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Encyclopedia > Twelve Monkeys
Twelve Monkeys

Twelve Monkeys movie poster
Directed by Terry Gilliam
Produced by Charles Roven,
Lloyd Phillips
Written by David Webb Peoples,
Janet Peoples
Starring Bruce Willis
Madeleine Stowe
Brad Pitt
Music by Paul Buckmaster
Cinematography Roger Pratt
Editing by Mick Audsley
Distributed by Universal Pictures (USA)
PolyGram Filmed Entertainment (UK)
Release date(s) December 27th, 1995 (USA)
Running time 129 min
Country United States
Language English
Budget $29,000,000 (estimated)
All Movie Guide profile
IMDb profile

Twelve Monkeys is a 1995 science fiction film written by David and Janet Peoples and directed by Terry Gilliam. The movie deals with time travel and memory and is inspired by the French short film La Jetée. The film stars Bruce Willis, Madeleine Stowe, and Brad Pitt. Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (507x755, 45 KB) This image is of a movie poster, and the copyright for it is most likely owned by either the publisher of the movie or the studio which produced the movie in question. ... Terrence Vance Gilliam (born November 22, 1940) is an American-born British filmmaker, animator, and member of the Monty Python comedy troupe. ... David Webb Peoples (born c. ... Convenience store window poster featuring Willis, Prague, Czech Republic (2002) Bruce Willis (born Walter Bruce Willis on March 19, 1955) is a two-time Emmy Award-winning, Golden Globe-winning American actor and singer. ... Stowe pictured with John Travolta in 1999s The Generals Daughter Madeleine Stowe (born August 18, 1958) is an American actress. ... William Bradley Brad Pitt(born December 18, 1963) is an American actor and film producer. ... Paul Buckmaster is an artist, arranger, and composer. ... Universal Studios (sometimes called Universal Pictures or Universal City Studios), a subsidiary of NBC Universal, is one of the major American film studios that has production studios and offices located at 100 Universal City Plaza Drive in Universal City, California, an unincorporated area of Los Angeles County between Los Angeles... PolyGram Filmed Entertainment (PFE) was a London-based film studio, founded in 1991 as a European competitor to Hollywood, but eventually sold and merged with Universal Pictures in 1999. ... December 27 is the 361st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (362nd in leap years). ... // March 28 - Actress Julia Roberts and singer Lyle Lovett announce their plans for separation November - After a six-year hiatus, the James Bond film series resumes with the successful GoldenEye. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... // March 28 - Actress Julia Roberts and singer Lyle Lovett announce their plans for separation November - After a six-year hiatus, the James Bond film series resumes with the successful GoldenEye. ... Poster for 2001: A Space Odyssey, an archetypal science fiction film Science fiction film is a film genre that uses speculative, science-based depictions of imaginary phenomena such as extra-terrestrial lifeforms, alien worlds, and time travel, often along with technological elements such as futuristic spacecraft, robots, or other technologies. ... David Webb Peoples (born c. ... Terrence Vance Gilliam (born November 22, 1940) is an American-born British filmmaker, animator, and member of the Monty Python comedy troupe. ... Time travel is a concept that has long fascinated humanity—whether it is Merlin experiencing time backwards, or religious traditions like Mohammeds trip to Jerusalem and ascent to heaven, returning before a glass knocked over had spilt its contents. ... In psychology, memory is an organisms ability to store, retain, and subsequently recall information. ... Short subject is an American film industry term that historically has referred to any film in the format of two reels, or approximately 20 minutes running time, or less. ... La Jetée (1962) (literally The Jetty) 28-minute science fiction film in black and white by Chris Marker. ... Convenience store window poster featuring Willis, Prague, Czech Republic (2002) Bruce Willis (born Walter Bruce Willis on March 19, 1955) is a two-time Emmy Award-winning, Golden Globe-winning American actor and singer. ... Stowe pictured with John Travolta in 1999s The Generals Daughter Madeleine Stowe (born August 18, 1958) is an American actress. ... William Bradley Brad Pitt(born December 18, 1963) is an American actor and film producer. ...

Contents

Plot

Bruce Willis stars as James Cole, a convict in a post-apocalyptic future who is plagued by a vivid, recurring dream of a man being shot in an airport. Humans are forced to live underground, sealed from a surface contaminated with a virus that killed most of the human species in 19961997. The disease is believed to have arisen as an act of bioterrorism by a mysterious group calling itself "The Army of the Twelve Monkeys." Convenience store window poster featuring Willis, Prague, Czech Republic (2002) Bruce Willis (born Walter Bruce Willis on March 19, 1955) is a two-time Emmy Award-winning, Golden Globe-winning American actor and singer. ... It has been suggested that Post-holocaust be merged into this article or section. ... 1996 (MCMXCVI) was a leap year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International Year for the Eradication of Poverty. ... 1997 (MCMXCVII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


The movie has an unusual narrative style. Stowe plays a skilled psychiatrist and Pitt, in an Oscar-nominated performance, plays Jeffrey Goines, a very mentally unstable man who crosses paths with Cole on several occasions. Stowe pictured with John Travolta in 1999s The Generals Daughter Madeleine Stowe (born August 18, 1958) is an American actress. ... William Bradley Brad Pitt(born December 18, 1963) is an American actor and film producer. ... The Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor is one of the awards given to male actors working in the motion picture industry by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; nominations are made by Academy members who are actors and actresses. ...


As a convict, Cole is forced to "volunteer" for dangerous missions to the surface in a biohazard suit, exploring a deserted Philadelphia for biological specimens. The abandoned city is now inhabited by wild animals. Almost all of humanity has been wiped out by an incurable virus, with the few survivors living in a wretched and tyrannical society deep underground. Cole proves to be a careful observer with excellent memory and is "volunteered" to participate in a more ambitious branch of the program. Nickname: City of Brotherly Love, Philly, the Quaker City Motto: Philadelphia maneto (Let brotherly love continue) Location in Pennsylvania Coordinates: Country United States State Pennsylvania County Philadelphia Founded October 27, 1682 Incorporated October 25, 1701 Mayor John F. Street (D) Area    - City 369. ...


The scientists of the future have invented a crude method of time travel. Travelers cannot be sure of the exact time and place to which they are sent, and they are badly disoriented after arriving at the past and upon their return. Cole and other convicts are sent back in time to discover the origin of the virus and retrieve samples. The scientists wish to study the virus in its unmutated form to enable them to produce a cure. The time travelers are asked to leave voice mail messages at a phone number monitored by the scientists in the future. Time travel is a concept that has long fascinated humanity—whether it is Merlin experiencing time backwards, or religious traditions like Mohammeds trip to Jerusalem and ascent to heaven, returning before a glass knocked over had spilt its contents. ...


The scientists initially attempt to send Cole back to October 1996, a few weeks before the outbreak of the disease. He appears in Baltimore in April 1990 and is arrested after a violent encounter with police. Due to his incoherent story, Cole is institutionalized at a psychiatric facility, and placed under the care of Dr. Kathryn Railly (Stowe) who strongly feels as though she has seen Cole before. There Cole meets Jeffrey Goines (Pitt), a deranged animal rights and anti-consumerism activist. When Cole is interviewed by Railly and other doctors, he desperately attempts to warn them of the impending catastrophe and inquires about the Army of the Twelve Monkeys. He is grudgingly permitted to call the scientists' phone number, but discovers no voice mailbox. A civet, or sea fox, photographed in the Zigong Peoples Zoo, Sichuan, 2001. ... This article or section needs copy editing for grammar, style, cohesion, tone and/or spelling. ...


Goines helps Cole escape the ward by providing a key and creating a major disturbance, but Cole is quickly recaptured and placed in restraints in an isolation room with no obvious possibility of escape. Cole is then returned to the future, disappearing from his locked room, and baffling Railly and the institution's authorities.


After returning to the future, Cole is interviewed by the scientists. They play a voice mail message giving the Army of the Twelve Monkeys location, saying "They're the ones that did it", but Cole denies having left that message. The scientists also show him a series of photographs from the outbreak time-period to see if any of the images are familiar to Cole from his experiences in 1990. Among the photographs is a picture of Goines at the head of a rally.


Throughout the film, Cole has recurring dreams involving a man in a ponytail with a breifcase with travel stickers on it running through an airport, another man in a mustache and long blonde hair chasing him and being shot, and a blonde woman chasing after them and screaming. The dream varies with each instance, with the ponytail man resembling Goines in one instance.


In a second attempt to send Cole back to 1996, assured that "this time" they would get him to the correct destination, he arrives briefly in the middle of a World War I battle. He encounters Jose, a fellow inmate, who has also been sent to the past. Cole is shot in the leg while reaching toward a wounded Jose, and a moment later is propelled forward in time to the original target date, November, 1996. “The Great War ” redirects here. ...


Between 1990 and 1996, Dr. Railly has taken an interest in the Cassandra Syndrome. She publishes a book on the topic, citing examples of unheeded prophecies of doom dating back to the 14th century. Cole finds a poster announcing one of her lectures, and after a book-signing session, kidnaps her to aid him in finding the Army of the Twelve Monkeys. She continues to believe that Cole is delusional, and realizes from media accounts that she and Cole are the subject of a massive manhunt. However, she ignores several opportunities to escape, and begins to assist Cole in his quest. She even removes the WWI bullet from his leg when he informs her that he has been shot. This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


Also prominent in the news at the time is the story of a boy in Fresno, California who is trapped in a well. Cole tells Railly that he remembers coverage of that story from when he was a child and reveals to her that the whole thing is a prank, and the boy is really hiding in a barn. Nickname: Location in the state of California County Fresno Government  - Mayor Alan Autry Area  - City 104. ...


Cole uses his photographic memory of the pictures he was shown by the scientists to locate the office of a bunch of well-meaning but ultimately ineffectual young animal rights activists who promote their ideas through leafleting and legal protests. Cole is sure he has found the source of the outbreak, not only because Goines is in charge of the organization but also because Goines' father is a famous virologist with access to deadly biological agents. Goines, however, became disenchanted with legal protest and formed a splinter group of twelve activists, The Army of the Twelve Monkeys, who plan more direct action such as freeing animals from zoos and research facilities. However, Goines quit the group to work at his father's lab, saying that he would personally oversee any animal testing there to ensure humane treatment.


Cole puts Railly in the trunk of his car and tracks Goines to a conference at his father's mansion. Cole enters the mansion and attempts to question Goines about the origin of the virus. Goines suggests that releasing a worldwide pandemic was an idea Cole originally broached at the psychiatric facility in 1990. Cole is highly disturbed by the possibility that he was partially responsible for the pandemic and begins to embrace Railly's theory that he is delusional and has created the virus and the time-traveling story in his head. As police and dogs from the mansion approach, Railly pleads with Cole to turn himself in. Cole vanishes suddenly, leaving a surprised Railly to explain her captivity and subsequent flight to disbelieving detectives.


The detectives show further doubt in Railly's story when an analyst confirms that the bullet she removed from Cole's leg dates back to World War I. This revelation, along with the confirmation in the news that the boy in Fresno had actually been hiding in a nearby barn, causes Railly to have her own doubts. She searches through a series of WWI photographs. Jose had earned a footnote in history books as a shell shocked soldier whose hysteria had caused him to "forget" the French language entirely, replaced by an unrecognizable dialect of English. Featured in the background of a picture of Jose was Cole, reaching out to him. Now convinced that Cole's story is true, Railly returns to the office of the animal-rights activists to ask them more questions.


After returning to the future, Cole is congratulated by the scientists for bringing back vital information that will help them retake the surface of the planet. However, Cole now believes his future experiences are hallucinations and longs to return to 1996 and be with Railly. He persuades the scientists to send him on a third mission back in time. Back in Philadelphia in 1996, he finds Railly at the animal-rights activists' office, and admits to her that he is crazy and, after being attacked by an angry pimp, pulls out his tooth containing the device which the scientists in the future use to bring him back. Convinced that he is not crazy, Railly calls the scientists' voice mail number, and leaves a message with what she thinks is a carpet cleaning company. When she recites her message to Cole later, they realize that it matches, verbatim, the message the scientists played for Cole prior to his second mission, and they both know that the coming plague is real. They put on disguises (Cole with a mustache and a long blonde wig, and Railly in a blonde wig) and make plans to fly to Key West to avoid the virus.


After Goines' splinter group frees the animals from the Philadelphia Zoo, they leave spray painted messages around the city indicating that the Army of the Twelve Monkeys "Did It", leading the future scientists to incorrectly attribute the release of the virus to Goines and his "Twelve Monkeys." Railly and Cole are momentarily heartened to discover the Twelve Monkeys' plot had nothing to do with the epidemic.


Cole, now in love with Railly and the music and open air of the pre-infection world, decides that he has done his duty to the future. At the airport, he leaves a last message telling the scientists they are on the wrong track following the Army of the Twelve Monkeys, and that he will not return to his own time. Railly sees Dr. Peters at the airport and after glancing at a newspaper picture, recognizes him as the elder Goines' assistant whom she recognises from one of her lectures. She is horrified by the realization that he intends to carry the unmutated virus to every city where the disease is known to have originated. Simultaneously, Cole is confronted by Jose who, based on Cole's message, has been sent to the airport. He provides Cole with a gun just as Railly informs Cole that Dr. Peters is the culprit. After a scuffle and argument with security, Cole is fatally shot by police as he pulls the gun to stop Peters from boarding his plane. As Cole dies in Railly's arms, she returns the sad, steady gaze of a small boy. The young James Cole is witnessing his own death, the scene that will replay in his dreams in years to come.


Dr. Peters hurries away from the security area during the shooting and is able to board the plane. Seated next to Peters is the lead scientist from the future (Carol Florence). She introduces herself after some small talk with Peters: "Jones is my name. — I'm in insurance."


Themes

James Cole (initials "J. C.") is a Christ-figure "sent from another world to try to save this world for the benefit of all humanity."[1] His death, caused by chasing Dr. Peters, makes it possible for the (future) world to live, by letting the scientists know where to find a non-mutated form of the virus. He wears a blood-stained shirt, in which the letters "Chris-" are the only ones still visible.[2] A Christ-figure is a literary technique that authors use to draw allusions between their characters and the bibilical Jesus Christ. ...


The film's themes of insanity, drugs and time travel permeate many of Gilliam's films, most notably The Fisher King, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Time Bandits. Stylistically the film is much like Brazil with its army of bureaucrats using an odd collection of television tubes to monitor Cole as he journeys through the past, further promoting the theme that soulless bureaucrats will inherit the earth or perhaps have been in charge all along. The Fisher King is a movie from 1991 written by Richard LaGravenese and directed by Terry Gilliam. ... Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is a 1998 film adaptation of Hunter S. Thompsons 1971 novel Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream. ... Time Bandits (first released on July 13, 1981) is a fantasy film, produced and directed by Terry Gilliam (who created animations for Monty Pythons Flying Circus). ...


James Cole exhibits classic delusional schizophrenic symptoms: switching between realities, believing that he is being monitored by implants, and can predict the future. He hears voices when the scientists analyze him and the future he describes is a doomsday scenario. Of course, the irony in the film is that these are not delusions. Schizophrenia is a psychiatric diagnosis denoting a persistent, often chronic, mental illness variously affecting behavior, thinking, and emotion. ...


Trivia

  • During one scene Cole and Railly watch Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo, and the scene that appears is that of Scottie and Madeleine in Big Basin Redwoods State Park where Madeleine looks at the growth rings of a felled redwood and traces back events in her past life as Carlotta Valdes ("here I was born ... and here I died"). In addition to resonating with the movie's larger themes, Cole and Railly later have a similar conversation while the same music from Vertigo is repeated. "He's not simply providing a movie in-joke. The point, I think, is that Cole's own life is caught between rewind and fast-forward, and he finds himself repeating in the past what he learned in the future, and vice versa."[3] This scene can also be considered Gilliam's tip of the hat to Chris Marker, whose La Jetée inspired Twelve Monkeys. La Jetée features images of tree rings in several museum scenes, and the connection between La Jetée and the scene from Vertigo is also observed explicitly by Marker in his 1982 documentary montage Sans Soleil.
  • A "making of" documentary about the film, The Hamster Factor and Other Tales of Twelve Monkeys, was made by Keith Fulton and Louis Pepe, who later went on to make Lost in La Mancha, despite their protests that they would not make "any more movies about making movies."[4]
  • Lebbeus Woods, an architect, sued the producers of the film, claiming they copied his work "Neomechanical Tower (Upper) Chamber." Woods won a "six figure sum," and allowed the film to continue to be screened.[5]
  • Pitt took the role of Jeffrey in order to get rid of his "pretty boy" image. He purposely tried to make the character as unattractive as possible, to the point of cutting his own hair. The crew also took his cigarettes away so that he would seem to be more crazy than usual.[citation needed]
  • The scene where Cole wanders post-apocalypse Philadelphia was not originally supposed to be winter. After the studio delayed the film's shooting, Gilliam decided he preferred the isolated look of winter.[6]
  • Like Brazil, also directed by Gilliam, this film uses fresnel lenses in its set design.
  • The poetry reading interrupted by Dr. Railly's pager includes the following quatrain from the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, which deals with the themes of time and destiny:

"Yesterday This Day's Madness did prepare;
Tomorrow's Silence, Triumph or Despair:
Drink! for you know not whence you came, nor why:
Drink! for you know not why you go, nor where." Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock KBE (August 13, 1899 – April 29, 1980) was a highly influential film director and producer who pioneered many techniques in the suspense and thriller genres. ... Vertigo is a 1958 suspense film directed by Alfred Hitchcock. ... Big Basin Redwoods State Park is a California state park, located in Santa Cruz County. ... Growth rings of Pinus taeda Growth rings can be seen in a horizontal cross section cut through the trunk of a tree. ... Binomial name Sequoia sempervirens (D. Don) Endl. ... Chris Marker (born July 29, 1921) is a French writer, photographer, film director, multimedia artist and documentary maker. ... La Jetée (1962) (literally The Jetty) 28-minute science fiction film in black and white by Chris Marker. ... Sans Soleil (Sunless in English) is a film by French director Chris Marker. ... A defeated Terry Gilliam, in Lost in La Mancha Lost in La Mancha is a documentary movie about Terry Gilliams failed attempt to make The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, a movie adaptation of the novel Don Quixote. ... Lebbeus Woods (1940, Lansing, Michigan - ) is an American artist who envisions experimental environments rather than designing practical buildings, comparing his work to the visionary power of cinema. ... Fresnel Lens displayed in the Musée national de la marine in Paris, France A Fresnel lens is a type of lens invented by Augustin-Jean Fresnel (pronounced fre-NELL in scientific and lighting applications, although often incorrectly pronounced FREZ-nell). ... A quatrain is a poem or a stanza within a poem that consists of four lines. ... Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (Persian: رباعیات عمر خیام) The Rubáiyát (Arabic: رباعیات) is a collection of poems (of which there are about a thousand) attributed to the Persian mathematician and astronomer Omar Khayyám (1048 – 1123). ...

  • Additional subtle references to time, time travel, and monkeys are scattered throughout the film, including the Woody Woodpecker "Time Tunnel" cartoon playing on the TV in a hotel room, and a monkey taking a sandwich to the boy thought to be trapped in a well.

External links

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
Twelve Monkeys

Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Wikiquote is a sister project of Wikipedia, using the same MediaWiki software. ... The Open Directory Project (ODP), also known as dmoz (from , its original domain name), is a multilingual open content directory of World Wide Web links owned by Netscape that is constructed and maintained by a community of volunteer editors. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... The Internet Movie Database (IMDb) is an online database of information about movies, actors, television shows, production crew personnel, and video games. ...

References

  1. ^ http://www.usask.ca/relst/jrpc/art8-cinematicchrist.html
  2. ^ http://www.unomaha.edu/jrf/Messiah.htm
  3. ^ Roger Ebert's Review of Twelve Monkeys. Retrieved on 2007-01-18.
  4. ^ Neon Magazine (1996-12). Retrieved on 2007-01-18.
  5. ^ Copyright Casebook: 12 Monkeys - Universal Studios and Lebbeus Woods. Retrieved on 2006-06-21.
  6. ^ Sight and Sound (1996-04). Retrieved on 2007-01-18.

  Results from FactBites:
 
Twelve Monkeys (958 words)
Twelve Monkeys portrays a world where science and technology are instruments of oppression.
The Army of the Twelve Monkeys winds up being (possibly through the manipulation of the past) an animal rights group, which is opposed to the use of animals in experiments and zoos.
Twelve Monkeys takes the stance that events are inevitable, and changing how an event happens can not ultimately prevent that event from taking place.
Metaphilm - Twelve Monkeys (1893 words)
It’s clear as Twelve Monkeys progresses that Gilliam shares at least some of French philosopher/historian Michael Foucault’s renowned theory (Madness and Civilization: A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason) that affixing the label of insanity to someone is a political power play, not a medical diagnosis.
Twelve Monkeys is rife with religious references, particularly with multiple allusions to prophets and prophecies.
Throughout Twelve Monkeys, Cole jumps back and forth in time, with landings in 1990 (his first meeting with Railly and Goines), 1996 (the release of the virus that causes the worldwide epidemic), and 2020 (his starting point).
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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