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Encyclopedia > Mars Attacks!
Mars Attacks!

Theatrical release poster.
Directed by Tim Burton
Produced by Tim Burton
Larry J. Franco
Laurie Parker
Written by Jonathan Gems
Starring Jack Nicholson
Glenn Close
Annette Bening
Pierce Brosnan
Danny DeVito
Martin Short
Sarah Jessica Parker
Michael J. Fox
Tom Jones
Natalie Portman
Christina Applegate
Rod Steiger
Lukas Haas
Jim Brown
Lisa Marie
Sylvia Sidney
Music by Danny Elfman
Cinematography Peter Suschitzky
Editing by Chris Lebenzon
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release date(s) December 13, 1996
Running time 106 min.
Language English
Budget $70,000,000 (estimated)
All Movie Guide profile
IMDb profile

Mars Attacks! is a comedy and science fiction documentary by Tim Burton based on the popular card series Mars Attacks,as well as the real-life events of August 1996. It was released in 1996 by Warner Bros. Mars Attacks is a highly popular lurid science fiction trading card series. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 402 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (507 × 755 pixel, file size: 148 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Source: http://www. ... Timothy Tim William Burton (born August 25, 1958) is an Academy Award-nominated American film director, writer and designer notable for the quirky and gothic atmosphere of his films. ... John Joseph Nicholson (born April 22, 1937), known as Jack Nicholson, is a three time Academy Award-winning American actor internationally renowned for his often dark-themed portrayals of neurotic characters. ... Glenn Close (born March 19, 1947) is a five-time Academy Award-nominated American film and stage actress. ... Annette Bening (born May 29, 1958) is an American Academy Award-nominated and Golden Globe-winning actress. ... Pierce Brendan Brosnan, OBE[1] (born May 16, 1953) is an Irish actor and producer best known for portraying James Bond in four films from 1995 to 2002: GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies, The World Is Not Enough and Die Another Day. ... Daniel Michael DeVito Jr. ... Martin Hayter Short, CM (born March 26, 1950) is a Canadian/American comedian, actor, writer, and producer. ... Sarah Jessica Parker (born March 25, 1965) is an American actress and producer, with a portfolio of television, movie, and theater performances. ... For other persons named Michael Fox, see Michael Fox (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Tom Jones (disambiguation). ... Natalie Portman (‎; born June 9, 1981) is a Golden Globe-winning, Academy Award-nominated Israeli-American actress. ... Christina Applegate (born November 25, 1971) is an American Emmy Award-winning and Tony Award-nominated actress, particularly well-known for playing the very attractive, promiscuous, dim-witted Kelly Bundy on the Fox television network sitcom Married… with Children. ... Rod Steiger (April 14, 1925 – July 9, 2002) was an American Academy Award-winning actor best known for his intense performances in such films as In the Heat of the Night, On the Waterfront and Doctor Zhivago. ... Lukas Haas (born Lucas D. Haas on April 16, 1976) is an American actor. ... Jim Brown (born February 17, 1936) is an American former professional football player who has also made his mark as an actor and social activist. ... For the daughter of Elvis Presley, see Lisa Marie Presley. ... Sylvia Sidney (August 8, 1910 - July 1, 1999) was an Academy Award-nominated and Golden Globe Award-winning American actress. ... Daniel Robert Elfman (born May 29, 1953 in Los Angeles, California) is an American musician who led the rock band Oingo Boingo as singer / songwriter from 1976 until its breakup in 1995, and has composed film scores extensively since 1985s Pee-wees Big Adventure. ... Peter Suschitzky (born July 25, 1941) is a Polish-British cinematographer, born in Warsaw to fellow cinematographer Wolfgang Suschitzky. ... Christopher John Lebenzon (29 October 1953, Redwood City, California) is an Academy Award-nominated American film editor. ... “WB” redirects here. ... is the 347th day of the year (348th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1996 (MCMXCVI) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display full 1996 Gregorian calendar). ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... A comedy is a dramatic performance of a light and amusing character, usually with a happy conclusion to its plot. ... Science fiction is a form of speculative fiction principally dealing with the impact of imagined science and technology, or both, upon society and persons as individuals. ... A documentary is a work in a visual or auditory medium presenting political, scientific, social, or historical subjects in a factual and informative manner. ... Timothy Tim William Burton (born August 25, 1958) is an Academy Award-nominated American film director, writer and designer notable for the quirky and gothic atmosphere of his films. ... Mars Attacks is a highly popular lurid science fiction trading card series. ... Year 1996 (MCMXCVI) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display full 1996 Gregorian calendar). ... “WB” redirects here. ...


The film combines the storyline and tone of a B-movie (or B-movie spoof) with the budget of a blockbuster movie. It features an ensemble cast. The film is highly dependent upon special effects. The soundtrack by Danny Elfman makes extensive use of the theremin. The term B-movie originally referred to a film designed to be distributed as the lower half of a double feature, often a genre film featuring cowboys, gangsters or vampires. ... Blockbuster, as applied to film, is a very popular and monetarily-successful movie release. ... An ensemble cast is a cast in which the principal performers are assigned roughly equal amounts of importance in a dramatic production. ... Special effects (also called SPFX or SFX) are used in the film, television, and entertainment industry to realize scenes that cannot be achieved by live action or normal means. ... Daniel Robert Elfman (born May 29, 1953 in Los Angeles, California) is an American musician who led the rock band Oingo Boingo as singer / songwriter from 1976 until its breakup in 1995, and has composed film scores extensively since 1985s Pee-wees Big Adventure. ... Léon Theremin playing an early theremin The theremin (originally pronounced but often anglicized as [1]), or thereminvox, is one of the earliest fully electronic musical instruments. ...


The film received mixed reviews from US critics, though it was more popular in Europe. It grossed some $101 million worldwide, it was considered a moderate box office success because of its $70 million cost.

Contents

Cast

  • Jack Nicholson - President James Dale - US President, husband of Marsha Dale, father of Taffy Dale. Seeks to gain relations with the Martians. He is persuaded to be peaceful by his more liberal advisors.
  • Jack Nicholson - Art Land - Las Vegas Property developer, husband of Barbara Land. Not concerned by the invasion, more concerned by the well being of his investors
  • Glenn Close - First Lady Marsha Dale - US First Lady, Wife of James Dale, mother of Taffy Dale. Agrees with General Decker over the Martian's intentions
  • Annette Bening - Barbara Land - ex alcoholic, wife of Art Land. She likes the Martians
  • Pierce Brosnan - Professor Donald Kessler - Chairman of the National Academy of Astronautics, advisor to President, in love with Nathalie Lake, thinks the Martians are friendly
  • Danny DeVito - Rude Gambler - Gambler, he is a lawyer and attempts to negotiate with the Martians
  • Martin Short - Press Secretary Jerry Ross - White House Press Secretary, very sleazy. Only cares about the President's media image.
  • Sarah Jessica Parker - Nathalie Lake - Reporter for Today in Fashion, girlfriend of Jason Stone, in love with Donald Kessler
  • Michael J. Fox - Jason Stone - Reporter for GNN, boyfriend of Nathalie Lake
  • Rod Steiger - General Decker - Four Star General, wants to destroy the Martians and doesn't trust them. He turns out to be right.
  • Paul Winfield - General Casey - Three Star General, thinks the Martians are peaceful. Sent to greet the Ambassador in Nevada
  • Tom Jones - himself - Famous real life singer, assists Byron, Barbara during their escape from Las Vegas
  • Jim Brown - Byron Williams - Bouncer at a Las Vegas casino, ex world heavyweight champion
  • Lukas Haas - Richie Norris - Lives in Perkinsville, Kansas. Family outcast, eventually saves the world
  • Natalie Portman - Taffy Dale - US First Daughter, daughter of James and Marsha Dale
  • Pam Grier - Louise Williams - Wife of Byron, mother of Cedric and Neville. Washington D.C bus driver
  • Lisa Marie - Martian Girl - Disguised as a beautiful woman, tricks Jerry Ross into letting her into the White House
  • Brian Haley - Secret Service Agent Mitch - Bodyguard of President Dale, remains with him throughout the film
  • Sylvia Sidney - Grandma Florence Norris - Lives in Perkinsville. Family outcast, helps Ritchie save the world with her music which kills the Martians
  • Jack Black - Billy Glen Norris - US Army Soldier, volunteers for Martian detail in the Nevada desert
  • Ray J - Cedric Williams - Brother of Neville, son of Byron and Louise, helps protect the President
  • Brandon Hammond - Neville Williams - Brother of Cedric, son of Byron and Louise, saves the President's life
  • Janice Rivera - Cindy - actress at a Las Vegas casino. Escapes with Tom Jones and Barbara
  • O-Lan Jones - Sue Ann Norris - Mother of Billy Glen and Ritchie. Wife of Mr. Norris.
  • Christina Applegate - Sharona - Lives in a trailer diagonally across from the Norris's
  • Joe Don Baker - Mr. Norris - Father of Billy Glen and Ritchie. Very proud of Billy Glen
  • Jerzy Skolimowski - Dr. Zeigler - Inventor of the translator device. Present in Nevada during first contact
  • Barbet Schroeder - Maurice, the French President - President of France, negotiates unsuccessfully with the Martians.
  • David Chadwick - Larry Murphy - The Wedding day singer
  • Glenna Regan - Jennifer Ruane - Lives in the trailer next to Sharona and across from Norris's.

John Joseph Nicholson (born April 22, 1937), known as Jack Nicholson, is a three time Academy Award-winning American actor internationally renowned for his often dark-themed portrayals of neurotic characters. ... John Joseph Nicholson (born April 22, 1937), known as Jack Nicholson, is a three time Academy Award-winning American actor internationally renowned for his often dark-themed portrayals of neurotic characters. ... Glenn Close (born March 19, 1947) is a five-time Academy Award-nominated American film and stage actress. ... Annette Bening (born May 29, 1958) is an American Academy Award-nominated and Golden Globe-winning actress. ... Pierce Brendan Brosnan, OBE[1] (born May 16, 1953) is an Irish actor and producer best known for portraying James Bond in four films from 1995 to 2002: GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies, The World Is Not Enough and Die Another Day. ... Daniel Michael DeVito Jr. ... Martin Hayter Short, CM (born March 26, 1950) is a Canadian/American comedian, actor, writer, and producer. ... Sarah Jessica Parker (born March 25, 1965) is an American actress and producer, with a portfolio of television, movie, and theater performances. ... For other persons named Michael Fox, see Michael Fox (disambiguation). ... Rod Steiger (April 14, 1925 – July 9, 2002) was an American Academy Award-winning actor best known for his intense performances in such films as In the Heat of the Night, On the Waterfront and Doctor Zhivago. ... Winfield as Captain Clark Terrell in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. ... For other uses, see Tom Jones (disambiguation). ... Jim Brown (born February 17, 1936) is an American former professional football player who has also made his mark as an actor and social activist. ... Lukas Haas (born Lucas D. Haas on April 16, 1976) is an American actor. ... Natalie Portman (‎; born June 9, 1981) is a Golden Globe-winning, Academy Award-nominated Israeli-American actress. ... Pamela Suzette Grier (born May 26, 1949) is an iconic American actress. ... For the daughter of Elvis Presley, see Lisa Marie Presley. ... Brian Haley Brian Carlo Haley (born February 12, 1961) is an American actor and stand-up comedian. ... Sylvia Sidney (August 8, 1910 - July 1, 1999) was an Academy Award-nominated and Golden Globe Award-winning American actress. ... For other persons named Jack Black, see Jack Black (disambiguation). ... Ray J on the cover of Raydiation (2005) William Ray Norwood Jr. ... Brandon Hammond (born February 6, 1984) is a former American child actor who appeared in a string of high profile projects in the 1990s. ... Christina Applegate (born November 25, 1971) is an American Emmy Award-winning and Tony Award-nominated actress, particularly well-known for playing the very attractive, promiscuous, dim-witted Kelly Bundy on the Fox television network sitcom Married… with Children. ... Joe Don Baker (born February 12, 1936) is an American film actor perhaps best known for his role as sheriff Buford Pusser in the American film classic Walking Tall. ... Jerzy Skolimowski (b. ... Barbet Schroeder (born August 26, 1941 in Teheran to a Swiss diplomat father) is a movie director and producer who started his career in French cinema in the 1960s, working together with directors such as Jean-Luc Godard and Jacques Rivette. ... David Chadwick (born 1945) grew up in Texas and moved to California to study Zen as a student of Shunryu Suzuki in 1966. ...

Style and movie references

As with other Burton movies, the subject under scrutiny is not only the present, but the mass culture of his own suburban childhood. Although nominally set in the present day, the film contains numerous anachronistic references to the style of the 1950s science fiction B-movies of which it is a parody. The film's tone is similar to that of the trading card series, depicting exaggerated comic violence with an intense and often garish color scheme. Image File history File links Emblem-important. ... Look up Anachronism in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... The 1950s decade refers to the years 1950 to 1959 inclusive. ... The term B-movie originally referred to a film designed to be distributed as the lower half of a double feature, often a genre film featuring cowboys, gangsters or vampires. ... In contemporary usage, a parody (or lampoon) is a work that imitates another work in order to ridicule, ironically comment on, or poke some affectionate fun at the work itself, the subject of the work, the author or fictional voice of the parody, or another subject. ...


The plot is fairly simple but contains unusual variations on the normal Martian invasion movie. The premise is that Martians have arrived at Earth and the President of the United States, James Dale, (played by Jack Nicholson) seeks to gain maximum public relations points by establishing a friendly relationship with them. The Martians, however, reject these overtures and proceed to wreak havoc with their spectacular red and green death-ray guns that leave only the skeleton of the one shot. The Martians also toy with Professor Kessler's assumption that advanced civilizations are peace-loving; they repeatedly set up meetings for peace treaties and then massacre the humans involved. They use this tactic to wipe out both the United States Congress and the National Assembly of France. This article is about hypothetical native inhabitants of the planet Mars. ... Federal courts Supreme Court Circuit Courts of Appeal District Courts Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties State & Local government Governors Legislatures (List) State Courts Local Government Other countries Atlas  US Government Portal      For other uses, see President of the United States (disambiguation). ... John Joseph Nicholson (born April 22, 1937), known as Jack Nicholson, is a three time Academy Award-winning American actor internationally renowned for his often dark-themed portrayals of neurotic characters. ... // The term Public Relations was first used by the US President Thomas Jefferson during his address to Congress in 1807. ... // Rayguns are a type of directed-energy weapon. ... Type Bicameral Houses Senate House of Representatives President of the Senate President pro tempore Dick Cheney, (R) since January 20, 2001 Robert C. Byrd, (D) since January 4, 2007 Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, (D) since January 4, 2007 Members 535 plus 4 Delegates and 1 Resident Commissioner Political... The Palais Bourbon, front The French National Assembly (French: ) is one of the two houses of the bicameral Parliament of France under the Fifth Republic. ...


As in the film The War of the Worlds, a simple weapon is ultimately found to counter the alien invaders: in this instance it is the playing of a piece of yodeling music, "Indian Love Call" by Slim Whitman, that turns out to be lethal to the Martians, making their brains explode. This is similar to another parody of B-movies, Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, in which the killer tomatoes were defeated by playing the song "Puberty Love" by Ronny Desmond. The War of the Worlds (also sometimes known as H.G. Wells The War of the Worlds) is a 1953 science fiction film produced by George Pál and directed by Byron Haskin from a script by Barré Lyndon based on the H. G. Wells novel of the same name. ... Yodeling (or yodelling, jodeling) is a form of singing that involves singing an extended note which rapidly and repeatedly changes in pitch from the vocal chest register (or chest voice) to the head register (or head voice), making a high-low-high-low sound. ... Slim Whitman (born January 20, 1924 in Tampa, Florida) is an American country music singer and songwriter. ... Attack of the Killer Tomatoes is a 1978 comedy film directed by John De Bello and starring David Miller. ... Attack of the Killer Tomatoes is a 1978 comedy film directed by John De Bello and starring David Miller. ...


The film has an interesting relationship with Independence Day, an alien invasion movie released a few months earlier by rival studio 20th Century Fox. Mars Attacks plays for comedy everything that Independence Day plays with relative seriousness. For example, where Independence Day has an extended sequence of epic and impressive destruction across the world, Mars Attacks! has the aliens using Easter Island as a bowling alley, carving their own faces in Mount Rushmore, toppling the Washington Monument onto boy scouts in Washington, D.C. (a deliberate parody of a similar scene in the 1956 B-movie Earth vs. the Flying Saucers), and melting the Eiffel Tower, the Taj Mahal, Sydney Opera House and the Big Ben. Other similarities include: Independence Day (also known as its promotional abbreviation ID4) is an Academy Award winning science fiction film directed by Roland Emmerich. ... Twentieth (20th) Century Fox Film Corporation (known from 1935 to 1985 as Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation) is one of the six major American film studios. ... Rapa Nui redirects here. ... For the 1960s rock band, see Mount Rushmore (band). ... For other Washington Monuments, see Washington Monuments (world). ... For other uses, see Washington, D.C. (disambiguation). ... DVD Earth vs. ... The Eiffel Tower (French: , ) is an iron tower built on the Champ de Mars beside the River Seine in Paris. ... Taj Mahal Location of the Taj Mahal within India The Taj Mahal (Devanagari: ताज महल, Nastaliq: تاج محل) is a mausoleum located in Agra, India. ... The Sydney Opera House is located in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. ... The Clock Tower, colloquially known as Big Ben (a name that correctly refers to the main bell) Big Ben redirects here. ...

  • Enthusiastic humans who eagerly await the aliens' arrival, only to be mercilessly slaughtered in the initial attack.
  • Scenes of frantic escapes from the White House.
  • The death of the First Lady (in this case, Marsha Dale (Glenn Close) is crushed under a chandelier [Nancy Reagan's chandelier] during the President's chaotic escape from the White House).
  • The U.S. President needing convincing to use a nuclear weapon against the invaders. It proves futile.

Since Mars Attacks! was released shortly after Independence Day, this means the films were finished at nearly the same time. The similarities are thus coincidental. For other uses, see White House (disambiguation). ... First Lady Laura Bush and former first ladies (from left to right) Rosalynn Carter, Sen. ... Glenn Close (born March 19, 1947) is a five-time Academy Award-nominated American film and stage actress. ... The mushroom cloud of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan, 1945, rose some 18 kilometers (11 mi) above the hypocenter A nuclear weapon derives its destructive force from nuclear reactions of fusion or fission. ...


In a manner similar to that of Peter Sellers in Dr. Strangelove, Nicholson plays more than one role: he plays both the President and a Las Vegas real estate speculator; for the latter role he sports sunglasses, cowboy hat and buck teeth that make him "almost" unrecognizable. Nicholson's double role was the result of a joke with director Tim Burton when Nicholson was cast and Burton had asked Nicholson which role he was interested in, to which Nicholson replied "All of them!" As a result, Burton permitted Nicholson to do the double role of Art Land and President Dale. Peter Sellers, CBE (8 September 1925 – 24 July 1980) was a British comedian and actor best known for his three roles in Dr. Strangelove and as Inspector Clouseau in The Pink Panther films. ... For the hit 1987 single by Depeche Mode, see the album Music for the Masses Film poster for Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb is a 1964 satirical film directed by Stanley Kubrick. ... For further information, see Las Vegas metropolitan area and Las Vegas Strip. ... Real estate is a legal term that encompasses land along with anything permanently affixed to the land, such as buildings. ...


Notes

  • The destruction of the spaceship-themed Las Vegas hotel was in fact an actual demolition, that of the Landmark Hotel and Casino, though aliens were edited in. It was imploded to make way for a parking lot at the Las Vegas Convention Center.[citation needed]
  • A large portion of the original trading cards series included oversized bugs that the Martians used to exterminate the humans. No oversized bugs were seen in the film, though flying saucers and robots were featured.
  • The producers approached the US Army for cooperation in filming the movie. The Army refused after learning that the story involved Slim Whitman's song "Indian Love Call" being more effective against the invaders than the military.[citation needed]
  • Much of the film was parodied in the first Destroy All Humans! video game. The main character sounded like Jack Nicholson and uses weapons similar to the ray guns seen in this film.
  • Novelist Martin Amis was employed as a script consultant on the film. He is said to be a fan of the eventual production.
  • In 1997, the Punk / Horror genre band, The Misfits released a song on the American Psycho album called "Mars Attacks!", inspired by both the original TOPPS brand trading cards of the 1960s and the Warner Brothers Movie.
  • The giant donut was built in Hollywood by H. Bruce Norrbom and shipped to Burns, Kansas to be filmed.
  • Casino scenes were filmed at the Luxor Hotel, Las Vegas.
  • Goof: the Congressional Medal of Honor is only awarded to those in the Armed Services; the highest honor a civilian can get is the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
  • The scene showing the junked casino signs was filmed in the "Neon Boneyard" once owned by the Young Electric Sign Company. It is now owned by the Neon Museum [1], a non-profit organization which is renovating the signs for future display.

Image File history File links Broom_icon. ... The Landmark in 1986. ... link titleThe Las Vegas Convention Center is owned and operated by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority and is located in Clark County, Nevada. ... Slim Whitman (born January 20, 1924 in Tampa, Florida) is an American country music singer and songwriter. ... Destroy All Humans! is a video game developed by Pandemic Studios and published by THQ. It was released for the Xbox and PlayStation 2 computer entertainment systems on June 21, 2005. ... Photo of Martin Amis by Robert Birnbaum Martin Amis (born August 25, 1949) is an English novelist. ... This article is about the band. ...

See also

An alien language is a general term for any language that might be used by putative extraterrestrial lifeforms. ... Fictional representations of Mars have been popular for over a century. ... Science fiction is a form of speculative fiction principally dealing with the impact of imagined science and technology, or both, upon society and persons as individuals. ...

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