1997 science fiction film directed by Andrew Niccol

Gattaca is a 1997 science fiction film. Set in a future where people's life opportunities are largely determined by their genetic makeups, the film tells the story of a natural-born man who assumes the identity of a genetically engineered one to achieve his dream of becoming an astronaut.

For someone who was never meant for this world, I must confess I'm suddenly having a hard time leaving it. Of course, they say every atom in our bodies was once part of a star. Maybe I'm not leaving... maybe I'm going home.
Written and directed by Andrew Niccol.
There Is No Gene For The Human Spirit. (taglines)

Vincent Freeman

  • I belonged to a new underclass, no longer determined by social status or the color of your skin. No, we now have discrimination down to a science.
  • They used to say that a child conceived in love has a greater chance of happiness. They don't say that anymore.
  • For someone who was never meant for this world, I must confess I'm suddenly having a hard time leaving it. Of course, they say every atom in our bodies was once part of a star. Maybe I'm not leaving... maybe I'm going home.


[Vincent's parents are planning a second child, and are shown four candidate embryos]
Geneticist: You have specified hazel eyes, dark hair and fair skin. I've taken the liberty of eradicating any potentially prejudicial conditions. Premature baldness, myopia... alcoholism and addictive susceptibility... propensity for violence, obesity, etc.
Marie Freeman: We didn't want... Diseases, yes, but-- [looks at Antonio]
Antonio Freeman: We were just wondering if it's good to leave a few things to chance?
Geneticist: We want to give your child the best possible start. Believe me, we have enough imperfection built in already. Your child doesn't need any more additional burdens. Keep in mind, this child is still you. Simply the best of you. You could conceive naturally a thousand times and never get such a result.

[Vincent is looking at a picture of a 12-fingered pianist]
Irene: You didn't know?
Vincent: Oh, yes. Yeah.
Irene: Wonderful, wasn't it?
Vincent: Twelve fingers, or one, it's how you play.
Irene: That piece can only be played with twelve.

[Vincent Freeman finds his brother Anton poring over the details of his Titan mission at his classroom station]
Anton Freeman: Vincent. [turns around and looks at him. Stands] My God you have changed. Has it been so long, you don't recognize your own brother?
Vincent Freeman: Are we brothers?
Anton: Our parents both died thinking they'd outlived you. [Pause] I had my doubts.
Vincent: What are you doing here Anton?
Anton: I should ask you that question. I have a right to be here. You don't.
Vincent: You almost sound as if you believe that. I committed no murder. You must be disappointed.
Anton: You committed fraud. [Pause] Listen, you're in a lot of trouble Vincent. I can get you out of here-
Vincent: Do you have any idea what it took to get IN here?!
Anton: You've gone as far as you can go. You come with me now!
Vincent: There is still a few million miles left to go..
Anton: It's over..
Vincent: Is it the only way you can succeed is to see me fail?
Anton: I'm telling you.....
Vincent: MY GOD, EVEN YOU ARE GOING TO TELL ME WHAT I CAN AND CAN'T DO NOW!? In case you haven't noticed, I don't need any rescuing, but you did once. Well.. you've got all the answers, how do you explain that?
Anton: You didn't beat me that day. I beat myself.
Vincent: Who are you trying to convince?
Anton: Do you want me to prove it to you?
Vincent: It's not important Anton. It's forgotten.
Anton: I'll prove it to you. YOU WANT ME TO PROVE IT TO YOU?! I'LL PROVE IT TO YOU!
Vincent: I do.

[Vincent takes up Anton's dare on their old challenge of swimming to see who will chicken out first]
Anton: Vincent! How are you doing this Vincent? How have you done any of this? We have to go back.
Vincent: It's too late for that. We're closer to the other side.
Anton: What other side? You wanna drown us both?
Vincent: You wanna know how I did it? This is how I did it Anton: I never saved anything for the swim back.

[Vincent visits his and Eugene's flat one more time, with all the equipment in mothballs]
Jerome Eugene Morrow: You're flying today, aren't you? Look at what a mess you're in. Come on. I have your samples ready.
Vincent Freeman: I don't need any samples where I'm going.
Jerome: You might when you get back. [shows freezer with a large stockpile of his specimen samples] Everything you need to last you two lifetimes.
Vincent Freeman: Why have you done all this?
Jerome: So Jerome will always be here when you need him.
Vincent: Where are you going?
Jerome: I'm traveling too.
Vincent: I don't know how to thank you.
Jerome: I got the better end of the deal. I only lent you my body. You lent me your dream. [gives Vincent a folded piece of paper] Not until you're upstairs.

[Prior to launch, Vincent is confronted with an unexpected urine test without one of Jerome's samples]
Vincent: What's this?
Dr. Lamar: [gives specimen cup] New policy. What's the matter? Flight got you nervous?
Vincent: Well, there's a problem Lamar...
Dr. Lamar: I never did tell you about my son, did I? He's a big fan of yours.
Vincent: Just remember that I was as good as any, and better than most...
Dr. Lamar: He wants to apply here.
Vincent: I could've gone up and back and nobody would've been the wiser.
Dr. Lamar: Unfortunately, my son's not all that they promised. But then, who knows what he could do. Right? [test reveals Vincent as an invalid] For future reference, right-handed men don't hold it with their left. It's just one of those things. [Lamar overrides the results with Jerome's valid ID] You don't want to miss your flight, Vincent.


Text not used at the conclusion of the theatrical release of the film, available as an out-take on DVD
  • In a few short years, scientists will have completed the Human Genome Project, the mapping of all the genes that make up a human being. We have now evolved to the point where we can direct our own evolution.

Had we acquired this knowledge sooner, the following people may never have been born:

Abraham LincolnMarfan Syndrome
Emily DickinsonManic Depression
Vincent Van GoghEpilepsy
Albert EinsteinDyslexia
John F. KennedyAddison's Disease
Rita HayworthAlzheimer's Disease
Ray CharlesPrimary Glaucoma
Stephen HawkingAmyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Jackie Joyner-KerseeAsthma

Of course, the other birth that may never have taken place is your own...


  • The Prisoner. His Cell.
  • The Prisoner. Her Cell.
  • There Is No Gene For The Human Spirit.
  • How do you hide when you're running from yourself?
  • Only one criterion : genetic perfection
  • Only the strong succeed


  • Ethan Hawke - Vincent Freeman
  • Uma Thurman - Irene Cassini
  • Jude Law - Jerome Eugene Morrow
  • Gore Vidal - Director Josef
  • Xander Berkeley - Dr. Lamar
  • Jayne Brook - Marie Freeman
  • Elias Koteas - Antonio Freeman
  • Ernest Borgnine - Caesar
  • Alan Arkin - Det. Hugo
  • Loren Dean - Anton Freeman
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