Roswell (film)

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Written byArthur L. Kopit
Jeremy Kagan
Directed byJeremy Kagan
StarringKyle MacLachlan
Martin Sheen
Dwight Yoakam
Music byElliot Goldenthal
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
Executive producersPaul Davids
David R. Ginsburg
ProducersJeremy Kagan
Ilene Kahn Power
Peter R. McIntosh (co-producer)
CinematographySteven Poster
EditorsDavid Holden
Bill Yahraus
Running time91 minutes
Production companiesViacom Pictures
Citadel Entertainment
Original release
ReleaseJuly 31, 1994 (1994-07-31)

Roswell (also known as Roswell: The U.F.O. Cover-Up) is a 1994 television film produced by Paul Davids based on a supposedly true story about the Roswell UFO incident, the alleged U.S. military capture of a flying saucer and its alien crew following a crash near the town of Roswell, New Mexico, in July 1947. Along with the Roswell crash, the film references prominent UFOlogy events such as Area 51, alien autopsies, the death of James Forrestal and Majestic-12.

The script was based on the book UFO Crash at Roswell, by Kevin D. Randle and Donald R. Schmitt.


Beginning at a 30-year reunion for members of the 509th Operations Group, flashbacks are presented that follow the attempts of Major Jesse Marcel to discover the truth about strange debris found on a local rancher's field in July 1947. Told by his superiors that what he has found is nothing more than a downed weather balloon, Marcel maintains his military duty until the weight of the truth, however out of this world it may be, forces him to piece together what really occurred.


The New York Times reviewed the film as a tense drama, maintaining "an engrossing course."  Criticizing the conspiracy aspect, it's noted that "What prevents this professionally fashioned hokum from being a high flier is the annoying question of how a cover-up that involved hundreds or thousands of people could have been maintained for 30 years or even 30 seconds in this expose-prone society."[1]

Variety labeled it "a gripping fictional account."  The review concludes, "Wherever the truths of the Roswell incident may lie, director Kagan paces his story convincingly and, in the suspicions it raises about American military mendacity, unflinchingly: superior made-for-TV fare, in other words.  The extraterrestrial bodies, by the way, are terrific." ([2]

The Los Angeles Times considered the film "no mere sci-fi hardware yarn," adding "Roswell is not so much a space odyssey but the story of a man's lost soul, that of an Air Force intelligence officer doggedly searching for the truth."[3]



  1. ^ Goodman, Walter (July 29, 1994). "TV-RADIO WEEKEND; A Quest for a Long-Buried Truth about a UFO". The New York Times.
  2. ^ Rich, Alan (July 29, 1994). "Roswell". Variety.
  3. ^ Loynd, Ray (July 9, 1995). "Roswell". The Los Angeles Times.

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