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Twelve Monkeys (1995)

In a future world devastated by disease, a convict is sent back in time to gather information about the man-made virus that wiped out most of the human population on the planet.

Director:

Terry Gilliam

Writers:

Chris Marker (film La Jetée), David Webb Peoples (screenplay) (as David Peoples) | 1 more credit »
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669 ( 73)

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 10 wins & 20 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Joseph Melito Joseph Melito ... Young Cole
Bruce Willis ... James Cole
Jon Seda ... Jose
Michael Chance Michael Chance ... Scarface
Vernon Campbell Vernon Campbell ... Tiny
H. Michael Walls H. Michael Walls ... Botanist
Bob Adrian ... Geologist
Simon Jones ... Zoologist
Carol Florence Carol Florence ... Astrophysicist / Jones
Bill Raymond ... Microbiologist
Ernest Abuba Ernest Abuba ... Engineer
Irma St. Paule ... Poet
Madeleine Stowe ... Kathryn Railly
Joey Perillo ... Detective Franki
Bruce Kirkpatrick Bruce Kirkpatrick ... Policeman No. 1
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Storyline

An intense film about time travel, this Sci-Fi entry was directed by Terry Gilliam, a member of the comedy troupe Monty Python. The film stars Bruce Willis as James Cole, a prisoner of the state in the year 2035 who can earn parole if he agrees to travel back in time and thwart a devastating plague. The virus has wiped out most of the Earth's population and the remainder live underground because the air is poisonous. Returning to the year 1990, six years before the start of the plague, Cole is soon imprisoned in a psychiatric facility because his warnings sound like mad ravings. There he meets a scientist named Dr. Kathryn Railly (Madeleine Stowe) and Jeffrey Goines (Brad Pitt), the mad son of an eminent virologist (Christopher Plummer). Cole is returned by the authorities to the year 2035, and finally ends up at his intended destination in 1996. He kidnaps Dr. Railly in order to enlist her help in his quest. Cole discovers graffiti by an apparent animal rights group called the Army ...

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

They're Coming. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

5 January 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

12 Monkeys See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$29,000,001 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$184,776, 1 January 1996

Gross USA:

$57,141,459

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$168,839,459
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS-Stereo | DTS | Dolby SR

Color:

Color (Rankcolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the 24-hour Hitchcock Theater, Kathryn and James are watching Vertigo (1958). She transforms herself with a blonde wig and James sees her emerge within a red light. This mirrors a scene from that movie. The same Bernard Herrmann score can be heard, and Kathryn wears the same coat that Kim Novak wears in the first part of Vertigo. See more »

Goofs

At the movie theater, Kathryn applies the fake mustache while the couple watch Vertigo. She goes to make the reservations and to change herself. James falls asleep and when he wakes, he is watching The Birds (not listed on the marquee outside the theater). Then he goes to find Kathryn who is in the lobby. When he gets there, only a few minutes after waking up, the music heard is from Vertigo, from the green scene, not from the Birds. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
James Cole: Jose - psst! Jose, what's going on?
Jose: Bad news, man
James Cole: Volunteers?
Jose: Yeah. And they said your name.
[pause]
Jose: Hey, maybe they'll give you a pardon, man.
James Cole: [sarcastic] Yeah, that's why none of the volunteers come back. They all get a pardon.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The symbol of the 12 Monkeys provides the backdrop for the opening and closing credits. See more »

Connections

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Sci-Fi Movie Scores (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Blueberry Hill
(1940)
Music by Vincent Rose
Lyrics by Al Lewis, Larry Stock
Performed by Fats Domino
Courtesy of EMI Records
Under license from CEMA Special Markets
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Twelve Monkeys — Ready for a slow crude take on a fatal pandemic?
7 May 2013 | by AvidClimberSee all my reviews

Twelve Monkeys is the kind of movie that gets much better with time. With each subsequent viewing, you start appreciating something new, understanding the story a little bit more, and linking new plots elements. I'm saying this because the settings and scenes are rather crude and unpleasant to assimilate, even though the final product is incredible.

The good. Tight logical story. Engrossing scenario that gets better with time. Excellent acting. Interesting treatment of a fairly common theme. Great details. Nice conception of the future.

The actors. Bruce Willis plays the dislocated and slightly unhinged hero to perfection. Great acting. Madeleine Stowe is just right as the unwilling but open-minded participant. Brad Pitt's mad interpretation is pure genius and an obvious precursor of his role in Fight Club (review still to come).

The bad. The whole flick will not please everybody for its gruesome take, the slow development, and the logical conclusion, which I must admit is as it should be. It is morally disappointing and a slightly simple considering the circumvolutions of the story itself.

The ugly. Nothing ugly there, but the rawness of it all.

The result. Watch it. Let a year go by. Watch it again.


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