|Directed by||James Cameron|
|Screenplay by||James Cameron|
|Based on||La Totale!|
by Claude Zidi
|Music by||Brad Fiedel|
|Box office||$378.9 million|
True Lies is a 1994 American action comedy film written and directed by James Cameron. It was executive produced by Lawrence Kasanoff and stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tom Arnold, Art Malik, Tia Carrere, Bill Paxton, Eliza Dushku, Grant Heslov and Charlton Heston. It is based on the 1991 French comedy film La Totale! The film follows U.S. government agent Harry Tasker (Schwarzenegger), who struggles to balance his life as a spy with his familial duties.
True Lies was the first Lightstorm Entertainment project to be distributed under Cameron's multimillion-dollar production deal with 20th Century Fox, as well as the first major production for the visual effects company Digital Domain, which was co-founded by Cameron. It was also the first film to cost $100 million.
For her performance, Curtis won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy and the Saturn Award for Best Actress, while Cameron won the Saturn Award for Best Director. The film ultimately grossed $378 million worldwide at the box-office and was also nominated at the Academy Awards and BAFTAs in the Best Visual Effects category, and also for seven Saturn Awards.
Harry Tasker leads a double life: to his wife Helen and his daughter Dana, he is a boring computer salesman often away on business trips, while in actuality he is a secret agent for a U.S. intelligence agency named Omega Sector whose motto is "The Last Line of Defense". Harry and fellow Agents Albert "Gib" Gibson and Faisil infiltrate a party in Switzerland, where they learn of the existence of a Islamic terrorism group known as the "Crimson Jihad", led by Salim Abu Aziz. Harry suspects that American antiques dealer Juno Skinner has ties to Aziz, and visits her undercover as a potential buyer. Suspicious, Aziz and his men attempt to kill him, but Harry fights them off and loses Aziz in a pursuit; as a result, he misses the birthday party that his wife and daughter have arranged for him.
Harry heads to Helen's office the next day to surprise her for lunch, but overhears her talking to a man named Simon. Fearing that Helen is having an affair, he uses Omega Sector resources to learn that Simon is a used car salesman, who pretends to be a covert agent to flirt with Helen. Harry and other Omega agents, disguised, kidnap Helen and then frighten Simon into staying away from her. Using a voice masking device, Harry interrogates Helen and learns that due to his constant absence, she is desperately seeking adventure. Harry thus arranges for Helen to participate in a staged spy mission, where she is to seduce a mysterious figure (who is actually Harry himself) and plant a bug in his hotel room. Aziz's men suddenly burst in, kidnap the couple, and take them to an island in the Florida Keys.
Aziz reveals he has smuggled stolen MIRV nuclear warheads into the country via antique statues shipped by Juno, and threatens to detonate them in major U.S. cities unless the U.S. military leaves the Persian Gulf. He also plants one of the warheads on the island, intending to have it detonate after they leave to show the government his commitment. Aziz orders the couple to be tortured; Harry is administered a truth serum and finally confesses his double life to Helen; she is angry of Harry's lies but also being intrigued of him being a spy. They escape to watch as the warheads are loaded onto vehicles. Harry leaves Helen to hide as he attacks Aziz's men, but Helen is captured by Juno and taken with the convoy on the Overseas Highway. Harry is rescued by Omega agents and pursues the convoy, sending two Marine Harrier Jump Jets to stop it by destroying part of the Seven Mile Bridge. Harry rescues Helen from Juno's limo before it careens into the ocean below, killing Juno.
Upon returning safely to the mainland, the warhead left on the island detonates for the public to see. Harry then learns that Aziz and his men have taken control of a downtown Miami skyscraper and have kidnapped Dana, threatening to detonate their one remaining bomb. Harry commandeers one of the Harriers to rescue his daughter. Faisal poses as part of a news team requested by Aziz, providing enough distraction for Dana to steal the missile control key and flee the room. Aziz chases Dana onto a tower crane as Harry arrives. Harry is able to rescue Dana, and after a tense struggle with Aziz, Harry eventually has him ensnared on the end of one of the plane's missiles, which Harry fires at a terrorist helicopter, killing Aziz and the remnants of his terrorist gang. Harry, Helen, and Dana are then safely reunited.
A year later, the Tasker's family integrity has been restored, and Helen has become another Omega Sector agent. Harry and Helen embark on a new mission together at a formal party, where they encounter Simon seducing one of the female guests. Helen and Harry intimidate Simon into fleeing, and the film ends with the couple dancing a passionate tango.
- Arnold Schwarzenegger as Harry Tasker / Harry Rehnquist
- Jamie Lee Curtis as Helen Tasker
- Tom Arnold as Albert "Gib" Gibson
- Art Malik as Salim Abu Aziz
- Bill Paxton as Simon
- Tia Carrere as Juno Skinner
- Eliza Dushku as Dana Tasker
- Grant Heslov as Faisil
- Charlton Heston as Director Spencer Trilby
- Marshall Manesh as Jamal Khaled
- James Allen as Colonel
- Ofer Samra as Yusef
Schwarzenegger stated that while filming a scene with a horse, a camera boom hit the horse and "it went crazy, spinning and rearing" near a drop of 90 feet. Schwarzenegger quickly slid off the horse and stuntman Billy D. Lucas (who was one of Arnold's main doubles and closest friends) caught him; he concluded, "[this is] why I will always love stunt people". Costing $100–120 million to produce, True Lies was the first film with a production budget of over $100 million. It was filmed over a seven-month schedule.
According to co-star Eliza Dushku during the MeToo and Time's Up movement, she revealed that when she was twelve while making this movie she was sexually molested by the film's stunt coordinator, Joel Kramer. Soon after that, an adult friend of Dushku confronted Kramer on set, and that the same day, Dushku was injured during a stunt and several of her ribs were broken, while Kramer was responsible for her safety. Kramer has denied the accusation of sexual misconduct. Dushku's co-stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jamie Lee Curtis and Tom Arnold and director James Cameron all later tweeted their respect and admiration for Dushku's bravery.
Of the many locations that were used in the film, the Rosecliff Mansion was used for the ballroom tango scenes in the beginning of the film and the exterior of the Swiss chalet that Harry Tasker infiltrates is Ochre Court. The ballroom dancing scene that closes the film, as well as the scenes in the lobby of the fictional Hotel Marquis in Washington, take place in the Crystal Ballroom of the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. The outdoor structures used by Azis's smuggling ring as a base of operations were a series of custom made Alaska Structures fabric buildings, leased to the production crew during filming.
|Film score by |
Brad Fiedel and various artists
|Released||July 19, 1994|
All music is composed by Brad Fiedel, except where noted.
|1.||"Sunshine of Your Love"||Jack Bruce, Eric Clapton||Living Colour||5:17|
|2.||"Darkness, Darkness"||Jesse Colin Young||Screaming Trees||4:08|
|3.||"Alone in the Dark"||John Hiatt||John Hiatt||4:46|
|4.||"Entity"||Christian Leibfried, Geoff Haba, Bryan Tulao, David Robert Gould||Mother Tongue||4:21|
|5.||"Sunshine of Your Love (The Adrian Sherwood & Skip McDonald Remix)"||Bruce, Clapton||Living Colour||5:49|
|6.||"Main Title/Harry Makes His Entrance"||2:40|
|7.||"Escape from the Chateau"||2:41|
|8.||"Harry's Sweet Home"||1:06|
|9.||"Harry Rides Again"||7:05|
|10.||"Spying on Helen"||4:16|
|12.||"Caught in the Act"||1:29|
|17.||"Harry Saves the Day"||8:26|
Songs appearing in the film not included on the soundtrack album:
- "I Never Thought I'd See the Day" – Sade
- "More Than a Woman" – Bee Gees
- "The Blue Danube" – The Philadelphia Orchestra
- "Por una Cabeza" – Argentinean tango, performed by The Tango Project
True Lies was a box-office success. Opening in 2,368 theaters in the United States and Canada, it ranked number one at the US box office in its opening weekend, grossing $25,869,770. It was the number one film in Japan for twelve straight weeks. It went on to gross $146,282,411 in the United States and Canada and $232,600,000 in the rest of world, totaling $378,882,411 worldwide, making it third highest-grossing movie of 1994.
On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 71% based on 52 reviews and an average score of 6.54/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "If it doesn't reach the heights of director James Cameron's and star Arnold Schwarzenegger's previous collaborations, True Lies still packs enough action and humor into its sometimes absurd plot to entertain". On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 63 out of 100, based on 17 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale.
The film was criticized by the National Review as sexist, cruel, or even misogynistic, for its treatment of female characters, such as the hero (Schwarzenegger) using his agency's resources to stalk and frighten his wife. Some Muslims perceived the film as conveying a strong anti-Arab or anti-Muslim prejudice, with some wanting it banned.
Taken individually, the cruder and childish things about this film, its determination to use caricatured unshaven Arabs as terrorists, the pleasure it takes in continually mortifying a weasely used-car salesman (Bill Paxton) in the most personal ways, might be overlooked, but added together they leave a sour taste.
- 4th – David Stupich, The Milwaukee Journal
- Top 3 Runner-ups (not ranked) – Sandi Davis, The Oklahoman
- Top 10 (listed alphabetically, not ranked) – Mike Clark, USA Today
- Top 10 (listed alphabetically, not ranked) – Jimmy Fowler, Dallas Observer
- Honorable mention – Michael MacCambridge, Austin American-Statesman
- Honorable mention – Dan Craft, The Pantagraph
- 5th worst – Glenn Lovell, San Jose Mercury News
- Top 10 worst (listed alphabetically, not ranked) – Mike Mayo, The Roanoke Times
- Top 10 worst (listed alphabetically, not ranked) – William Arnold, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Awards and nominations
True Lies was released on VHS and Laserdisc after its theatrical release, and on DVD on May 25, 1999. A high definition version was released on D-Theater in 2003. The film is currently unavailable for digital purchase. In 2018, James Cameron stated that a new transfer for Blu-ray has been completed, but he hasn't found time to review it.
In April 1997, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Tom Arnold met with Cameron and discussed the possibility of an eventual True Lies sequel, which would also bring back Curtis in her role. At the time, Cameron was busy working on Titanic. Following the release of Titanic in late 1997, Cameron was planning to begin work on a True Lies sequel early the following year. Schwarzenegger and Arnold were expected to reprise their roles. Cameron conducted a search for a writer to work on True Lies 2. In August 1999, Cameron and 20th Century Fox were negotiating to have Jeff Eastin write the script under Cameron's supervision. At the time, the film was being planned for a mid-2001 release, with Cameron expected to direct it. By the end of 1999, there was the possibility that filming would begin in the third quarter of 2000. However, development of the script was ongoing as of June 2000. Cameron planned to produce True Lies 2 with Fox, but was undecided at that time on whether he would also direct it, as he wanted to wait until the script was complete. Eastin worked with Cameron on the project for approximately a year and a half, and Schwarzenegger and Arnold liked Eastin's script.
By March 2001, the script had been completed, and Curtis was confirmed to reprise her role alongside Schwarzenegger and Arnold. Following the September 11 attacks, Schwarzenegger said in January 2002, "We'll shoot it next year. We have a good script. There does need to be some changes because it deals with some terrorist act of some sort. But it's pretty much done." Later in 2002, Cameron said the film would not be made following the September 11 attacks: "Terrorism is no longer something to take as lightly as we did in the first one. I just can't see it happening given the current world climate."
In June 2003, Schwarzenegger said that after the attacks, "Cameron was worried because there's an airplane scene – a terrific airplane scene – that didn't have anything to do with the terrorism that we had in 9/11, but it was a great fight scene inside the plane while the plane goes down and this kind of thing. It was a very important moment in the movie, and he felt like he can't do that and therefore has to rewrite it ... These things take a long time." The following month, Curtis said the film would never be made due to the September 11 attacks: "Terrorists aren't funny anymore. They never were, but, it was distant enough from our psyche that we could make it funny. It'll never be funny again. I just think that that is over, that kind of humor is over." Eastin cited Schwarzenegger's 2003 election as California governor as another reason that True Lies 2 did not get made. However, Arnold remained optimistic that the film would be made.
In 2005, Arnold said he had met with Cameron, Curtis, Paxton, and Dushku to discuss True Lies 2. Arnold said the project would include the return of Schwarzenegger and that filming would begin once his role as California governor was concluded. Cameron said in 2009 that there were no plans to make the film, and Curtis, in 2019, reiterated her previous comments: "I don't think we could ever do another 'True Lies' after 9/11."
In the 2005 film The Kid & I, Tom Arnold plays a fictional character based on himself. In that film, the character had starred in True Lies and is pursued by a fan and teams up with Henry Winkler and Linda Hamilton to make a sequel; Schwarzenegger and Curtis cameo as themselves.
On February 10, 2021, CBS announced a pilot order for the second attempt at a True Lies series adaptation. Matt Nix will write the pilot and produce with Josh Levy via Flying Glass of Milk Productions. James Cameron, director of the film, will executive produce with Rae Sanchini through Lightstorm Entertainment. Mary Viola of Wonderland Sound and Vision will also executive produce, with Corey Marsh of Wonderland co-executive producing. McG is set to direct the pilot and executive produce via Wonderland. In March 2021, CBS moved the pilot "off cycle" to give the series producers more time to film the pilot later in the year.
- "TRUE LIES (15)". United International Pictures. British Board of Film Classification. August 9, 1994. Archived from the original on October 4, 2013. Retrieved October 1, 2013.
- Fox, D., 1994. Movies: 'True Lies,' 'Forrest Gump' and 'The Lion King' are on target to break a record for non-holiday weekend ticket sales. Los Angeles Times, [internet] July 18. Available at http://articles.latimes.com/1994-07-18/entertainment/ca-17141_1_true-lies Archived 2010-07-26 at Wikiwix [Accessed July 24, 2010].
- Kempley, R., 1994. ‘True Lies’ (R) Archived 2011-12-11 at the Wayback Machine. The Washington Post, [internet] July 15. Accessed July 24, 2010.
- "Schwarzenegger Heats Up the Summer with Action-Packed True Lies". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 61. Sendai Publishing. August 1994. p. 169.
- "True Lies (1994)". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on February 26, 2013. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
- Schwarzenegger, Arnold. "IamArnold. AMA 2.0". Reddit. Archived from the original on 25 December 2014. Retrieved 21 January 2014.
- Thompson, Anne (29 July 1994). "5 True Lies about James Cameron". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on 16 March 2018. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
- "First film with a $100 million budget". Guinness World Records. Archived from the original on February 4, 2017. Retrieved February 2, 2017.
- Facebook post on Eliza Dushku's page, January 13, 2018, retrieved January 13, 2018. https://www.facebook.com/OfficialElizaDushku/posts/1769957739689557
- Mumford, Gwilym (January 15, 2018). "Eliza Dushku claims True Lies crew member sexually assaulted her aged 12". The Guardian. Retrieved January 16, 2018.
- "Movies Filmed in Newport RI - Hollywood loves the "City by the Sea"!". newport-discovery-guide.com. Archived from the original on 2009-12-07.
- "Filming in Los Angeles - Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles Filming History - Filming in LA". millenniumhotels.com. Archived from the original on 2013-07-24.
- "Alaska Structures Leases Fabric Buildings for Movie and TV Sets". Alaska Structures. Archived from the original on 30 January 2018. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
- E! Channel on the new 20th Century Fox Fanfare - June, 1994!, retrieved 2021-04-20
- "International Box Office". Variety. 12 December 1994. p. 14.
- 1994 Domestic Grosses Archived 2011-07-17 at the Wayback Machine. boxofficemojo.com
- "True Lies (1994)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Archived from the original on November 27, 2017. Retrieved February 21, 2018.
- "True Lies Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on January 2, 2018. Retrieved February 21, 2018.
- "CinemaScore". cinemascore.com.
- John Simon, "True Lies," National Review, August 29, 1994.
- Names & Faces: "Muslims Protest Schwarzenegger's 'True Lies'" July 22, 1994 By New York Daily News, via Orlando Sentinel. Archived December 8, 2015, at the Wayback Machine
- "Arab-Americans Protest 'True Lies'" Published July 16, 1994, The New York Times. Archived April 19, 2017, at the Wayback Machine
- "Muslim leader wants 'True Lies' banned" Monday, September 26, 1994. The Gainesville Sun, page 3.
- Turan, Kenneth (July 14, 1994). ""True Lies" is able to effectively kid itself"". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 15 August 2016. Retrieved 26 June 2016.
- Stupich, David (January 19, 1995). "Even with gore, 'Pulp Fiction' was film experience of the year". The Milwaukee Journal. p. 3.
- Davis, Sandi (January 1, 1995). "Oklahoman Movie Critics Rank Their Favorites for the Year "Forrest Gump" The Very Best, Sandi Declares". The Oklahoman. Retrieved July 20, 2020.
- Clark, Mike (December 28, 1994). "Scoring with true life, 'True Lies' and 'Fiction.'". USA Today (Final ed.). p. 5D.
- Zoller Seitz, Matt (January 12, 1995). "Personal best From a year full of startling and memorable movies, here are our favorites". Dallas Observer.
- MacCambridge, Michael (December 22, 1994). "it's a LOVE-HATE thing". Austin American-Statesman (Final ed.). p. 38.
- Craft, Dan (December 30, 1994). "Success, Failure and a Lot of In-between; Movies '94". The Pantagraph. p. B1.
- Lovell, Glenn (December 25, 1994). "The Past Picture Show the Good, the Bad and the Ugly – a Year Worth's of Movie Memories". San Jose Mercury News (Morning Final ed.). p. 3.
- Mayo, Mike (December 30, 1994). "The Hits and Misses at the Movies in '94". The Roanoke Times (Metro ed.). p. 1.
- Arnold, William (December 30, 1994). "'94 Movies: Best and Worst". Seattle Post-Intelligencer (Final ed.). p. 20.
- Jamie Lee Curtis – Awards & Nominations – MSN Movies Archived 2010-10-17 at the Wayback Machine. Movies.msn.com. Retrieved on 2011-07-14.
- True Lies Blu-Ray Could Be Done By End Of 2018, Says James Cameron. Empire. 30 November 2018.
- Fleming, Michael (April 21, 1997). "Arnolds visit spurs 'Lies II' scuttlebutt". Variety. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
- Fleming, Michael (August 23, 1999). "Cameron eyes 'True' scribe". Variety. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
- "No lie: Tom Arnold knows what's next". Detroit Free Press. December 9, 1997. Retrieved December 4, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Cameron maps out his twin Mars projects Fox miniseries, IMAX 3-D both coming to screens in 2001". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. August 18, 1999. Retrieved December 4, 2019 – via NewsLibrary.
James Cameron's dual Mars projects will touch down as a Fox miniseries and in IMAX 3-D in the spring of 2001, just months before the planned release of "True Lies 2," which Cameron is now telling friends he will direct.
- "Schwarzenegger ready to survey 'Damage'". Argus Leader. December 3, 1999. Retrieved December 4, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
- Linder, Brian (June 20, 2000). "Schwarzenegger on Terminator 3: "I'll Be Back...Soon."". IGN. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
- Fleming, Michael; Harris, Dana (June 22, 2000). "Arnold & Indy: They'll be back". Variety. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
- Harris, Dana (July 12, 2000). "Cameron won't be back; Director developing 'True Lies 2'". Variety. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
- Radish, Christina (July 9, 2012). "Jeff Eastin Talks White Collar Season 4, His New TV Series Graceland, and What Happened to His True Lies Sequel Script". Collider. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
- Lussier, Germain (March 18, 2011). "Tom Arnold Says 'True Lies 2' Could Be Arnold Schwarzenegger's Next Movie". /Film. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
- Winning, Joshua (March 21, 2011). "True Lies 2 script is really great". GamesRadar. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
- "Arnold Talks True Lies 2". IGN. March 14, 2001. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
- Linder, Brian (January 31, 2002). "Arnold Tells the Truth About Lies 2". IGN. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
- "Sequel talk true or lies?". Archived from the original on 2012-07-12.
- "'Titanic' director focuses on actual submerged wreckage". Burlington County Times. February 27, 2003. Retrieved December 4, 2019 – via NewsLibrary.
To tell you the truth, I kind of lost my appetite for it ("True Lies 2") after Sept. 11
- Horn, Steven (June 27, 2003). "An Interview with Arnold Schwarzenegger". IGN. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
- Davidson, Paul (July 30, 2003). "No True Lies Sequel, Says Curtis". IGN. Archived from the original on February 5, 2005.
- Davidson, Paul (July 14, 2005). "Arnold Insists on True Lies 2". IGN. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
- Knowles, Harry (August 3, 2009). "True Lies 2 to shoot in 14 months - not according to James Cameron". Aint It Cool News. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
- Brown, Lane (August 3, 2009). "James Cameron Has No Plans to Work With Tom Arnold". Vulture. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
- Schwartz, Terri (July 27, 2011). "Eliza Dushku On 'True Lies 2': James Cameron 'Should Give Me A Call'". MTV News. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
- "Cameron Doubtful for TL2 but Hopeful for Another! Tom Arnold Claims Another Project with "Lies" Team!". TheArnoldFans.com. 2009-05-08. Archived from the original on 13 April 2010. Retrieved 6 April 2010.
- Schumann, Rebecka (April 10, 2019). "'True Lies' Can Never Have A Sequel, According To Jamie Lee Curtis". International Business Times. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
- "James Cameron Adapting 'True Lies' For TV". Deadline.com. 2010-09-13. Archived from the original on 14 September 2010. Retrieved 13 September 2010.
- Andreeva, Nellie (15 September 2017). "'True Lies' Movie Rebooted As TV Series By Fox With McG, Marc Guggenheim & James Cameron Producing". deadline.com. Archived from the original on 19 March 2018. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
- 'True Lies' TV Reboot From James Cameron Set at Fox
- 'True Lies' TV Series Coming to Disney+ from McG
- Game of Thrones is Over! Let's All Talk About It + McG in Studio - Collider Live #138
- Andreeva, Nellie (May 20, 2019). "McG's 'True Lies' TV Show Is Heading to Disney+". collider.com. Retrieved May 20, 2019.
- Otterson, Joe (February 10, 2021). "'True Lies' Series Adaptation Gets CBS Pilot Order". Variety.
- Low, Elaine (March 19, 2021). "'True Lies' Pilot Moves Off Cycle at CBS". Variety. Retrieved March 20, 2021.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to True Lies.|
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: True Lies|