6.1/10
13,171
64 user 28 critic

The Philadelphia Experiment (1984)

A United States Navy destroyer escort participates in a Navy "invisibility" experiment that inadvertently sends two sailors forty years into the future.

Director:

Stewart Raffill

Writers:

Michael Janover (screenplay), William Gray (screenplay) | 4 more credits »

Watch Now

From $6.99 on Prime Video

ON DISC
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

The Philadelphia Experiment (TV Movie 2012)
Action | Adventure | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.1/10 X  

In 'The Philadelphia Experiment', a secret government research project tries reviving the World War II "Philadelphia Experiment," which was an attempt to create a cloaking device to render ... See full summary »

Director: Paul Ziller
Stars: Nicholas Lea, Michael Paré, Ryan Robbins
Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.5/10 X  

David Herdeg's participation in a failed 1943 experiment in radar invisibility has propelled him 40 years into the future. An aberration in his genetic makeup enabled him to pass through ... See full summary »

Director: Stephen Cornwell
Stars: Brad Johnson, Marjean Holden, Gerrit Graham
Action | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A modern aircraft carrier is thrown back in time to 1941 near Hawaii, just hours before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

Director: Don Taylor
Stars: Kirk Douglas, Martin Sheen, Katharine Ross
Action | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

A thief, Quint, is hired by the Justice Department to steal incriminating tapes from a corrupt corporation. The tapes vanish when Quint hides them in the back of a hydrodynamic powered racing car that is stolen by a hot car ring.

Director: Harley Cokeliss
Stars: Tommy Lee Jones, Linda Hamilton, Robert Vaughn
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The Philadelphia Experiment Revealed: Final Countdown to Disclosure from the Area 51 Archives The Bizarre Truth to Top Secret Experiments in Time Travel and Invisibility. In 1943, A U.S. ... See full summary »

Director: O.H. Krill
Drama | Mystery | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A television newswoman picks up the story of a 1960s rock band whose long-lost leader - Eddie Wilson - may still be alive, while searching for the missing tapes of the band's never-released album.

Director: Martin Davidson
Stars: Tom Berenger, Michael Paré, Joe Pantoliano
Dreamscape (1984)
Action | Adventure | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A young psychic on the run from himself is recruited by a government agency experimenting with the use of the dream-sharing technology and is given the inverse task of planting an idea into the mind of the U.S. president.

Director: Joseph Ruben
Stars: Dennis Quaid, Max von Sydow, Christopher Plummer
Adventure | Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

H.G. Wells pursues Jack the Ripper to the 20th Century when the serial murderer uses the future writer's time machine to escape his time period.

Director: Nicholas Meyer
Stars: Malcolm McDowell, Mary Steenburgen, David Warner
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A mercenary is hired to rescue his ex-girlfriend, a singer who has been kidnapped by a motorcycle gang.

Director: Walter Hill
Stars: Michael Paré, Diane Lane, Rick Moranis
Starman (1984)
Romance | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An alien takes the form of a young widow's husband and asks her to drive him from Wisconsin to Arizona. The government tries to stop them.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Jeff Bridges, Karen Allen, Charles Martin Smith
Moon 44 (1990)
Action | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

An unconventional corporate agent is given the task of shaping a group of violent criminals and technical wizards into a helicopter defense force assigned to protect a mining station on a remote moon.

Director: Roland Emmerich
Stars: Michael Paré, Lisa Eichhorn, Dean Devlin
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A U.S. Navy Ship vanishes during a secret World War II Experiment gone awry. When it re-appears, observers are horrified to see crew members embedded in the deck and steel of the ship. ... See full summary »

Director: Bill Knell
Stars: Al Bielek, Duncan Cameron, Preston Nichols
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Paré ... David Herdeg
Nancy Allen ... Allison Hayes
Eric Christmas ... Dr. James Longstreet
Bobby Di Cicco ... Jim Parker
Louise Latham ... Pamela
Kene Holiday ... Major Clark (as Kene Holliday)
Joe Dorsey ... Sheriff Bates
Michael Currie Michael Currie ... Magnussen
Stephen Tobolowsky ... Barney
Gary Brockette Gary Brockette ... Adjutant / Andrews
Debra Troyer Debra Troyer ... Young Pamela
Miles McNamara Miles McNamara ... Young Longstreet (as Miles Mc Namara)
Ralph Manza ... Older Jim
James Edgcomb James Edgcomb ... Officer Boyer
Glenn Morshower ... Mechanic
Edit

Storyline

In 1943, the United States tests an anti-radar system to make the U.S. Navy ships invisible to the enemy. Dr. James Longstreet uses his experiment in the destroyer escort USS Eldridge that disappears from Philadelphia. The sailors David Herdeg and his best friend Jim Parker are projected to 1984, where they meet Allison Hayes. They unsuccessfully try to contact their base and out of the blue Jimmy disappears in a hospital. Allison helps David to visit Jimmy's wife Pamela, but Jimmy refuses to see him. Now David's only hope is meeting Dr. James Longstreet to learn what to do. Will he be well succeeded? Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Will you survive? See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 August 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El experimento Filadelfia See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$21,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,877,000, 5 August 1984

Gross USA:

$8,103,330

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$8,103,330
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (CFI)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The aircraft carrier seen in this film is the U.S.S. Yorktown (CV-10), the submarine is the U.S.S. Clamagore (SS-343), and the destroyer "U.S.S. Eldridge" is actually the U.S.S. Laffey (DD-724). All three vessels are on display as museum ships at Patriot's Point Naval & Maritime Museum, in Charleston, South Carolina. See more »

Goofs

At the roadblock when they are in the horse trailer, a 1969 Chevy Camaro passes the truck pulling the horse trailer twice in subsequent scenes. See more »

Quotes

David Herdeg: This now, this time, it's not ours. We weren't here when it happened. The experiment took place on a ship in a Philadelphia harbor. It was - 1943, October. Does this sound... crazy? You know, or is this sort of thing possible now?
See more »

Connections

Remade as The Philadelphia Experiment (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

I'll Never Smile Again
By Ruth Lowe
Published by MCA Music, A Division of MCA Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Excellent movie for a date
15 May 2006 | by simnia-1See all my reviews

I first saw this film in a theater on a date, and it was an excellent choice, with science fiction for the guys, romance for the ladies, a pleasant feel throughout, and nothing too racy or too gory. I'm really surprised at all the negative comments about this film, and how it should be remade. I thought it was quite good as it was, other than in a few minor details, and I can't imagine it being remade without destroying the special moods it created.

My favorite part is the aerial scene of the orange groves and eucalyptus trees in inland California as David and Allison are driving down a rural highway, seeking out David's old friends. After all the tension in the earlier part of the film, this peaceful interlude set to pleasant music while soaring over the rolling hills is a beautiful contrast, and it becomes the high part of the film. The soothing old '40s music that David switches to on the car radio adds to the ambiance, and it becomes easy to imagine that time has stood still in this part of the country, which of course fits perfectly with the main plot. This mood is extended by David pointing out old landmarks he remembers: a church, a big old tree, and an old gas station. Then old black-and-white photographs on the wall of the gas station of David and his father bring the point home that David was telling the truth all along. It's a poignant scene as David is proud of his dad's accomplishments late in life while he simultaneously laments his father's passing. Too often nowadays films are made with "yang-on-yang" nonstop tension, action, and violence without any pleasant, relaxing high points, so I think this film was very well balanced in that way.

There are a number of other very well-done tidbits throughout the film. For example, David's question to the doctor, "Is this sort of thing possible now?", when describing time travel is something that only a bona-fide time traveler would say, and I remember the audience chuckled in delight at that perfect bit of dialog. Another gem is when David bluntly asks the transvestite in his jail cell, "What the hell are you dressed like that for?" I've known down-to-earth, practically-minded, heterosexual sailors, and that's exactly how they react to our modern era's confusing gender bending. Another gem was David flatly declaring that the water his friend Jim sees in the distance is a mirage, and then Jim ribbing David about David's mistake as they trudge through miles of water.

I thought the romance worked extremely well. Note David's defensiveness about his love life when he's in the '40s, and how standoffish his '40s girlfriend is, and then contrast that to the magnanimous personality of Allison in the '80s, who coincidentally has the same curly red hair as his '40s girlfriend--evidently the look David likes. Allison becomes the ideal version of his '40s girlfriend, and understandably becomes David's new focus in life. They make a very nice couple, I think.

There are admittedly some weak points in the film. The 2001-type vortex travel scene has some unconvincing effects, but considering they're trying to show what the fourth dimension looks like, which presumably has nothing in common with our universe, it's hard to find fault in their visualization. The glowing hands and electric arcs flying out from the arcade games and power lines are a little weak, as are people's reactions to those, and the carrying of top secret papers, and the implausible landing on a ship in a vortex, but I regard those are minor points. The modern day reaction of Jim to his old friend seems unrealistic at first until you think about it, and the explanation given about Jim's psychological problems after the experiment makes perfect sense and adds a bit of unexpected realism. In real life you can't expect to look up old friends and have everything go back to the way it used to be. Such details in the film fit together quite well, I believe.

Whether or not this movie follows the historical facts and rumors of the original Philadelphia Experiment isn't particularly important to me. What I care about is whether the film stands on its own as a piece of art, and in my opinion it definitely does. This is a film I find myself thinking about from time to time, and I like to watch it every so often. To me it's a film worth owning.


54 of 66 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 64 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed