True Lies

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
True Lies
True Lies poster.png
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJames Cameron
Produced by
Screenplay byJames Cameron
Story by
Based onLa Totale!
by Claude Zidi
Simon Michaël
Didier Kaminka
Starring
Music byBrad Fiedel
CinematographyRussell Carpenter
Edited by
Production
company
Distributed by
Release date
  • July 15, 1994 (1994-07-15)
Running time
141 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$100[2][3]–120[4] million
Box office$378.9 million[5]

True Lies is a 1994 American action comedy film written, directed and co-produced by James Cameron and executive produced by Lawrence Kasanoff. It 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![4] 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.

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 Effect category, and also for seven Saturn Awards.

Plot[edit]

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; but he is, in fact, a secret agent for a United States intelligence agency named Omega Sector. Harry, operating alongside fellow agents Albert "Gib" Gibson and Faisil, infiltrates the party of suspected arms dealer and terrorist financier Jamal Khaled in Switzerland. Stealing Jamal's financial records, Harry and his team learn that American antiques dealer Juno Skinner recently received a suspicious payment from Jamal. Harry visits her office undercover posing as a corporate art consultant. Workmen at Juno's business are actually members of a terrorist group known as "Crimson Jihad", led by Salim Abu Aziz. Suspicious, Aziz and two of his men follow Harry and attempt to kill him. Harry slays the others but loses Aziz in a pursuit. As a result, Harry misses his birthday party that his wife and daughter have prepared for him and that he had promised to attend.

Harry heads to Helen's office the next day to surprise her for lunch, but overhears her talking on the phone to a man named Simon. Fearing that Helen is having an affair, Harry uses Omega Sector resources to learn that Simon is a used car salesman, who pretends to be a covert agent to seduce women. Harry and other Omega agents, disguised, kidnap Helen and intimidate Simon into staying away from her. Using a voice changer, 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 plant a covert listening device in the hotel suite of a mysterious figure (who is actually Harry himself). 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 seriousness. Aziz orders the couple to be tortured, and Harry (under a truth serum) finally confesses his double life to Helen. They escape to watch as the three remaining warheads are loaded onto two trucks and a helicopter. Harry leaves Helen to attack Aziz's men, but Helen is captured by Juno and taken in her limo which is following the two trucks 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. Helen and Juno fight for a gun in the limo and the driver is shot and killed. Hanging from a helicopter, Harry rescues Helen through the limo's sunroof as Juno curses her luck as the limo falls off the damaged bridge and into the sea.

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 skyscraper under construction in downtown Miami 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 bomb control key and flee the room. Aziz chases Dana onto a tower crane as Harry arrives. Faisal guns down a few terrorists on one floor of the building, and Harry uses the Harrier's machine guns to kill the others on the floor below. Harry is able to coax Dana from the tower crane to the nose of the Harrier. Aziz jumps to the fuselage of the Harrier and attacks Harry. After a tense struggle, Harry eventually has Aziz ensnared on the end of one of the plane's missiles, which Harry fires at the terrorists' helicopter, killing Aziz and the remnants of his terrorist gang.

A year later, the Tasker family are happily reunited 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.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

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".[6] Costing $100[2][3]–120[4][7] million to produce, True Lies was the first film with a production budget of over $100 million.[8] It was filmed over a seven-month schedule.[4]

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.[9] 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.[10] 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.[11]

Response[edit]

Box office[edit]

Opening in 2,368 theaters in the United States, True Lies ranked #1 in its opening weekend, earning $25,869,770. True Lies was a box-office success, earning $146,282,411 in the United States and $232,600,000 in the rest of world, totaling $378,882,411 worldwide,[5] making it third best-grossing movie of 1994.[12]

Critical reception[edit]

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 70% based on 50 reviews, and an average rating of 6.5/10. The website's consensus states, "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".[13] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 63 out of 100, based on 17 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[14] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale.[15]

Despite the positive reviews, 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.[16] Some Muslims perceived the film as conveying a strong anti-Arab or anti-Muslim prejudice.[17][18][19]

In a negative review, Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times wrote:

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.[20]

Accolades[edit]

Award Category Recipient Result
Academy Awards Best Visual Effects John Bruno, Thomas L. Fisher, Jacques Stroweis and Patrick McClung Nominated
BAFTA Awards Best Special Visual Effects John Bruno, Thomas L. Fisher, Jacques Stroweis, Pat McClung, Jamie Dixon Nominated
Golden Globe Award Best Actress - Comedy or Musical[21] Jamie Lee Curtis Won
Saturn Award Best Action/Adventure/Thriller Film Nominated
Best Direction James Cameron Won
Best Actor Arnold Schwarzenegger Nominated
Best Actress Jamie Lee Curtis Won
Best Supporting Actor Bill Paxton Nominated
Best Supporting Actress Tia Carrere Nominated
Best Special Effects Won
MTV Movie Awards Best Actress Jamie Lee Curtis Nominated
Best Comedic Performance Tom Arnold Nominated
Best Kiss Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Lee Curtis Nominated
Best Dance Sequence Arnold Schwarzenegger and Tia Carrere Nominated
Best Action Sequence Bridge Explosion/Limo Rescue Nominated
Eddie Award Best Editing Conrad Buff IV, Mark Goldblatt, Richard A. Harris Nominated
Japanese Academy Awards Outstanding Foreign Language Film - Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Award Best Actress in a Supporting Role Jamie Lee Curtis Nominated

Home media[edit]

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. In 2018, James Cameron stated that a new transfer for Blu-ray has been completed, but he hasn't found time to review it.[22]

Cancelled sequel[edit]

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.[23][24] 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.[25] 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.[24] At the time, the film was being planned for a mid-2001 release, with Cameron expected to direct it.[26] By the end of 1999, there was the possibility that filming would begin in the third quarter of 2000.[27] 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.[28][29][30] Eastin worked with Cameron on the project for approximately a year and a half,[31] and Schwarzenegger and Arnold liked Eastin's script.[32][33]

By March 2001, the script had been completed, and Curtis was confirmed to reprise her role alongside Schwarzenegger and Arnold.[34] 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."[35] 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."[36][37]

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."[38] 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."[39] Eastin cited Schwarzenegger's 2003 election as California governor as another reason that True Lies 2 did not get made.[31] However, Arnold remained optimistic that the film would be made.[40][41][42][32][43]

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.[40] Cameron said in 2009 that there were no plans to make the film,[42][44] and Curtis, in 2019, reiterated her previous comments: "I don't think we could ever do another 'True Lies' after 9/11."[45]

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.

In other media[edit]

Video games[edit]

Shortly after the film's release, video games based on the film of the same name were released for the Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis, Game Gear & Game Boy consoles.

Television[edit]

In September 2010, multiple websites reported Cameron developing True Lies as a possible television series with Dark Angel producer René Echevarria acting as showrunner and producer.[46][47]

In May 2019, McG announced while as a guest on Collider Live that the film will receive a television series on Disney+.[48][49]

Soundtrack[edit]

True Lies
Film score by
Brad Fiedel and various artists
ReleasedJuly 19, 1994
Length70:35
LabelLightstorm/Epic Soundtrax

All music is composed by Brad Fiedel, except where noted.

Track list
No.TitleWriter(s)Performer(s)Length
1."Sunshine of Your Love"Jack Bruce, Eric ClaptonLiving Colour5:17
2."Darkness, Darkness"Jesse Colin YoungScreaming Trees4:08
3."Alone in the Dark"John HiattJohn Hiatt4:46
4."Entity"Christian Leibfried, Geoff Haba, Bryan Tulao, David Robert GouldMother Tongue4:21
5."Sunshine of Your Love (The Adrian Sherwood & Skip McDonald Remix)"Bruce, ClaptonLiving Colour5:49
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
11."Juno's Place"  1:29
12."Caught in the Act"  1:29
13."Shadow Lover"  1:20
14."Island Suite"  6:55
15."Causeway/Helicopter Rescue"  7:56
16."Nuclear Kiss"  0:51
17."Harry Saves the Day"  8:26
Total length:70:35

Songs appearing in the film not included on the soundtrack album:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "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.
  2. ^ a b 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].
  3. ^ a b Kempley, R., 1994. ‘True Lies’ (R) Archived 2011-12-11 at the Wayback Machine. The Washington Post, [internet] July 15. Accessed July 24, 2010.
  4. ^ a b c d "Schwarzenegger Heats Up the Summer with Action-Packed True Lies". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 61. Sendai Publishing. August 1994. p. 169.
  5. ^ a b "True Lies (1994)". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on February 26, 2013. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
  6. ^ Schwarzenegger, Arnold. "IamArnold. AMA 2.0". Reddit. Archived from the original on 25 December 2014. Retrieved 21 January 2014.
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ "First film with a $100 million budget". Guinness World Records. Archived from the original on February 4, 2017. Retrieved February 2, 2017.
  9. ^ "Movies Filmed in Newport RI - Hollywood loves the "City by the Sea"!". newport-discovery-guide.com. Archived from the original on 2009-12-07.
  10. ^ "Filming in Los Angeles - Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles Filming History - Filming in LA". millenniumhotels.com. Archived from the original on 2013-07-24.
  11. ^ "Alaska Structures Leases Fabric Buildings for Movie and TV Sets". Alaska Structures. Archived from the original on 30 January 2018. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  12. ^ 1994 Domestic Grosses Archived 2011-07-17 at the Wayback Machine. boxofficemojo.com
  13. ^ "True Lies (1994)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Archived from the original on November 27, 2017. Retrieved February 21, 2018.
  14. ^ "True Lies Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on January 2, 2018. Retrieved February 21, 2018.
  15. ^ "CinemaScore". cinemascore.com.
  16. ^ John Simon, "True Lies," National Review, August 29, 1994.
  17. ^ 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
  18. ^ "Arab-Americans Protest 'True Lies'" Published July 16, 1994, The New York Times. Archived April 19, 2017, at the Wayback Machine
  19. ^ "Muslim leader wants 'True Lies' banned" Monday, September 26, 1994. The Gainesville Sun, page 3.
  20. ^ 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.
  21. ^ Jamie Lee Curtis – Awards & Nominations – MSN Movies Archived 2010-10-17 at the Wayback Machine. Movies.msn.com. Retrieved on 2011-07-14.
  22. ^ True Lies Blu-Ray Could Be Done By End Of 2018, Says James Cameron. Empire. 30 November 2018.
  23. ^ Fleming, Michael (April 21, 1997). "Arnolds visit spurs 'Lies II' scuttlebutt". Variety. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  24. ^ a b Fleming, Michael (August 23, 1999). "Cameron eyes 'True' scribe". Variety. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  25. ^ "No lie: Tom Arnold knows what's next". Detroit Free Press. December 9, 1997. Retrieved December 4, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
  26. ^ "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.
  27. ^ "Schwarzenegger ready to survey 'Damage'". Argus Leader. December 3, 1999. Retrieved December 4, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
  28. ^ Linder, Brian (June 20, 2000). "Schwarzenegger on Terminator 3: "I'll Be Back...Soon."". IGN. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  29. ^ Michael, Fleming; Harris, Dana (June 22, 2000). "Arnold & Indy: They'll be back". Variety. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  30. ^ Harris, Dana (July 12, 2000). "Cameron won't be back; Director developing 'True Lies 2'". Variety. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  31. ^ a b 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.
  32. ^ a b Lussier, Germain (March 18, 2011). "Tom Arnold Says 'True Lies 2' Could Be Arnold Schwarzenegger's Next Movie". /Film. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  33. ^ Winning, Joshua (March 21, 2011). "True Lies 2 script is really great". GamesRadar. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  34. ^ "Arnold Talks True Lies 2". IGN. March 14, 2001. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  35. ^ Linder, Brian (January 31, 2002). "Arnold Tells the Truth About Lies 2". IGN. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  36. ^ "Sequel talk true or lies?". Archived from the original on 2012-07-12.
  37. ^ "'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
  38. ^ Horn, Steven (June 27, 2003). "An Interview with Arnold Schwarzenegger". IGN. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  39. ^ Davidson, Paul (July 30, 2003). "No True Lies Sequel, Says Curtis". IGN. Archived from the original on February 5, 2005.
  40. ^ a b Davidson, Paul (July 14, 2005). "Arnold Insists on True Lies 2". IGN. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  41. ^ 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.
  42. ^ a b Brown, Lane (August 3, 2009). "James Cameron Has No Plans to Work With Tom Arnold". Vulture. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  43. ^ Schwartz, Terri (July 27, 2011). "Eliza Dushku On 'True Lies 2': James Cameron 'Should Give Me A Call'". MTV News. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  44. ^ "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.
  45. ^ Schumann, Rebecka (April 10, 2019). "'True Lies' Can Never Have A Sequel, According To Jamie Lee Curtis". International Business Times. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  46. ^ "James Cameron Adapting 'True Lies' For TV". Deadline.com. 2010-09-13. Archived from the original on 14 September 2010. Retrieved 13 September 2010.
  47. ^ 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.
  48. ^ Game of Thrones is Over! Let's All Talk About It + McG in Studio - Collider Live #138
  49. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (May 20, 2019). "McG's 'True Lies' TV Show Is Heading to Disney+". collider.com. Retrieved May 20, 2019.

External links[edit]