7.4/10
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The Rock (1996)

A mild-mannered chemist and an ex-con must lead the counterstrike when a rogue group of military men, led by a renegade general, threaten a nerve gas attack from Alcatraz against San Francisco.

Director:

Michael Bay

Writers:

David Weisberg (story), Douglas Cook (story) (as Douglas S. Cook) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
476 ( 1,297)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 9 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sean Connery ... John Patrick Mason
Nicolas Cage ... Stanley Goodspeed
Ed Harris ... General Francis X. Hummel
John Spencer ... F.B.I. Director Womack
David Morse ... Major Tom Baxter
William Forsythe ... Ernest Paxton
Michael Biehn ... Commander Anderson
Vanessa Marcil ... Carla Pestalozzi
John C. McGinley ... Marine Captain Hendrix (as John C. Mc Ginley)
Gregory Sporleder ... Captain Frye
Tony Todd ... Captain Darrow
Bokeem Woodbine ... Sergeant Crisp
Jim Maniaci Jim Maniaci ... Private Scarpetti
Greg Collins ... Private Gamble
Brendan Kelly ... Private Cox
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Storyline

Stanley Goodspeed, who lives in Washington, D.C., is a biochemist who works for the F.B.I. Soon after his fiancée Carla Pestalozzi announces that she is pregnant, Stanley gets a call from F.B.I. Director James Womack. Womack tells Stanley that San Francisco's Alcatraz Island has been taken hostage, along with eighty-one tourists, by Marine General Francis Xavier Hummel who, for years, has been protesting the government's refusal to pay benefits to families of war veterans who died during covert military operations. The death of his wife Barbara on March 9, 1995 drove General Hummel over the edge, and now he's holding hostages in order to get his point across. Stanley is needed because General Hummel has stolen some VX gas warheads and has announced that he will launch them onto San Francisco unless his demands are met. Stanley knows how to disarm the bombs, but he needs someone who knows Alcatraz well enough to get him inside. That man is former British Intelligence Agent John Patrick... Written by Todd Baldridge

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

From Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer the producers of "Top Gun" and "Crimson Tide", and from Michael Bay, the director of "Bad Boys." See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, language and a sex scene | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 June 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Rock See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$75,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$25,069,525, 9 June 1996

Gross USA:

$134,069,511

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$335,062,621
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

While filming, Alcatraz was still open to the public, and many visitors watched the movie being shot. However, on December 15, 1995, the federal government, which owns Alcatraz, partially shut it down, due to stalled budget talks, and filming continued with no visitors present. See more »

Goofs

During the Pentagon briefing it is mentioned that none of the guards are a help for the layout of Alcatraz and that the last warden died in 1979. Although dead at the time of the movie, Olin G. Blackwell, the fourth and last warden, died in 1986. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
General Hummel: Congressman Weaver and esteemed members of the Special Armed Services Committee, I come before you to protest a grave injustice... It has to stop.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The Australian theatrical and video release uses alternate footage during the shower room scene without graphic blood squibs. The brief shot of the knife entering the soldier's throat is omitted. The metal tank landing on the soldier's head has been shortened. Shots are removed and alternate footage is used in the shootout between Hummel's men. The brief shot of Darrow's impaled body is omitted. See more »

Connections

References Aliens (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

Leaving On A Jet Plane
Written by John Denver
Performed by Frank Sinatra
Courtesy of Reprise Records
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
An action packed, high octane thriller with great performances. ***1/2 out of ****.
20 March 2000 | by Movie-12See all my reviews

THE ROCK / (1996) ***1/2

Starring: Sean Connery, Nicolas Cage, Ed Harris, Jon Spencer, David Morse, William Forsythe, Bokeem Woodbine, and Vanessa Marcil. Directed by Michael Bay. Running time: 135 minutes. Rated R (for strong intense violence, language and brief sexuality)

Notes taken while screening The Rock:

· The film contains superior character development of both the antagonist and protagonist. Each is clear and well defined. We also learn the characters motives, reasoning, dramatic situation, and premise--all brilliantly introduced within the setup.

· Sean Connery provides us with strong character development through John Patrick Mason--although the character is somewhat a rip off of the Anthony Hokins' Hannibal from "The Silence of the Lambs."

· It is uncanny how well the movie's visual style works. It propels the film's suspense the extra mile, increasing the tension and enticement. Also contributing to the style is the fitting soundtrack.

· Some of the events are excessively coincidental. For example, during an exciting chase scene, Mason dashes out of a building, escaping the clutches of concealing police, discovering a Hum-V seemingly awaiting his arrival. Experienced chemist, Stanley Goodspeed (Nicolas Cage), chases after him, in a high speed Ferrari sitting outside his position in a building. Another coincidence occurs in the high security prison, where Mason escapes a grenade blast by dashing at random into a room, where, of course, there just so happens to be a secure bathtub to climb in.

· There is a stolid, aggressively effective cast present. Each actor contributes a taut, penetrating performance, especially Ed Harris as the film's villain, General Francis X. Hummel who demands a moral purpose holding the lives of an urban area at stake.

* The character's motives and perfectly defined, especially General Francis X. Hummel. Even as the film's bad guy, he serves an understandable position, thus we empathize with him, unlike most villains witnessed in modern day thrillers.

· The standard three act structure is flawless: each scene propels the plot forward. The sequences either create a new problem or complicate a previous conflict, favoring with the later concept. This raises the line of tension even further.

· Most of the production takes place in a high security prison, Alcatraz, crafted with a complex, awe-inspiring atmosphere towering over that of most action movies.

· Sean Connery handles the complicated role of John Mason with mere simplicity, yet easily torments the audience with a sense of omniscient knowledge of the plot.

· The picture is unpredictable and contains several inducing and unexpected twists proving this movie is imaginative and free to surprise us. The conclusion is not fomulatic. "The Rock" is filled with artful design and crafty performances. It is one of the year's best action films.

Brought to you by Hollywood Pictures.


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