Total Recall (1990 film)

1990 film directed by Paul Verhoeven

Total Recall is a 1990 American science fiction film about a man who is haunted by a recurring dream about a journey to Mars. He hopes to find out more about this dream and buys a holiday at Rekall Inc. where they sell implanted memories. But something goes wrong with the memory implantation and he remembers being a secret agent fighting against the evil Mars administrator.

Directed by Paul Verhoeven. Written by Ronald Shusett, Dan O'Bannon, Jon Povill and Gary Goldman (screenwriter), based on the novelette We Can Remember It for You Wholesale by Philip K. Dick.
How would you know if someone stole your mind?taglines

Douglas QuaidEdit

  • [chances upon another pair of guards after fooling Richter and company with the hologram-bracelet] Ha ha ha, you think this is the real Quaid? [guards look behind them] It is! [Quaid shoots the guards]

Carl HauserEdit

  • [on video] Howdy, Quaid. If you're watching this, that means that Kuato is dead, and you led us to him. I knew that you wouldn't let me down. Sorry for all of the shit I've put you through, but hey, what are friends are for? All I want to do is wish you happiness and good living, old buddy, but unfortunately, that's not gonna happen. You see, that's "my" body you have there, and I want it back. Sorry for being an Indian giver, but I was here first. So, adios, amigo! [the screen zooms out to reveal Cohaagen, who puts his hand on Hauser's shoulder] And thanks for not getting yourself killed. Hey, maybe now we will meet in our dreams. You never know.


Quaid: What do you want?
Dr. Edgemar: This is going to be very difficult for you at accept, Mr. Quaid.
Quaid: I'm listening.
Dr. Edgemar: I'm afraid you're not really standing here right now.
Quaid: You know, Doc, you could have fooled me.
Dr. Edgemar: I'm quite serious. You're not here, and neither am I.
Quaid: Amazing. Where are we?
Dr. Edgemar: At Rekall.
[Quaid points a gun at Dr. Edgemar's head]
Quaid: All right, let's say you're telling the truth and this is all a dream. I could pull this trigger and it won't matter.
Dr. Edgemar: It won't make the slightest difference to me Doug, but the consequences to you will be devastating. In your mind, I'll be dead, and with no one to guide you out, you'll be stuck here in permanent psychosis. The walls of reality will come crashing down around you. One minute, you're the savior of the rebel cause; next thing you know, you'll be Cohaagen's bosom buddy. You'll even have fantasies about alien civilizations as you requested; but in the end, back on Earth, you'll be lobotomized! So get a grip on yourself, Doug, and put down that gun!

Dr. Edgemar: Well, maybe this will convince you. Would you mind opening the door?
Quaid: [Holds his gun to Edgemar's chin] You open it.
Dr. Edgemar: No need to be rude, I'll open it.
'[Goes to the door and opens it, revealing Lori]
Quaid: [Shocked] Oh, guessing that you're not here either.
Lori: I'm here, at Rekall. I love you.
Quaid: Right, that's why you tried to kill me.
Lori: No. I wouldn't do anything to hurt you. I want you to come back to me.
Quaid: Bullshit.
Dr. Edgemar: What's bullshit Mr. Quaid? Afraid to admit that you're having a schizo paranoid episode, or are you really an invincible secret agent from Mars, who is in the middle of an interplanetary conspiracy to make him think that he's a lonely construction worker. Stop punishing yourself Doug, you're a fine upstanding man you have a beautiful wife who loves you, you have a whole life ahead of you. But you gotta want to return to reality.
Quaid: If I wanted to return, then what?
Dr. Edgemar: [Takes out a pill] Swallow this.
Quaid: What is it.
Dr. Edgemar: It's a symbol for your desire to return to reality. In your dreams you'll fall asleep.
[Quaid takes the pill]
Quaid: Okay. Let's say you're telling the truth and this is all a dream.
[Puts his gun against Edgemar's head]
Quaid: But I could pull this trigger and it won't matter.
Lori: Don't, Doug.
Dr. Edgemar: Oh it wouldn't make the slightest difference to me Doug. But the consequences to you will be devastating, because in your mind I'll be dead, and with no one to guide you out you'll be stuck in permanent psychosis.
Lori: Let Dr. Edgemar help you.
Dr. Edgemar: The walls of reality will come crashing down. One minute, you'll be the savior of the rebel cause, and the nest thing you know you'll be Cohaagan's bosom buddy, you'll also have fantasies about alien civilizations as you requested. But in the end back on Earth, you'll be lobotomized. So get a grip on yourself Doug and put down that gun. [Quaid lowers his gun] Take the pill and put it in your mouth.
[Quaid puts the pill in his mouth]
Dr. Edgemar: Swallow it.
[Quaid pans around between Edgemar and Lori, then as a sweat drop runs down Edgemar's face, Quaid shoots Edgemar in the head, and spits the pill out]
Lori: Now you've done it, now you've done it.

[Quaid watches himself on a video]
Hauser: Howdy, stranger! This is Hauser. If things have gone wrong, I'm talking to myself and you don't have a wet towel around your head. Now, whatever your name is, get ready for the big surprise. You are not you, you're me.
Quaid: [to himself] No shit.
Hauser: All my life, I worked for Mars Intelligence, I did Cohaagen's dirty work. But then I met someone, a woman. She taught me a few things, like I was playing for the wrong team. All I can do now is make up for it. You see... [Points to his head] ...there's enough shit in here to fuck Cohaagen good. But if you're hearing this, it means is that he's got to me first. Now, here comes the hard part, old buddy. Now it is all up to you.
Quaid: [displeased] Great...
Hauser: Now, let's start by getting that bug out of your head. [shows the nose device] Take this out of the case, and stick it up your nose. Don't worry, it's self-guiding. Just shove real hard.
[Quaid takes a deep breath, and sticks the device up his nose]
Hauser: When you hear a crunch, you're there. Now, pull it out. Be careful! That's my head, too.
[Quaid screams in pain while Hauser grins, then Quaid pulls out the bug]
Hauser: This is the plan. Get your ass to Mars, and go to the Hilton Hotel and flash the fake Brubaker I.D. at the front desk, that's all there is to it. Just do as I tell you. You can nail that son of a bitch that fucked you and me. I'm counting on you, old buddy. Don't let me down!

[A shuttle has just docked at Mars. Tourists disembark and are vetted into a processing station, to include a woman in a frumpy dress. A member of Mars Customs looks over her passport]
Customs Agent: How long do you plan to spend on Mars, M'aam?
Fat Lady: Two weeks.
Customs Agent: [stamps passport] Have you brought any fruits or vegetables onto the planet?
Fat Lady: Two weeks.
Customs Agent: Excuse me?
Fat Lady: Two weeks..two weeks... [starts having a seizure, attracting the attention of everyone. Richter, who is on Mars, pays attention to this odd sight]
Richter: [low voice] Quaid. [normal] That's Quaid!
Captain Everett: What?
Richter: The woman. Get him... her!
Everett: [points to woman] Arrest that woman!
[The security troops surround the woman as she stops stuttering and touches her ear. Her head suddenly splits open revealing that it's a mask with Quaid underneath]
Douglas Quaid: [smiles at one guard and tosses head] Catch! [guard does catch the head]
Fat Lady: Get ready for a surprise! [Head explodes as Quaid runs past the guard]

[Richter visits Martian Administrator Vilos Cohaagen]
Richter: [upbeat] Mr Cohaagen. [notices him stoically looking outside] You wanted to see me, sir?
Cohaagen: [turns around to look at him] Richter, do you know why I'm such a happy person?
Richter: No, sir.
Cohaagen: Because I've got the greatest job in the solar system. As long as the terbinium keeps flowing, I can do anything I want. Anything! [rises from his desk and approaches Richter] In fact, the only thing I worry about is that, one day, if the rebels win, it all might end. [points finger in Richter's face] And you're FUCKING MAKING IT HAPPEN! First, you tried to kill Quaid and then you let him get away.
Richter: He had help from our side, sir.
Cohaagen: I know that.
Richter: But, I thought -
Cohaagen: Who told you to THINK? I don't give you enough information to THINK! You do as you're told, THAT'S WHAT YOU DO!

Kuato: What do you want, Mr. Quaid?
Quaid: The same as you; to remember.
Kuato: But why?
Quaid: To be myself again.
Kuato: You are what you do. A man is defined by his actions, not his memory.

[Dr. Edgemar's trying to explain Quaid's situation and offers a special pill]
Quaid: All right, let's say you're telling the truth and this is all a dream, then I could pull this trigger [points gun at Edgemar] and it won't matter.
Lori: Doug, don't do it.
Dr. Edgemar: It won't make the slightest difference to me Doug. The consequences to you will be devastating. In your mind, I'll be dead, and with no one to guide you out, you'll be stuck in permanent psychosis.
Lori: Doug, let Dr Edgemar help you.
Dr. Edgemar: The walls of reality will come crashing down. One minute, you'll be the savior of the rebel cause; next thing you know, you'll be Cohaagen's bosom buddy. You even have fantasies about alien civilizations as you requested; but in the end, back on Earth, you'll be lobotomized! [tries to let it sink in Quaid] So get a grip on yourself, Doug, and put down that gun!

[Lori is about to kill Melina but Quaid shoots her dagger off her hand]
Lori: Doug, honey... you wouldn't hurt me, would you, sweetheart? Sweetheart, be reasonable. After all, we're married!
Douglas Quaid: [Lori goes for her gun, Quaid shoots her in the head, killing her] Consider that a divorce!
Melina: That was your wife? [Quaid nods; Melina gets up] What a bitch!

[Benny has shot Kuato after the security forces storm the Resistance hideout]
Kuato: Quaid, Quaid...
Benny: Forget it, man, his fortune-telling days are over.
Kuato: Start the Mars-[Richter finishes off Kuato with a headshot]
Richter: [pause; calmly, to Quaid] Mr Cohaagen would like to talk to you.

Cohaagen: [after Cohaagen's team kills Kuato] So this is the great man. Hmph. No wonder he kept out of sight. Well, my friend... [puts his hands on Quaid's shoulders]'re a hero.
Quaid: Fuck you!
Cohaagen: Don't be modest. Kuato is dead. The resistance has been completely wiped out and you were the key to the whole thing.
Quaid: [to Melina] He's lying.
Melina: [to Quaid] You two-faced bastard!
Cohaagen: You can't blame him, princess. [His finger grazes Melina's face] He's innocent. You see, Quaid, none of my people could get close to Kuato. Fuckin' mutants could always sniff us out. So Hauser and I sat down and invented you: the perfect mole.
Quaid: You know you're lying. Hauser turned against you.
Cohaagen: Uh-uh. That's what we wanted you to think. Fact is, Hauser volunteered to become "Doug Quaid." It was the only way to fool the psychics.
Quaid: Get your story straight. [Points to Richter] This idiot has been trying to kill me ever since I went to Rekall. You don't kill someone you're trying to plant.
Cohaagen: He wasn't in on it. You set him off by going to Rekall.
Quaid: So, why I am still alive?
Cohaagen: We gave you lots of help. [points to Benny] Benny here...
Benny: [to Quaid] My pleasure, man.
Cohaagen: The guy with the suitcase, the mask, the money, the message from Hauser. All of that was set up by us.
Quaid: Sorry. Too perfect.
Cohaagen: Perfect, my ass! You pop your memory cap before we can activate you. Richter goes hog-wild screwing up everything that I spent a year planning. Frankly... I'm amazed it worked!
Quaid: Well, Cohaagen. I've got to hand it to you. It's the best mind-fuck yet.

Cohaagen: [Quaid is strapped into a memory machine and it is about to turn him back into Hauser] Relax, Quaid. You'll like being Hauser.
Quaid: The guy's a fucking asshole!
Cohaagen: Not true! He's one of my best friends. Besides, he's got a big house and a Mercedes and... you like Melina, right? Well, you get to fuck her every night. That's right, she's going to be Hauser's babe.
Melina: [also strapped into a memory machine] I'll bust his balls!
Cohaagen: Uh-uh, Princess. We're having you fixed. You're gonna be respectful, compliant, and appreciative... the way a woman should be.
[she spits in his face]
Quaid: Come on, Cohaagen! You got what you want. Give those people air!
Cohaagen: My friend, in five minutes, you won't give a shit about the people. Fire it up, Doc!
Richter: Excuse me, Doctor, is he gonna remember any of this?
Doctor: Not a thing.
Richter: Oh, really?
[Richter punches Quaid in his face. Quaid angrily glares back at Richter]
Cohaagen: Oh, Quaid, I'm having a party tonight. Why don't you and Melina drop by? Remind him, Doc?
Doctor: Sure.
Richter: See you at the party.

[Quaid and Melina find the terbinium oxygen generator's control room. Quaid prepares to activate it, but...]
Cohaagen: [turns on lights at Quaid] Don't touch that! Get away! Get back!
Douglas Quaid: What are you afraid of? Turn it on.
Cohaagen: Impossible! Once the reaction starts, it'll spread to all the terbinium in the planet. Mars will go into global meltdown. That's why the aliens never turned it on.
Quaid: And you expect me to believe you?
Cohaagen: Who gives a shit what you believe?! In 30 seconds you'll be dead, and I'll[shows detonator] blow this place up and be home in time for Corn Flakes! [Shoots several inches near Quaid] I didn't want it to end this way, I wanted Hauser back, but no, you had to be Quaid!
Quaid: I am Quaid.
Cohaagen: You're nothing! You're nobody! You're a stupid dream! [aims firearm] Well, all dreams come to an end.

[Quaid and Melina are amazed at the newly terraformed Mars]
Melina: I can't believe it, it's like a dream. [sees Quaid distraught] What's wrong?
Douglas Quaid: I just had a terrible thought... what if this is a dream?
Melina: Well, then, kiss me quick before you wake up!

About Total Recall (1990 film)Edit

  • I felt the movie, in some way, should not take itself too seriously. In fact, ultimately, the casting of Arnold -- he was already cast before I was there. So I had to take Arnold. I liked the script already, but Arnold was playing the main part. So, take it or leave it. I said I wanted to do it with Harrison Ford, like in "Blade Runner." But I might have made a mistake because "Blade Runner" is also very serious. And because Arnold was there, that changed everything. Arnold being there made it really necessary to flip it a little bit. And I think, in retrospect, it was a gift. Arnold was supposed to be an accountant in the original story and it was still in the script. And I'm like, "Arnold an accountant? That's ridiculous." So I proposed, "Let's have him do something physical." What are those things he's using?


  • They stole his mind. Now he wants it back. Get ready for the ride of your life.
  • Your mind is the center of your life. It is everything you hear, everything you see, everything you feel... It is everything you ARE. You wouldn't know if you lost your mind... Would you know if someone STOLE it?
  • What if you discovered somebody stole your mind... and there was only one way to get it back?
  • In this world, they can steal your mind, erase your memory, and give you another identity. But the most dangerous thing that can happen to you is... TOTAL RECALL.
  • He'll show you a side of Mars that no one on Earth has ever seen before... He should be so lucky.


External linksEdit

Wikipedia has an article about: