally at the speed seen in the film.

Broke the records for Fastest to 100 million dollars (seven days), and Fastest to 200 million dollars (twenty days), both previously held by Jurassic Park (1993). Both starring Jeff Goldblum.

The shoot utilized on-set, in-camera special effects more often than computer-generated effects in an effort to save money and get more authentic pyrotechnic results. Many of these shots were accomplished at Hughes Aircraft in Culver City, California, where the film's art department, motion control photography teams, pyrotechnics team, and model shop were headquartered.

The advertising campaign cost 24 million dollars. The airtime for the trailer shown during the Super Bowl cost 1.3 million dollars.

Ross Bagley who plays Dylan, appeared as Will Smith's cousin Nicky in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990).

Became the second highest grossing film of all time worldwide, second only to Jurassic Park (1993).

Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich had always envisioned an African-American for the role of Steven Hiller and specifically wanted Will Smith after seeing his performance in Six Degrees of Separation (1993). Up until then, Smith was mostly known for doing comedy series on TV, most prominently The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990). Emmerich later mentioned that the decision met with some initial resistance and even racism from some studio executives, but he stood his ground. The role launched Smith's movie career and practically made him a bankable superstar overnight.

The movie features, thanks to visual effects, 3,978 F-18 Hornets, 52,278 pieces of debris, 3,931 alien attackers, 1,549 missiles, and 22,014 light balls.

The climactic 30 second countdown to the bomb's detonation took one minute, 33 seconds of screen time.

The characters 'R' and '2' on this inside of the spaceship hangar at Area 51 are a reference to R2-D2 in the Star Wars saga.

Between principal photography and the re-shoot of Russell's scenes in his F18, the cockpit mock-up was used in Kaljukindlus (1996) and had been repainted. Therefore Russell's F18 is darker than the other planes.

20th Century Fox first wanted to open the film on Memorial Day and change the name to 'Doomsday' to avoid the fierce competition on July 4th.

Robert Loggia modeled the character General Grey after Generals of World War II, particularly George S. Patton.

DIRECTOR_TRADEMARK(Roland Emmerich): [44]: The number 44 is seen on the headrest in Russell's F-18 cockpit, several televisions are tuned to channel 44. When the ship above Area 51 is destroyed, just as it's falling to Earth, 44 can be seen in the flames on the side of the ship.

As is the case with many 20th Century Fox movies, the film cans for the advance screening prints and show prints had a code name. Independence Day was "Dutch 2".

According to a back-story established by the cast and crew, Dr. Okun was recruited by the military out of Berkeley in the 1960s, and due to the top-secret nature of his work, has been isolated at Area 51 since. Although never revealed in the film, his first name was established as Brackish, a word meaning "unappealing" or "repulsive".

Just prior to the "atmospheric phenomenon" appearing above northern Iraq, the nomads seen standing still in the background are mannequins.

The line "Elvis has left the building!", which Will Smith yells toward the end of the movie, is translated "Last train to Mikkeli has just left!" on the Finnish DVD. Mikkeli is a town in Finland.

A month after the film's release, jewelry designers and marketing consultants reported an increased interest in dolphin-themed jewelry, since the character of Jasmine in the film wears dolphin earrings, and is presented with a wedding ring featuring a gold dolphin.

The second film to cross the 500 million dollar mark at the international box-office.

The production's model-making department built more than twice as many miniatures for the production than had ever been built for any film before, by creating miniatures for buildings, city streets, aircraft, landmarks, and monuments. The crew also built miniatures for several of the spaceships featured in the film, including a thirty foot destroyer model, and a version of the mother ship spanning twelve feet.

Sets for the latter Area 51 included corridors containing windows that were covered with blue material. The filmmakers originally intended to use the chroma key technique to make it appear as if activity was happening on the other side of the glass; but the composited images were not added to the final print because production designers decided the blue panels gave the sets a "clinical look".

Mad Magazine did a parody in which the virus transmitted to the aliens was Windows '95. This computer operating system was notorious at the time for its frequent bugs which caused compatibility problems with other programs.

The street names seen on David's laptop screen (Ashford, Volker, etc.) are the names of prominent crew members.

VMFA-314 "The Black Knights," the squadron Will Smith belongs to, had been stationed at MCAS El Toro until 1994.

David's character suffers from air sickness; in previous film roles, Jeff Goldblum has played characters with various sicknesses, e.g. sea sickness in The Right Stuff (1983), motion sickness in The Fly (1986), and even in Jurassic Park (1993) he's seen clutching his stomach in some scenes, etc.

Jeff Goldblum's character is a passionate environmentalist, as seen by his insistence to recycle. Roland Emmerich would later make an entire film about environmental disaster in Päev pärast homset (2004).

The actual aliens of the film are diminutive and based on a design Patrick Tatopoulos drew when tasked by Roland Emmerich to create an alien that was "both familiar and completely original". These creatures wear "bio-mechanical" suits that are based on another design Tatopoulos pitched to Emmerich. These suits were 8 feet (2.4 m) tall, equipped with 25 tentacles, and purposely designed to show it could not sustain a person inside so it would not appear to be a "man in a suit".

Some of the movie was made in the hangar where Howard Hughes once built his "Spruce Goose," the largest plane in the world.

The first showings of the film took place on July 2, 1996, the same day that the events in the movie start.

Matthew Broderick was offered the role of David Levinson, but had to turn it down due to scheduling conflicts. Roland Emmerich would cast him in his next film, Godzilla (1998).

The initials of several model shop crew members can be seen as graffiti on a wall behind the tank that's parked on the freeway in Houston.

20th Century Fox set up a 1-900 number for people to call and record their very own audio review of the film. Clips of these recordings were used in a series of post-release television ads for the film.

When they are approaching the White House, David tells Julius that Connie "always keeps her portable phone listed for emergencies." Not cell phone. Most people did not carry cellphones yet at that time.

This movie was mentioned by infamous serial killer Aileen Wuornos just before her execution on six counts of murder. Reportedly, her last words before receiving a lethal injection were "I'd just like to say I'm sailing with the rock, and I'll be back like Independence Day with Jesus June 6. Like the movie, big mother ship and all. I'll be back."

The U.S. military originally intended to provide personnel, vehicles, and costumes for the film; however, they backed out when the producers refused to remove the script's Area 51 references.

Dr. Okun is a reference to Jeffrey A. Okun, one of the visual effects supervisors from Roland Emmerich's previous film Tähevärav (1994).

Jeff Goldblum's son Charlie Ocean was born on Independence Day in 2015. Goldblum wrote on Facebook: "We're so excited to share the wonderful news of the birth of our son, Charlie Ocean Goldblum, born on the 4th of July. Independence Day."

"Area 51" is a real life U.S. Air Force facility. The Wikipedia website states that it "is a remote detachment of Edwards Air Force Base, within the Nevada Test and Training Range. According to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the correct names for the facility are Homey Airport (ICAO: KXTA) and Groom Lake, though the name Area 51 was used in a CIA document from the Vietnam War. Other names used for the facility include Dreamland, and nicknames Paradise Ranch, Home Base and Watertown. The special use airspace around the field is referred to as Restricted Area 4808 North (R-4808N). The base's current primary purpose is publicly unknown; however, based on historical evidence, it most likely supports the development and testing of experimental aircraft and weapons systems (black projects). The intense secrecy surrounding the base has made it the frequent subject of conspiracy theories and a central component to unidentified flying object (U.F.O.) folklore. Although the base has never been declared a secret base, all research and occurrences in Area 51 are Top Secret / Sensitive Compartmented Information (TS / SCI). In July 2013, following an FOIA request filed in 2005, the CIA publicly acknowledged the existence of the base for the first time, declassifying documents detailing the history and purpose of Area 51."

First of three "Independence Day" movies, with the second being Independence Day: Resurgence (2016), and the third, the planned [error], as it is currently known.

There is an urban legend that the countdown clock is at 09:11 when Dave is on the helicopter but it actually starts at 00:09:12:18.

After the climatic battle, one of the F/A-18s that returns to the base can be seen with the tail code of 'VM'. This is the designation for Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 314 (VMFA-314) Black Knights, the same squadron that Will Smith flies with in the film, and that gets massacred by the city destroyer that took out Los Angeles.

Vivica A. Fox had previously appeared in Sündinud neljandal juulil (1989). She also appeared opposite Will Smith in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air: It Had to Be You (1991). Ross Bagley who plays Dylan, also appeared as Will's cousin Nicky.

The novelization of the film establishes President Whitmore as a young Senator from Chicago prior to becoming president. He even gloats to a Secret Service agent about a Chicago White Sox victory over the Kansas City Royals. Life imitated art twelve years later, when a White Sox fan and Senator from Chicago named Barack Obama became President.

The attacker hangar set contained an attacker mock-up 65 feet wide that took four months to build.

Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin wrote the screenplay when they took a month-long vacation in Mexico. It was greenlit by 20th Century Fox the day after they sent the studio the script.

David is searching for his ex-wife's phone number on his way to Washington, D.C. For a brief moment, you can see that the name of her street is "Heresheis" as in 'Here she is'.

Though Mary McDonnell is higher billed than the fellow female stars, Margaret Colin and Vivica A. Fox, her screen time is much lesser than both of them.

Diana Bellamy, Judith Hoag, and Jessica Tuck were all cast in large roles that were ultimately deemed extraneous and not included in the final script. Richard Riehle and Sam Anderson were set to portray David's boss Marty and the Secretary of Defense, respectively, but both roles were re-cast. As compensation, Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich promised them all roles in Külaline (1997).

Eddie Murphy was the first choice for the part of Steven Hiller. Tom Cruise (whose 34th birthday was the day of this film's release), Keanu Reeves, Johnny Depp, Jean-Claude Van Damme, and William Baldwin were considered for the part.

The film initially was green-lit with a budget of 69 million dollars from the studio.

Dr. Brackish Okun's appearance and verbal style are based upon those of visual effects supervisor Jeffrey A. Okun, with whom Roland Emmerich had worked on Tähevärav (1994).

To prepare for his role, Bill Pullman read Bob Woodward's The Commanders and watched the documentary film The War Room (1993).

Roland Emmerich wanted Martin Landau for the role of Julius Levinson, but he was busy with The Adventures of Pinocchio (1996).

The film takes place from July 2 to July 4, 1996.

In the scene where Will Smith is dragging the alien across the desert, after he kicks the parachute with the alien in it and the RVs are approaching, when the shot cuts to the side of the RVs, you can see I-80 on the horizon line, most distinctly, you can see a tractor trailer travelling on it.

A then-record 3,000-plus visual effects shots would ultimately be required for the film.

According to the What Culture website, "Independence Day modernized the disaster movie premise, replacing natural disasters with extraterrestrial ones and slathering on the fun. It borrowed a trend of blowing up famed national monuments from the B Movie genre and gave it steroids on screen, something that would continue over the next two decades."

The names of the pilots on the status screen aboard Air Force One during the first retaliation attack are the last names of several of the film's associate producers and video unit team.

James Rebhorn described his character as being much like Oliver North.

In the film's climax, the alien mothership is destroyed by a pair of Pennsylvania natives: Jeff Goldblum is from Pittsburgh and Will Smith is from Philadelphia.

Harvey Fierstein and Lisa Jakub both had previously appeared in Meie issi, proua Doubtfire (1993). Jakub plays one of three children in both films.

Bobby Hosea filmed his only scene during re-shoots on October 3, 1995, the same day the verdict was read in the O.J. Simpson murder trial. Hosea had previously starred as Simpson in the made-for-TV film The O.J. Simpson Story (1995).

Unique Premiere schedule: UK Odeon Leicester Square held first premiere as advanced marketed as 'ID4', upon July 4, 1996, which was attended by Will Smith, that guaranteed an enormous tourist crowd. Then with several weeks until the public release, ensured strong recommendations in the UK.

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.

Several people in this movie also appear in either Stargate (1994) or Stargate: SG-1. Most notably is Erick Avari who plays a SETI tech in this movie, and Kasuf in Stargate and Stargate: SG-1. The Stargate franchise was also created by Roland Emmerich who created this movie.

Dylan is playing with a king ghidora toy at area 51

David Arnold's Grammy-winning score was performed by an orchestra of ninety and a forty-person choir.

During the nuking scene, the B-2 pilots' uniforms have the patch of the 509th Bomb Wing on them. The 509th Bomb Wing is based out of Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri and operates the B-2 bomber in real-life, as in the movie.

This was Roland Emmerich's first film to be shot in the Super 35 format.

Though he plays his father, Judd Hirsch is only 17 years-older than Jeff Goldblum.

When the film was released on the big screen in New Zealand, it was given the M mature rating. But, when it was released on VHS, the rating was changed to PG.

Actor Rance Howard and Voice Actor Frank Welker would both work that same year in another Alien Invasion film: Marss ründab! (1996). Howard played two different roles, as a Texan Investor in 'Mars Attacks', and as a Chaplain in 'Independence Day'. Welker would do 'Alien Voices' in both.

The film employs over 3,000 visual effects shots. At the time, the highest number ever featured in a film.

Released on the same day as Phenomenon (1996), which also featured Brent Spiner.

The film The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) is seen playing on television, it was directed by Robert Wise. Robert Loggia made his film debut in Somebody Up There Likes Me (1956), which was also directed by Wise.

Bill Pullman confirmed in an interview that the studio originally wanted to call the film "Doomsday".

The 2nd feature film from 20th Century Fox which Jeff Goldblum played a scientist. A decade earlier, Jeff Goldblum played scientist Seth Brundle in The Fly (1986).

One of the American cities the aliens destroys in the movie is New York City. 2 years after the film's release, Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich brought to the big screen Godzilla (1998) which is a remake of the classic 1954 film of the same name. In the film, the film's title antagonist attacks New York City.

Will Smith and Harry Connick, Jr. are both actors and singers. Will Smith is a rap singer and Harry Connick, Jr. is a jazz singer.

Mary McDonnell later played a president in Battlestar Galactica (2004).

The mothership's diameter is 550 kilometers (342 miles), and the 'City Destroyers' are approximately 24 kilometers (15 miles) across.

The film cast includes six Oscar nominees: Jeff Goldblum, Will Smith, Robert Loggia, Mary McDonnell, Randy Quaid and Judd Hirsch.

Adam Baldwin and Judd Hirsch previously appeared in Ordinary People (1980).

As Jeff Goldblum boards Air Force One with the president, the clock on his laptop is counting down from 9:11.

The tails on the destroyed aircraft at MCAS El Toro are 'LF', as in Luke Air Force Base.

Publicity for Independence Day: Resurgence (2016) declares that the original Independence Day film "redefined the event movie genre".

The running time of Independence Day: Resurgence (2016) is two hours or 120 minutes, whereas for the first film, Independence Day clocked almost two-and-a-half hours at 145 min (or 154 min for the Special Edition), making Resurgence the shorter movie of the two, with a run time of about 25 min less (or 34 min for the longer version) than Independence Day.

The same year as this film's release, Brent Spiner (Dr. Okun) starred in another sci-fi movie Star Trek: First Contact (1996) which he reprised his role as the android Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987) (TV Series). In that film, The Enterprise crew travel back through time to Post World War III Earth to stop The Borg from changing history and assimilating the human race.

A year after the film's release, Will Smith starred in another science fiction film about extra terrestrials called Men in Black (1997). In the film, Will Smith stars as a NYPD cop whom is recruited to join a secret agency that monitors and polices extra terrestrial activity on Earth.

Harvey Fierstein and Lisa Jakub both starred in another 20th Century Fox movie - Mrs. Doubtfire (1993).

Dean Devlin: producer and co-writer is the voice of the fighter pilot alongside the President's plane who says, "I'm on it," targeting the alien ray only to be blasted out of the sky a moment later.

William Fay: The co-Executive Producer can briefly be seen on the television in the Oval Office as a S.E.T.I. employee during the "Operation Welcome Wagon" scene.

Roland Emmerich: [Sky News] In any Roland Emmerich movie in which news broadcasts are depicted, his foreign news station of choice is SkyNews. Here, it appears in Russian. Sky News is owned by the News Corporation (now 21st Century Fox, Inc.), the same company that owns 20th Century Fox, which released this movie.

A version with Russell Casse flying his bi-plane in with a missile strapped to its wing at the last minute was re-shot, because it implied that Russell flew into the battle knowing that it would be a suicide mission, since he could not launch the missile from his plane. Roland Emmerich decided that the scene would be much more dramatic if Casse was in the air all the time, making the decision to sacrifice himself for his children on the spot.

The visual effect of the giant alien ray gun exploding is simply the same footage of the Empire State building exploding turned upside down.

Roland Emmerich admitted that during the movie's premiere at the White House, he gave his seat next to President Bill Clinton to Bill Pullman, fearing Clinton's reaction to the on-screen destruction of the White House.

The scene where Major Mitchell approaches a wounded alien and shoots him in the head at point blank range was not in the script and added at the last minute. This was done after one of the few complaints test audiences had was that the aliens weren't suffering enough.

As the crew and audiences liked the character of Dr. Okun so much, Dean Devlin and Brent Spiner have gone on record to say that his character was only in a coma, when he appeared to be dead. A brief shot of Major Mitchell saying Okun is dead was shot but deleted, with the idea that Okun could be brought back in any future media. This explains why Dr. Okun was able to return in the sequel Independence Day: Resurgence (2016), alive and well.

When David comes up with his idea on how to fight the aliens, he stands up and motions with his hands as if putting something on his head. This move was improvised by Jeff Goldblum, and it was intended to be David putting his 'thinking cap' back on.

The plot device by which the aliens were defeated is lifted from the original storyline of H.G. Wells's novel War Of The Worlds. In WOTW they were beaten by bacteria and viruses; in this film they were beaten because of a computer virus.

James Brown's distinctive scream was used as a sound effect for the alien energy beam backfiring as Russell's plane crashes into the giant alien weapon.

In the Special Edition version of the film, deleted scenes are restored that explain apparent inconsistencies in the Theatrical Version:

  • Upon arriving at Area 51, Russell Casse searches frantically for a doctor for his son Troy. He states that he has "a problem with his adrenal cortex". Since we've seen Troy vomiting and feverish earlier, he could be suffering from either Addison's Disease or Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia, both of which affect the adrenal cortex and have vomiting as a symptom.
  • Miguel refers to Russell by his first name for most of the movie. A deleted scene reveals that this is because, as Miguel tells Russell, "You're not my father. You're just the guy that married my mother." This also explains why Miguel looks very little like Russell.
  • When David is driving to Washington, D.C. to alert Constance, he tells his father, "She always keeps her cell phone listed for emergencies." When he calls her, she answers the phone and says, "David! How did you get this number?" A deleted scene explains how he tracked her secret cell phone number down by searching for various aliases she's used in the past: in this case, it was her married name.
  • When Jasmine is first seen dancing, it soon cuts to her saying, "I came to get my check and I got talked into working." If one wonders where her son is while she's working unexpectedly (no time to call a sitter), a deleted scene shows him and Boomer the dog in the manager's office waiting for her. This is part of the reason she quits: her boss yells at her for "bringing that kid in here."
  • David gets a tour of the Alien Fighter's cockpit, where he recognizes the aliens' communication signal on a display. This shows how David had an early look at the aliens' computer program, and explains how he was able to use it to deliver a computer virus into the aliens' main computer.

Originally Russell Casse (Randy Quaid) flew his crop duster in the final battle, because the military had rejected him as a pilot. He appeared with a missile attached to the crop duster, then flew the crop duster into the alien ship. But when it was screened to test audiences, they felt it was too comedic, so they re-filmed the scene.

President Whitmore attacking the aliens would have been the first U.S. Commander-in-Chief to lead troops into combat since James Madison took command of a rearguard artillery battery to cover the retreat of the U.S. Army during the British attack on Washington, D.C., in 1814.

The destruction of The White House had to happen in one take. The crew built a giant miniature and placed minor explosives around it. Later the special effects team added fire and debris.

Jeff Goldblum (David Levinson), Judd Hirsch (Julius Levinson), Bill Pullman (President Thomas J. Whitmore), Brent Spiner (Dr. Brackish Okun), Vivica A. Fox (Jasmine Dubrow-Hiller), John Storey (Dr. Isaacs), and Robert Loggia (General Grey) are the only actors to reprise their roles in Independence Day: Resurgence (2016).

The scene where the White House is blown up was used in the "Finale Scene" of the great movie ride at the Disney/MGM studios (now Disney's Hollywood Studios) at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. After the 9/11 attacks, the scene was removed and replaced with a scene from Armageddon (1998) after guest complaints.

The filmmakers said that they included Area 51 in the story because the film was intended to celebrate U.F.O./alien subculture and mythology, of which Area 51 is an integral part.

After the nuclear bombing of Houston, Texas, silhouettes of street lights are a nod to the look of the alien invaders of The War of the Worlds (1953), who were also wiped out by a virus, then a biological type, and in "Independence Day", it is a computer virus.

The White House model covered ten feet by five feet, and was used in forced-perspective shots before being destroyed in a similar fashion for its own destruction scene. The detonation took a week to plan and required forty explosive charges.

Albert Nimzicki's firing lampoons Joe Nimziki, MGM's head of advertising who reportedly accounted for unpleasant experiences for Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich when studio executives forced recuts of Tähevärav (1994). For that reason, Emmerich and Devlin sent their script for Independence Day to every major studio except MGM.

The newly named name of the alien invasion battle from the first Independence Day movie is now referred to in the sequel Independence Day: Resurgence (2016) as "The War of '96" or "The War of 1996".

The film borrows a plot element from Star wars: Osa IV - Uus lootus (1977). President Whitmore and the pilots attack the enemy saucer which is approaching Area 51 and bring down the enemy saucer before it fires on the base.

User reviews



Independence Day is the sort of film that's best appreciated on a big screen, preferably a massive great plasma television that is so huge you had to cut the roof off your house and get airlifted in by helicopters just to get it in the living room. You should also have the most state of the art surround sound possible, with bass pickups so deep they cause earthquakes on the Eastern seaboard. Not because Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich's alien invasion flick is a masterpiece of cinematic art or anything, but because it's loud. Very loud. And if the windows in your house don't shatter when the spaceship flies over New York then well, you're just not experiencing it properly.

Taking the 1950's invasion narratives and pro-tooling them for 90's audiences, Independence Day is an absolute blast of visual flare and gung ho heroism. The plot is so straightforward as to be superfluous (aliens invade, fights ensue) but even so, it remains an invigorating watch purely because of the spectacle it provides. Back in 1996, the sight of that giant blue laser tearing apart lower Manhattan made jaws drop and while it's unlikely to do the same to today's overstimulated audiences, it's still an incredible visual feast. What's more, the ensemble cast makes it surprisingly unpredictable - we all know that the aliens will be defeated at the end, but what isn't so obvious is which characters are going to be alive to see it. Except for the kid and the dog. They're relatively safe bets.

Watching it now though, it does possess a cheerful naivety in the face of world politics. After all, this was 1996, the Cold War was over and 9/11 a long way off, so the entire world uniting against a common foe without being bogged down with petty arguments and personal agendas still seemed believable. Hell, even the gun-toting Arabs that briefly appear on screen are more than happy to rally behind Uncle Sam in the name of freedom. That's right folks, it's an Americans Save The World movie, complete with a snapshot of British officers drinking tea in the desert and waiting for those silly yanks to get a bally move on and show us what to do.

Needless to say, this is blockbuster entertainment through and through. The aliens are apparently here to strip mine the planet of all her natural resources, but they're quite happy to put that off for a bit in order to blow things up for the entire running time. Fans of in-depth characterisation, intelligent story telling and emotional engagement with the protagonists are wasting their time, but if you want to watch tourist attractions, jet planes and space craft exploding for three hours, you can't really go wrong. That business about a computer virus bringing down the mother-ship is a bit daft though, not once did they try switching everything on and off again.


What's the fuss about this movie? Why does everyone think so poorly of this? Well, in my opinion they compare this film to the Best Picture movies. This is not a Best Picture film, but a very entertaining popcorn film. This tells the tale of aliens attacking Earth and a group of survivors must unite together to destroy the invading aliens. The acting is decent. Will Smith, with a movie career underway, is excellent. Bill Pullman is great as the President. The effects were amazing especially when the buildings were blown up. David Arnold's music score is just fantastic. The theme is still stuck in my head. Overall, this is an excellent film. I rate this film a 10/10.


I am just shocked at all the negative reviews by pseudo-intellectuals saying the film was heavily flawed, incomprehensible, devoid of any merit, and "lame", to quote a few. What were they expecting? A remake of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Sure, I am not going to pretend the film does not has many glaring weaknesses. The plot is hardly original; its execution is even less inspiring. Roland Emmerich goes out of his way to use every cliche in the book, over-sentimentality, weak, flat characterizations, incredible jumps in logic and reasoning made on the viewer, and the use of special effects to overcome these shortcomings. But what some of the reviewers seemed to have missed, and its there as substantiated by the huge popularity of the film, is heart. The film has a lot of heart. It makes you feel good after watching it. And although that quality does not make it a great film, it certainly makes it a good film in my book. The film is vastly entertaining, very suspenseful, a delight for the eyes with dazzling special effects, and even has some dialogue that does just rise above its hackneyed origins. The acting is adequate all around with no one pulling off a great performance, but a few doing marvelous jobs with what they have to work with. Judd Hirsch easily out acts his fellow colleagues as a Jewish father with a gift for common sense and lack of tact. Jeff Goldblum also gives a pretty good performance as his son. Yeah, Will Smith is just Will Smith..lots of one liners and little meat so to speak. But he is bearable. Watch for Brent Spiner in an outrageous role as a hippie scientist. His performance is a real hoot! If you are looking for philosophical science fiction, this is not it. See Starship Troopers(a great film). This is just good old Americans against the universe stuff, lots of action but little substance. But whatever it may have as its faults, it is a fun, happy, sad, charming, engrossing film to watch...time and time again.


I don't usually comment on this, I don't like to portray a movie as being good or bad just on my opinion, as everyone has their own tastes and needs when it comes to cinema. But god damn, why do so many people hate this film.

Firstly, this is not a serious film, it has never happened nor will it ever. This film is just damn good fun to watch...the explosions, the suspense, the cheesy one-liners...its not trying to tell you that aliens are coming to blow the s**t of of us...its entertainment. To all the people here that have said this is the worst movie ever...you guys need need to watch more movies, because if this is the worst movie ever then im Santa clause! To put it simply, this is 2 and a half hours of fun filled, edge of the seat (occasionally have a laugh) action...and nothing else.

Why cant people just enjoy a independence day for what it is (as mentioned above)...not why its improbable etc etc etc we all know that duh! This film is entertaining, full stop!! and thats all its supposed to be.


I enjoyed this movie, sure it isn't the most original movie ever made or the best, but it was what it set out to be...which is a combo alien attack movie of the 50's plus an all-star disaster movie of the 70's. A lot of critics don't like this one and a lot of people who think of themselves as critics don't care much for it either, but it still brought in over 300 million at the box office in the summer of 96. I thought it was an entertaining film with lots of action and a good dose of comedy as well. One complaint I have is that it runs a bit long and you feel the time pass not like other movies like "The Two Towers" where it doesn't feel like all that much time has passed. Another problem with this movie is that it is best seen in the theater. This movie has a score of only six at imdb, so a lot of people who saw it probably saw it on TV. Or if they did see it at the theaters, realized it just wasn't as good on the small screen when they saw it on TV. The movie also benefited from a great ad campaign that started with a super bowl spot that showed the White House being destroyed. The movie is basically an alien invasion movie and it is like a 50's science fiction movie. It also has a lot of stars, not the biggest names, just like a 70's disaster flick. If you don't care for either of these genres you probably won't like this movie, but if you like one or the other or both it is worth checking out. Just don't take it too seriously and have fun watching it.
Swift Summer

Swift Summer

Never mind the stereotypical characters. Never mind the non-existant logic. Never mind that the dialogue is inane and bordering on idiotic. THIS IS GREAT ACTION! And there's no point in denying it.

First of all: I love to watch destruction. Preferably in larger scales. You get fed an enormous amount of it here. Second: I love alien starships the size of New York. And you sure get that too. And third: I love dogfights. You get that too. Forth: I don't take it seriously.

This films is one of the best of the decade, not simply because it works so well in an all-over scheme, but it provides some kicks that no other film had up to then (1996). Aliens arrive in gigantic spaceships and blow up a bunch of major cities. That's all I need.

How to grapple with the fact that logic takes a backseat - please spare me. There are worse films than this one.


If Ed Wood ever had any money, Roland Emmerich would give him a run for it. This film is the ultimate summary of everything wrong with Hollywood. It's as if Roland Emmerich deliberately tries to place every single cliché he can find in his films. And as another reviewer said, he's one of the few directors in Hollywood (along with Michael Bay and Paul W.S. Anderson) who have everything they need to make a decent blockbuster. A great cast (JEFF GOLDBLUM!), decent effects, and enough money at their disposal to feed Africa for a month.

OK, now the film.... Horrible No redeeming qualities to speak of. If six-year-olds were capable of having wet dreams, this would be it. Here's the entire film: Aliens arrive, Aliens attack, Will Smith's girlfriend, child and dog escape a massive fire-blast that kills hundreds of people in a subway (but the dog made it, thank god!....seriously, that must be the most cringeworthy cliché ever committed to film) a wooden door protects them from the nuclear heat blast, Will Smith beats up an alien and drags it around the desert for a bit, (I'm not sure who was in more pain during that scene, me or the alien.) they go to Area 51 where they meet some hermit, chronic- masturbator mad scientist, some other stuff happens, then the President of the United States gets up in a jet with the all the rest of the boys to take out the alien ship threatening the American way of life. YEE HAH!

The people who have a hard-on for this movie will tell me that I took it too seriously, but it's actually impossible to take this film seriously. It's like a bad joke, so bad that it's funny how horrible it is and then you pause and think about it and all of a sudden you realise how troubling it is that something like this ever was green-lighted by a major studio. If you haven't seen it, don't. If you have seen it and were as troubled as I was, you're not alone. If you saw this film and enjoyed it you probably laugh your ass off whenever you fart in a bathtub.

I heard that Emmerich is directing an "Avatar style" adaptation of Asimov's Foundation. I was mortified.


If this alternate title had been chosen, I would've avoided the loss of two hours of my life and had an extra $9 in my pocket. If you set aside the fact that the aliens in this movie use Macintosh-based computer systems, the Prez hops into a fighter jet AS THE PILOT, and Will Smith punches an alien unconscious in his downed spaceship...this movie is still horrible. Aliens come to earth to sap it of it's resources,a nd to accomplish this, of course, the aliens have to destroy earth's inhabitants. The enormous spaceships gather above major cities around the globe and WAIT THERE DOING NOTHING FOR DAYS. Then, they start to blow up stuff we recognize (not military targets, just useless tourist attractions that will make us sad). Does blowing up hte White House really accomplish anything? Does it terrify Earth's inabitants? the giant spaceships do that just fine. How about attacking military installations capable of fighting back? They can't be stopped...or can they? What's next?...Not Six Flags over Nebraska!?!?!?!

The solution to Earth's dilemma lies in the Apple Corporation's operating system for home-based computing. Simply walk into an Apple store, grab a Powerbook, fly into the enemy spaceship (how, you ask?....naturally by piloting one of their spacecraft 200 years ahead of earth technology on your first try), mess with their hard drives using an earth laptop computer (I'm not kidding), and wham-o!!!...Aliens start dropping like flies! Not an ounce of creativity, or originality, or brain-power was used in writing this drivel. I enjoyed all the stereo-typical characters brought together to fight...the drunken former pilot, the hotshot young stud pilot, the computer geek, the kid, and the most powerful man we gots...the PRESIDENT OF THE US... YEAH BABY!!!It plays like a 10 year-old's idea of "a really cool thing that happened once." Horrible. Don't see it.


This movie is TRULY one of the best and names itself the Science Fiction version of "Top Gun". The actors were great. Will Smith got "jiggy with it" as a hotshot F/A-18 pilot in the movie; Randy Quaid (the older brother of Dennis Quaid) proved to be the comic relief; Bill Pullman's character transformed from a President with the problem of a nation into a reborn veteran; and Jeff Goldblum became more brilliant than ever! The only difference between "Independence Day" and "Top Gun" is that the 2 adversaries were humans and aliens instead of Americans and Soviet pilots. Independence Day is really just patriotic drivel in means of plot and adventure. But the film comes into its best moments when the action sequences hit the screen. Buildings explode and men die in beautifully choreographed fashions that raise the bar for many modern action films today.


As a rule, I don't like high-concept movies. However, Independence Day is one of the few with some merits. It is also the best film to-date by German sci-fi/action director Roland Emmerich. The greatest flaw of Indepence Day (aka ID4 due to initial copyright problems with the Independence Day title) is the excessive jingoism. Completely America centric, it seems that the rest of human civilization is helpless without the Yanks. The American President is not just the only world leader fighting for a free world, he even moonlights as a fighter pilot attacking the aliens.

However, its still a damn entertaining film. There is a large ensemble cast of good actors, some in career best roles. Will Smith was really launched as a movie star by this film and he has some very funny lines. Jeff Goldblum actually looks nerdy-cool as a scientist who likes to play chess in the park. And Bill Pullman is the clean-cut American President who proclaims that July 4 will no longer be an American holiday, but a world holiday! The rest of the ensemble cast includes small but meaty roles for Judd Hirsch, Randy Quaid and Vivica Fox. Harry Connick Jr. has a small part but blows it completely.

The things that make ID4 watching is that something is always going on. There are plenty of one-liners and the one-dimensional character all have their peculiar personality traits and quirks. The action scenes are impressive and in fact this film has the largest number of miniatures ever built. That record will probably never be broken because digital technology is limiting the use of miniatures. If you can let your hair loose and just want to enjoy a light movie without letting the America is Great propaganda get to you, ID4 is for you.


Somehow, I was hoodwinked into watching this movie. It immediately became apparent that what I was watching was merely one of a host of other jingoistic "God Bless America!" films. I particularly enjoyed that bit where the British soldiers were sitting around, apparently twiddling their thumbs, until, lo and behold, here comes salvation draped in the Star Spangled Banner with a matching "Independence Day" cup from McDonald's. Apart from its thinly veiled pseudo-patriotism, this film had many other annoyances, not least of which was the miraculous compatibility between a Macintosh and an alien computer from 90 light-years away. Eye candy at best, though wholly nauseating if your cynicism level is above 5mg/l.


SPOILERS (as if I could spoil it any more...)

The brilliance of ID4? Well, I guess it is genius to a certain degree to progressively stack the crap higher and higher as the film goes on. It did take some kind of planning for a film to start off as an entertaining concept and get progressively stupider and more moronic as you go. Pathetic one-liners, terrible performances, actors clearly embarrassed to be there... When you've got Jeff Goldblum embarrassed, you've accomplished something with his career. Bill Pullman, non-actor, as President of the US, with his goofy, no eye contact, sheepish wimp performance donning a flight jacket. Randy Quaid, doing the worst "heroic" death in the history of cinema. Will Smith searching for and finding his wife, apparently the only survivor of her entire city. What a lucky coincidence! Just return that copter when you're done with it, Will. It's not like we'll need it in the midst of fighting an interstellar war.

To give you an idea what kind of slack-jawed Neanderthal moron preschool lobotomized chimps liked this movie in the theater I was in... there's a scene where a wave of fire is engulfing a tunnel filled with cars. People are dying by the thousands. There's a dog who somehow figures (ridiculously) in all of this. The dog makes it to this maintenance exit in the nick of time to be spared. The entire audience oohed and ahhed like they were watching "The Wonder Years". Who cares if throngs of people have been reduced to charcoal briquettes! Just so the cute wittle puppy dog made it!

This is one of the worst movies ever made and when you compare the stupidity proportionate to the amount of money spent, it's THE WORST movie ever...



This is rubbish. Don't get me wrong - I am not underrating this film. It is absolute rubbish.

There is one little thing that make this worth watching (with the speakers on "mute", mind you) - the special effects. Those are good. But that's style. All major film companies can make that work. It's the content that is rubbish.

Me and my father had a good laugh watching some thirty minutes of the end and I got reminded of how horrible it was. Why would people want to watch this? Why? I seem to remember a time in the history of Hollywood when this film would have been laughed at and someone made an Apocalypse Now instead, putting things into a greater perspective.

And no. I do enjoy blockbusters just as much as the next fellow, but please... If you are to make a blockbuster - make something that does not seem like a Pentagon wish list. Do your own thinking.

And no. I do enjoy American movies. Most movies I watch are American - and most of my favourites are American (both Hollywood and Indie). I just don't like propaganda from any nation.


Sometimes you wonder just how bad a movie can be. Don't wonder any longer. Just rent this colossal piece of manure and strap yourself in for perhaps the worst movie viewing experience you have ever tolerated. This overlong, overblown, ridiculous cartoon has one redeeming quality and that is the buildings being blown up once the aliens FINALLY launch their attack on the world. Prior to that, and trust me, it takes awhile, you must tolerate scene after scene of reaction shots to the approaching alien craft. The cast aren't really looking at anything because the computer animation hasn't been added yet. Ho-hum. Between these scenes and for a long time afterward, the people featured in this story have a peculiar tendency to go on with their lives as if there is no particular hurry trying to deal with everything suddenly turned upside down. There's all the time in the world to say goodbye, eat a bag of chips, drive to work, go on a short vacation, or do whatever else you want. That's when you realize just how boring and absurd this thing is going to be. We must admit those effects are pretty good, the giant explosions and the flying cars and trucks squashing the running crowds as they attempt escape. I'll give this horrendous pile a "1" just for that. Soon enough, though, we're right back to the sappy, dreary, meaningless dialog. You can almost imagine one of the actors on the set acting confused and asking,

"Wait a minute. What's my motivation here?" The cast and crew crack up, knowing just how silly his remark is, but the actors actually must pretend this farce is poignant. For example, there's Will Smith trying to tell his girlfriend he loves her while choking back the emotion, or was it the other way around? I don't quite remember but who gives a rat's. Then Will's dragging an alien across the salt flat and hamming it up. It's painful to watch. Then there's Jeff Goldbum and his dad (Judd Hirsch), who play chess in the park as a regular thing. Jeff is well-educated but lacking in ambition, so he's a cable guy. His appraising gaze is often fraught with smouldering sensitivity, belying the supposed depth of his character.

Go grab a snack or take a pee and don't bother with the pause. You won't miss anything worth seeing, except perhaps a rather silly excursion into the character of the "president," who is seen at the helm in the midst of this crisis. Gee, he looks kind of young to be president. As the aliens wipe out most of the world, he seems paralyzed with indecision, but never fear. Finally, realizing the invaders are beyond redemption and the human race is about to be annihalated, he gives the order to "nuke 'em!"

Wait a sec, we almost forgot. it doesn't matter what you hit 'em with because nothing will penetrate their shields. Sounds familiar. The prez gives a stirring speech and hops into an Air Force fighter jet. He wants a piece of them, himself. Whaddya mean that doesn't quite add up? Pretend you're six years old.

Goldblum and Smith fly into space (never mind how) to rendevouz with the mother ship and download a virus into it's computer banks, using Jeff's trusty notebook computer. This, he thinks, will screw up the alien "signal," our only chance to save mankind. Once this brilliant maneuver is executed, it will take down the shields from all the giant craft and we will be able to shoot them down, at least for a few precious minutes. The armed forces of other countries have been contacted by Morse Code and are ready to act in concert.

The ridiculous virus strategy worked, of course, and Jeff and Will are heroes. So is the president, and so is the drunken crop duster pilot who makes the ultimate sacrifice. Too bad the First Lady took some shrapnel in the ass early in the flick and went down to defeat. Anyway, that's a wrap, people. Let's sling this piece of cheap dogfood into the can and go home. There's gonna be a cast party over at Will's house and attendance is mandatory. Do I make myself clear? Do you wanna get paid? Be there!


This is the movie that became the template for all the incredibly stupid, formulaic summer blockbusters we've seen in the past 10 years. It's a very simple formula. Start with a big, supposedly awe inspiring special effect of some destructive force(giant radioactive lizard, resurrected Egyptian sorcerer, devastating climate change, long dormant volcano becoming active in a major metropolitan area, newly sentient combat jet wreaking havoc on home soil, etc, etc, etc) . Then show people fleeing in terror from this force. Enter some young, handsome/beautiful protagonist who, unlike the herd of fleeing people who are unceremoniously slaughtered, survives the onslaught by virtue of, I don't know, their box office drawing power. Finally we come to the inevitable "climactic" conclusion where our hero manages to overcome/defeat this force by way of a completely implausible plot contrivance(in the case of this movie, a computer virus created by an earthling on an earth computer being uploaded to and working on an alien computer system). In order to enjoy these movies you have to forget all the movies exactly like it that have come before it and disable your higher reasoning abilities. Every movie asks that you suspend your disbelief to one degree or another but they shouldn't ask that you shut down your brain as well.

I know I'm missing parts of the formula so if anybody thinks of any others feel free to share.


Here's the plot of this story: Aliens in (what else?) flying saucers come to earth to take no prisoners and to destroy our major cities in seconds. They succeed unhindered. Billions of people die in horrible deaths and life as we know it has ceased.

Meanwhile, in America, Will Smith cracks jokes, people get married and everybody is really happy. Even the dog didn't die!

Now, here comes three Americans to the rescue: a moronic wisecracker, a drunkard, a U.S. President who looks like a used-car salesman that just turned 30, and, of course, a brilliant scientist who nobody knows is brilliant!

In a few hours, the scientist has it all figured out: create a computer virus and put it into the mainframe in the mother ship! The Aliens use Microsoft too, after all! And we don't have to worry about security or passwords! Heck they won't even see us flying around! And even though they have psychic powers, we will be undetected! When we are done, we will just fly back to Earth. And the Aliens are so stupid that they don't use Norton's Antivirus software!

The wisecracker chips in by figuring out how to fly a 40-year old alien spacecraft that he never saw before (and which was conveniently found in - where else! - Roswell). Then the drunk and the President decide to fly around a little and destroy those big ships. The Americans have won again and tell the rest of the world how easy it really is. Just recruit the local neighborhood drunk and send him straight up into the weak spot (never mind that the ship is as long as Manhattan Island and has death rays that can obliterate an entire city in seconds). Heck, you can get rid of a few neighborhood drunks too while you're at it!

At one point in the movie I shuddered a scream! Hollywood has done it, they really have done it!! They have succeeded in lobotomizing America.

Where's Ed Wood when you need him?
Bad Sunny

Bad Sunny

  • REVIEW CONTAINS A SPOILER - Although for years Hollywood has treated the movie going public as if they were idiots, Independence Day started the trend of believing that the movie going public goes to movies just to watch explosions.

This Movie was poorly thought out, and with such a talented cast its as shame that this movie turned out to be the gigantic pile of poop that it did.

Some of the few points that just irked me was the issue of the first lady, we find out she died in the initial alien attack. Sad huh? Well later we find out she's alive. Yipee, then later she dies. I didn't care at that point.

I consider myself a proud American but sometimes waving the banner is just tacky. During the final showdown the rest of the countries on the planet Earth were waiting for the Americans to start attacking the aliens before they moved? Even going so far to illustrate the point by having a Foriegn commander literally sitting on his rump and jumping up to scramble for an attack once the US says its a go. What kind of self serving patriotism crap is that?

Although there were some Highlights such as Brent Spiner's quirky scientist, Randy Quaid's Cousin Eddie in a plane (oops didnt mean to point that out),and the excellent work that the talented ensemble cast did (in vain) to save this movie.

I'm thoroughly surprised that this movie stuck to the film, and For my money, I would just as soon watch an apple brown.


Personally I think this is the best movie of the 90's.

But then I think South Park is the best TV show of the 20th century. Followed by Twilight Zone and Star Trek tying for second and third place.

While there's no accounting for taste in art, I can make reasoned arguments for my choices.

The people here on IMDb who hate this movie and provide negative comments probably have their reasons too, but mostly they say stupid things. For example, the one vituperous reviewer who lambasted the film's "less-than-impressive CGI effects". Well, duh, they didn't use very much CGI as far as I know. They did special effects the old-fashioned way. This schmuck is complaining about reality not being very realistic?

And if box office is any indication of excellence, then the stats are on my side and prove the nay-sayers are tasteless boobs. Make that witless, tasteless boobs. Independence Day is one of the highest grossing movies in history, worldwide sales topping a billion.

Admittedly ID4 is one of those semi-rare movies that people either love or hate. And in this case hate with a passion. Why? I'm still trying to figure that one out, but so far I believe the whiniest critics are just your stereotypical jaded art critics: self-centered pseudo-intellectuals with attitude who pounce on any flaws in anything they personally don't like just to show off their own vapid superiority. What do they want? Yes, the movie has flaws, but it also has a lot of plot, a lot of heart, and a lot of action. Dialog? I make fun of the dialog myself... so what? The worst criticism I can lay against the writers is that a lot of the dialog is inane... just like real people talk! That just makes it more realistic. Have any of these critics on here ever listened to how real people talk? In some cases the dialog is sooo frigging inane in ID4 that I marvel at it's brilliance. Or chutzpah.

"What happened, mommy?"

"I don't know, baby"

As for the Apple-alien hook-up... my god, have we become so inured to the miracles of science that we calmly overlook or accept miracles like anti-gravity and kvetch instead about mundane technicalities? Yes, the Apple-alien computer hook-up is a plot hole... so what? I can easily explain that away a billion times easier than I can explain anti-gravity. I happen to know a bit about both.

Again. Are there stupid things that happen in ID4? Sure. Checked reality lately? Stupid things happen all the time. But so do heroic things. As well as evil. Typical fare for the ancient tragedies. I believe ID4 carries on that ancient and honorable tradition: entertainment. And viewing it as a work of art, I must say that I was impressed over and over again while watching this film: where most of the studios would have wussed out or flinched, these film makers didn't. They stepped up to the plate and tried to beat the ball to death over and over again with their bat.

And you know what? These film makers did it with a hint of humor. Not bad at all.


There comes a paradox with movies as bad as these. They're like a bad car accident, you wince at seeing the carnage and realize the tragedy of the situation, but you just have to take in the entirety of it. You are compelled to observe, it proves too difficult to look away. This movie is awful, there is no getting around it. At the same time, I sat through the entire movie, transfixed in horror at how terrible it was. Worse, years later, I was compelled to watch it again, knowing precisely how awful it was the first time around. It didn't get better with the second viewing. The only thing artful about this movie is how they managed to appeal to the primitive portion of our brains that revels in inane stupidity. The sad thing is, I somehow doubt this was their intent. Awful, awful, awful. How awful? You have to see it, really. Which is the paradox. I highly recommend this movie, because you have to see how awful it is. So awful, you'll want to watch it again.


One of the best movie beginnings I have seen, but the gloomy atmosphere is ignored by the script writers, the population of USA goes on with their daily lives minutes after the aliens landed, until the aliens start nuking. The unrealistic plot and technical faults will be remembered and seen as a joke for decades to come. A C++ Mac program uploaded to the alien mothership makes it self-destruct? The President and a drunk flying side by side to hit the Weak Spot (tm) of the giant saucer. Come on, why didn't they hire a 7 year old video game freak kid as a technical consultant instead, to get a better believability?


Independence Day is really just patriotic drivel in means of plot and adventure. But the film comes into its best moments when the action sequences hit the screen. Buildings explode and men die in beautifully choreographed fashions that raise the bar for many modern action films today.

The film is predictable, and none of the characters are particularly memorable - you aren't really bothered whether they live or die. The plot is so much like War of the Worlds, with more sky battles and aliens, that you may feel that it is just another remake under the same title.

But Roland Emmerich (the director) deserves to be called the undisputed king of action movies - he beautifully directs his films, and the special effects and sound in his films are truly stunning. This was his biggest success, and deservedly so - though The Day after Tomorrow was just as spiffing.

The script ain't strong and the plot ain't great, but this is an action-epic film, and on that scale, Independence Day delivers. It is an extremely memorable experience, and beats action flicks that are being made ten years on. A stunning job that deserves to be called a huge success (in the box office, of course). Great! 8/10
Still In Mind

Still In Mind

**Possible spoilers** A significant number of the comments already posted here say quite defensively that this movie isn't meant to be Shakespeare, that it's just a Big Dumb Action Flick (hereinafter BDAF), that, in effect, if you just stop thinking, this is a really fantastic movie that showcases all-American values, goddamnit.

If you want to see a BDAF, though, there are so many that are done so much better... and ID4 steals from most of them. And if you want to showcase American values, there are so many that are so much better than segregation. Yeah, the Dynamic Duo here is half Will Smith (and describing the plot sounds like the setup for a bad joke: "A Jew and a black guy walk into a spaceship..."), but the love stories -- a massive weak point, and that's saying something, because this baby is rife with weak points -- are neatly segregated: Will Smith with Vivica Fox, Jeff Goldblum with the red-haired shiksa. There was no way we were going to get a "Space Monsters' Ball" scenario with Fox playing the careerist ex-wife and what's-her-name playing the stripper. (The Hispanic kids only get screen time at all because their dad is Randy Quaid.) A white guy entertains Smith by making fun of Jesse Jackson (mercifully, the character bites it shortly after), and there is a tasteless joke about violent Los Angelenos; on what planet is that supposed to be funny?

When I watch a BDAF, I expect certain things from it, and one of those is good directorial judgment about which characters get screen time. In a BDAF about aliens, we paid good money (actually, I watched this on cable, but you take my point) to SEE THE FRICKIN' ALIENS. The ones that get the most time on screen are dead! The only live one we see (other than the incredibly stupid ones in the mothership) gets punched in the head, then awakens conveniently right in the middle of an autopsy at Area 51 (of course), where Brent Spiner reveals that these guys don't look like Alien-Predator hybrids at all; the Alien-Predator thingo is just a "bio-mechanical suit" (H.R. Giger would cry) covering up a much more boring alien inside. Actually, Spiner's brief performance was the one thing about the film I can say without reservation I liked. After all, geeks have spent many years dressing up and pretending to be Spiner; it's only fair that Spiner should return the favor by dressing up as a geek. (Question: If the alien is communicating by resonating the late Dr. Okun's throat, where is the deep, booming voice coming from? Dr. Okun doesn't sound like that alive... oh, never mind.)

I'd also like a BDAF to be a bit less, well, homogenized. Even the dog that outruns the tunnel fire is the most boring and domestic breed in existence: the yellow Lab, a staple of minivan and SUV commercials. Bill Pullman is suitably bland, if too young and brain-dead for the part. Even the Token Gay is played by the safest, cuddliest gay guy in US entertainment: Harvey Fierstein, who has been assimilated by the mainstream-culture Borg in much the same way as Smith himself.

Throw in a bit of product placement for Coke and Apple (although the laptop does appear to be running a very specialized Linux interface, one with helpful dialogs like "Uploading Virus"), and you've got a completely forgettable movie. At least, I hope to heck it's forgettable. I would hate it if my brain actually bothered to store this.

Of the many things wrong with this movie, though, perhaps the most disturbing on a bent-reality level is how much Jeff Goldblum, in rumpled hair and nerd glasses, resembles a young Allen Ginsberg. That's just wrong. In the ex-wife relationship-confrontation scene, I expected him to burst out earnestly with, "I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked" etc. It couldn't possibly be sillier than the actual dialogue.


There´s to ways of looking at this movie. If you look at it ,as a film, it´s a complete crap, but as a popcorn movie, this must be a masterpiece. A true blockbuster Hollywood politically correct movie that even braindead people could understand. A producers dream come true.

Never since RAMBO 2, such a waste of celulloid was released throughout the world.

But it´s a fun movie nevertheless. To this day i still don´t know if i like this. Sometimes i do, others i hate it. Sometimes i hate myself for having fun watching this piece of #@$& ! And this is what is annoying about this movie.

Here in Europe many reviewers wrote that this was a terrible movie that everybody should see just to be able to believe how BAD it is !

This is the perfect movie to go see with a bunch of friends and joke about it all the time, because this is truly a bad movie where the most entertaining thing we get from it ,is the moments where we trash it down. And if you don´t live in the United States multiply this fun twice.

The story couldn´t have been cheesier and idiotic. This is the bottom of the pit in creativity. The worst " War of the Worlds " rip-off ever ! This couldn´t have been worst written or imagined ! H.G.Wells must be turning in his grave till this day. Instead of developing the great potential ideas that could have been done with a story like this, they choose to focus on the patriotic stuff ( !!!!??? ). Man, what a puke !

The fun thing about it, was that this movie gave a bigger contribute to create a bad image of America abroad than the whole RAMBO series put together instead !

And talk about predictiblity ! This story is so predictable it is boring to watch despite the magnnificent aerial batlle scenes in it.

Not to speak of the way the aliens were defeated ! I won´t even comment on that ! Pure hollywood at his worst !

Nevertheless it´s a fun cinematic junk. If you don´t mind acting like a brainded for two hours, this is fun to watch. If you love Cinema and you´re a masochist, you´re going to love this, because it will make you suffer with pleasure.

See it and speak bad about it later. Absolute cinematic garbage.


To those who gave positive reviews to this jingoistic trash - either you're on drugs or you were need some sort of therapy. Hang your heads in shame.

I reckon this must be one of George Bush's favourite films: along with Red Dawn and Rambo 3. It is an astonishingly brazen propaganda exercise, with rampantly xenophobic stereotypes and an insultingly simplistic world view, which the average 7-year-old would scoff at.

I'd like to think Post 9/11, decision-makers would be sensible and that this wouldn't have a chance in hell of being released by a major studio. Depressingly, there was a huge audience for it at the time. I guess that controlling the minds of the masses isn't too difficult when you assault their senses relentlessly through the media. Nazism is alive and well, folks!! Devlin and Emmerich should never work again on the basis of this monstrosity Avoid Avoid Avoid Avoid Avoid.

Life's too short.

Anyone agree?


recitation: -1; characters: -1; director: -10; plot: -4; contents: -15; interpretation: -20; suspense: -20; realism/reactions: -100; actors: -50; stupidity: 100.

The worst movie ever made. It's so stupid, illogical, mediocre, poor, senseless, that it makes a simple cartoon the best thing to see as substitute.

I saw it to make a favor to my friend, ever regret to make this mistake, so great that today I must yet regret it....

I only remember that people in the cinema after 10 minutes of this movie laughed because of the high stupidity of it.

This movie is only a scam against public which circumvents by the ignorance besides taking advantage of naive people...

The power of marketing... so I have decided to never see any movie of this director: once I can be circumvented, twice no... I'm not stupid like the director and Hollywood managers. They can have money, I've my estimate... that's all.