Twins (1988 film)

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For other uses, see Twins (disambiguation).
Twins Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Ivan Reitman
Produced by Ivan Reitman
Written by
  • William Davies
  • Timothy Harris
  • William Osborne
  • Herschel Weingrod
Music by
Cinematography Andrzej Bartkowiak
Edited by
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release dates
  • December 9, 1988 (1988-12-09)
Running time
107 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $18 million[2]
Box office $216.6 million

Twins is a 1988 American comedy film produced and directed by Ivan Reitman about unlikely twins (played by Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito) who were separated at birth. The core of the film is the relationship between DeVito's streetwise character and Schwarzenegger's intellectual persona. The original music score was composed by Georges Delerue and Randy Edelman (Edelman would score three more films for the director, whereas this was Delerue's only work for him).

The film was a commercial success, earning $11 million on its opening weekend, and going on to gross $216 million worldwide. Schwarzenegger and DeVito rather than taking their usual salary for the film, both agreed with the studio to take 20% of the film's box office, which resulted in them receiving the biggest paychecks of their movie careers.[3]


Julius Benedict (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and Vincent Benedict (Danny DeVito) are fraternal twins, the results of a secret experiment carried out at a genetics laboratory to produce the perfect child. To the surprise of the scientists, the embryo split and twins were born. The mother, Mary Ann Benedict, was told that Julius died at birth, and not told about Vincent at all. Julius was informed that his mother died in childbirth. Vincent believed his mother abandoned him. Each twin is unaware of the other's existence.

Vincent was placed in an orphanage run by nuns in Los Angeles while Julius was taken to a South Pacific island and raised by Professor Werner (Tony Jay). On Julius' 35th birthday, Werner tells him that he has a twin brother.[4] Julius leaves the island to find him. In Los Angeles, with no one but himself to rely on, Vincent escaped from the orphanage and became an indebted, small-time crook.

Julius discovers Vincent lives in L.A., and travels throughout the city. Though intelligent, he is extremely naïve about the real world his more streetwise brother inhabits; at one point he inadvertently foils an attempt by two thieves to mug him. He finds Vincent in jail for unpaid parking tickets. Vincent is scornful when Julius tells him they are twins, but lets Julius bail him out and then drives off. Julius tracks Vincent to his workplace, where he is being beaten by one of the loan shark Klane brothers for an unpaid debt. Julius overpowers Morris and earns Vincent's respect and trust. He meets Vincent's on-again-off-again girlfriend, Linda Mason (Chloe Webb). Knowing little about women, Julius is oblivious to the flirtatious advances of her blond sister Marnie (Kelly Preston), who dislikes Vincent, but eventually falls in love with her. Vincent shows Julius a document he stole from the orphanage which proves their mother is still alive but, believing she abandoned him, he has no interest in finding her.

Vincent steals a Cadillac to sell to his chop-shop contact, and discovers a secret prototype fuel injector in the trunk, which was to be delivered to an industrialist, Beetroot McKinley, in Houston for $5 million. He decides to deliver it himself and collect the money. The original delivery man, Mr. Webster (Marshall Bell), begins ruthlessly searching for the person who stole the prototype. At Julius' insistence, the two couples go on a cross-country journey with the sisters to track Traven down. They eventually find him in Los Alamos, New Mexico, and he tells them that their mother is living in an art colony near Santa Fe. The Klane brothers find them again, with the intent of killing Vincent, but Julius and Vincent fight them off for the last time. At the art colony, a woman informs them that Mary Ann is dead and they leave. In reality, she is their mother but disbelieved their story. Meanwhile, Webster is also getting closer to finding Vincent.

While Julius accepts their mother's death, Vincent becomes bitter and storms off, leaving Julius and the girls stranded in New Mexico, to deliver the engine to McKinley. Linda tells Julius about the engine and Julius once again sets off to find his brother. Vincent delivers the stolen property to Beetroot, but Beetroot and his assistant are shot and killed by Webster, who then turns his attention to Vincent just as Julius arrives. A cat-and-mouse chase ensues and Julius intercepts Webster as Vincent flees, but Vincent, feeling his brother's presence, reluctantly goes back and gives up the money to Webster. Webster prepares to kill them both anyway for seeing his face, but Vincent kills him by unloading a heavy chain that lands on Webster's head and buries him. Julius and Vincent make their peace, and Vincent reluctantly agrees to return the money and the stolen engine to the authorities, but he secretly skims off one million. Meanwhile, the twins' publicity reaches the art colony, and their mother realizes that the two "comedians" who visited her were her long-lost sons after all. She violently confronts Traven for lying to her and manages to track her sons down.

Julius and Vincent marry the Masons, and use the $50,000 reward money to start up a legitimate consulting business, using Julius' knowledge and Vincent's questionable business savvy.



Twins received mixed to negative reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 34% based on reviews from 29 critics.[5] However, Roger Ebert gave the film three stars out of four, calling it "engaging entertainment with some big laughs and a sort of warm goofiness."[5] Despite mixed to negative reviews, the film was a box office success.


In 1994, Reitman directed Junior, again starring DeVito and Schwarzenegger. Although not a sequel, it shared a similar theme, this time an experiment about male pregnancy.

In March 2012, Universal announced the development of a sequel titled Triplets. Schwarzenegger and DeVito will return, with Eddie Murphy as their long-lost brother. Reitman will co-produce.[6][7]

During a June 2013 interview, Schwarzenegger said that a sequel, calling it Twins 2, was still in the works; however, it would likely not be out until after Terminator Genisys, which was released on July 1, 2015.[8]

In a June 24, 2015 interview on The Howard Stern Show, Schwarzenegger confirmed that a sequel to Twins is in the works with DeVito returning as Schwarzenegger's twin brother and Murphy joining the cast as the long-lost third brother. Speculation suggests that the title of the sequel could be Triplets.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "TWINS (PG)". British Board of Film Classification. December 12, 1988. Retrieved October 22, 2015. 
  2. ^ "Schwarzenegger Interview – Interview/Podcast". Retrieved 2014-03-31. 
  3. ^ "Schwarzenegger Interview – Interview/Podcast". Retrieved 2014-03-31. 
  4. ^ "Twins Script - Dialogue Transcript". Retrieved 2013-05-20. 
  5. ^ a b "Twins". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2013-05-20. 
  6. ^ Kit, Borys (March 29, 2012). "'Twins' Sequel 'Triplets' in the Works for Arnold, DeVito...and Eddie Murphy (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 6, 2015. 
  7. ^ "RedCarpetNewsTV:Arnold Schwarzenegger Confirms Terminator 5, Conan and Twins Sequels". Retrieved 2013-01-22. 
  8. ^ Barton, Steve (June 13, 2013). "Arnold Schwarzenegger Confirms Terminator Role; Talks King Conan and Twins 2 – No Really, Twins 2". Dread Central. Retrieved September 6, 2015. 
  9. ^ Watkins, Gwynne (June 24, 2015). "Arnold Schwarzenegger Talks 'Twins' Sequel, Almost Turning Down 'The Terminator'". Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved September 6, 2015. 

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