Total Recall (1990 film)

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Total Recall is a 1990 American science fiction film about a man who is haunted by a recurring dream about a journey to Mars. He hopes to find out more about this dream and buys a holiday at Rekall Inc. where they sell implanted memories. But something goes wrong with the memory implantation and he remembers being a secret agent fighting against the evil Mars administrator.

Directed by Paul Verhoeven. Written by Ronald Shusett, Dan O'Bannon, Jon Povill and Gary Goldman (screenwriter), based on the novelette We Can Remember It for You Wholesale by Philip K. Dick.
"How would you know if someone stole your mind?"taglines

Douglas Quaid

  • [chances upon another pair of guards after fooling Richter and company with the hologram-bracelet] Ha ha ha, you think this is the real Quaid? [guards look behind them] It is! [Quaid shoots the guards]

Carl Hauser

  • [on video] Howdy, Quaid. If you're watching this, that means that Kuato is dead, and you led us to him. I knew that you wouldn't let me down. Sorry for all of the shit I've put you through, but hey, what are friends are for? All I want to do is wish you happiness and good living, old buddy, but unfortunately, that's not gonna happen. You see, that's "my" body you have there, and I want it back. Sorry for being an Indian giver, but I was here first. So, adios, amigo! [the screen zooms out to reveal Cohaagen, who puts his hand on Hauser's shoulder] And thanks for not getting yourself killed. Hey, maybe now we will meet in our dreams. You never know. [they laugh and walk off-camera]


[A shuttle has just docked at Mars. Tourists disembark and are vetted into a processing station, to include a woman in a frumpy dress. A member of Mars Customs looks over her passport]
Customs Agent: How long do you plan to spend on Mars, M'aam?
Fat Lady: Two weeks.
Customs Agent: [stamps passport] Have you brought any fruits or vegetables onto the planet?
Fat Lady: Two weeks.
Customs Agent: Excuse me?
Fat Lady: Two weeks..two weeks... [starts having a seizure, attracting the attention of everyone. Richter, who is on Mars, pays attention to this odd sight]
Richter: [low voice] Quaid. [normal] That's Quaid!
Captain Everett: What?
Richter: The woman. Get him... her!
Everett: [points to woman] Arrest that woman!
[The security troops surround the woman as she stops stuttering and touches her ear. Her head suddenly splits open revealing that it's a mask with Quaid underneath]
Douglas Quaid: [smiles at one guard and tosses head] Catch! [guard does catch the head]
Fat Lady: Get ready for a surprise! [Head explodes as Quaid runs past the guard]

[Richter visits Martian Administrator Vilos Cohaagen]
Richter: [upbeat] Mr Cohaagen. [notices him stoically looking outside] You wanted to see me, sir?
Cohaagen: [turns around to look at him] Richter, do you know why I'm such a happy person?
Richter: No, sir.
Cohaagen: Because I've got the greatest job in the solar system. As long as the terbinium keeps flowing, I can do anything I want. Anything! [rises from his desk and approaches Richter] In fact, the only thing I worry about is that, one day, if the rebels win, it all might end. [points finger in Richter's face] And you're FUCKING MAKING IT HAPPEN! First, you tried to kill Quaid and then you let him get away.
Richter: He had help from our side, sir.
Cohaagen: I know that.
Richter: But, I thought -
Cohaagen: Who told you to THINK? I don't give you enough information to THINK! You do as you're told, THAT'S WHAT YOU DO!

[Dr. Edgemar's trying to explain Quaid's situation and offers a special pill with Lori present]
Quaid: All right, let's say you're telling the truth and this is all a dream, then I could pull this trigger [points gun at Edgemar] and it won't matter.
Lori: Doug, don't do it.
Dr. Edgemar: It won't make the slightest difference to me Doug. The consequences to you will be devastating. In your mind, I'll be dead, and with no one to guide you out, you'll be stuck in permanent psychosis.
Lori: Doug, let Dr Edgemar help you.
Dr. Edgemar: The walls of reality will come crashing down. One minute, you'll be the savior of the rebel cause; next thing you know, you'll be Cohaagen's bosom buddy. You even have fantasies about alien civilizations as you requested; but in the end, back on Earth, you'll be lobotomized! [tries to let it sink in Quaid] So get a grip on yourself, Doug, and put down that gun! [Quaid lowers his gun] Take the pill and put it in your mouth.
[Quaid puts the pill in his mouth]
Dr. Edgemar: Swallow it.
[Quaid pans around between Edgemar and Lori, then as a sweat drop runs down Edgemar's face, Quaid shoots Edgemar in the head, and spits the pill out]
Lori: Now you've done it, now you've done it!

[Lori is about to kill Melina but Quaid shoots her dagger off her hand]
Lori: Doug, honey... you wouldn't hurt me, would you, sweetheart? Sweetheart, be reasonable. After all, we're married!
Douglas Quaid: [Lori goes for her gun, Quaid shoots her in the head, killing her] Consider that a divorce!
Melina: That was your wife? [Quaid nods; Melina gets up] What a bitch!

[Benny has shot Kuato after the security forces storm the Resistance hideout]
Kuato: Quaid, Quaid...
Benny: Forget it, man, his fortune-telling days are over.
Kuato: Start the Mars-[Richter finishes off Kuato with a headshot]
Richter: [pause; calmly, to Quaid] Mr Cohaagen would like to talk to you.

[Quaid and Melina find the terbinium oxygen generator's control room. Quaid prepares to activate it, but...]
Cohaagen: [turns on lights at Quaid] Don't touch that! Get away! Get back!
Douglas Quaid: What are you afraid of? Turn it on.
Cohaagen: Impossible! Once the reaction starts, it'll spread to all the turbinium in the planet. Mars will go into global meltdown. That's why the aliens never turned it on.
Quaid: And you expect me to believe you?
Cohaagen: Who gives a shit what you believe?! In 30 seconds you'll be dead, and I'll [shows detonator] blow this place up and be home in time for Corn Flakes! [Shoots several inches near Quaid] I didn't want it to end this way, I wanted Hauser back, but no, you had to be Quaid!
Quaid: I am Quaid.
Cohaagen: You're nothing! You're nobody! You're a stupid dream! [aims firearm] Well, all dreams come to an end.

[Quaid and Melina are amazed at the newly terraformed Mars]
Melina: I can't believe it, it's like a dream. [sees Quaid distraught] What's wrong?
Douglas Quaid: I just had a terrible thought... what if this is a dream?
Melina: Well, then, kiss me quick before you wake up!

About Total Recall (1990 film)

  • I felt the movie, in some way, should not take itself too seriously. In fact, ultimately, the casting of Arnold—he was already cast before I was there. So I had to take Arnold. I liked the script already, but Arnold was playing the main part. So, take it or leave it. I said I wanted to do it with Harrison Ford, like in "Blade Runner." But I might have made a mistake because "Blade Runner" is also very serious. And because Arnold was there, that changed everything. Arnold being there made it really necessary to flip it a little bit. And I think, in retrospect, it was a gift. Arnold was supposed to be an accountant in the original story and it was still in the script. And I'm like, "Arnold an accountant? That's ridiculous." So I proposed, "Let's have him do something physical." What are those things he's using?


  • They stole his mind. Now he wants it back. Get ready for the ride of your life.
  • Your mind is the center of your life. It is everything you hear, everything you see, everything you feel... It is everything you ARE. You wouldn't know if you lost your mind... Would you know if someone STOLE it?
  • What if you discovered somebody stole your mind... and there was only one way to get it back?
  • In this world, they can steal your mind, erase your memory, and give you another identity. But the most dangerous thing that can happen to you is... TOTAL RECALL.
  • He'll show you a side of Mars that no one on Earth has ever seen before... He should be so lucky.


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