Total Recall (1990)
Total Recall (1990) poster
Directed by Paul Verhoeven
Produced by Buzz Feitshans
Ronald Shusett
Mario Kassar
Andrew G. Vajna

Arnold Schwarzenegger
Rachel Ticotin
Sharon Stone
Michael Ironside
Ronny Cox

Music by Jerry Goldsmith
Cinematography Jost Vacano
Editing by Frank J. Urioste
Carlos Puente
Distributed by TriStar Pictures
Release June 1, 1990
Running time 113 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $65 million
Gross revenue $261,299,840

Total Recall is a 1990 American dystopian science fiction action film directed by Paul Verhoeven and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rachel Ticotin, Sharon Stone, Michael Ironside, and Ronny Cox. It is loosely based on the Philip K. Dick story "We Can Remember It for You Wholesale". It was written by Ronald Shusett, Dan O'Bannon, Jon Povill, and Gary Goldman, and won a Special Achievement Academy Award for its visual effects. The original score composed by Jerry Goldsmith won the BMI Film Music Award.


In 2084, Douglas Quaid is an Earthbound construction worker having troubling dreams about Mars and a mysterious woman there. His wife Lori dismisses the dreams and discourages him from thinking about Mars, where the governer, Vilos Cohaagen, is fighting rebels while searching for a rumored alien artifact located in the mines. At "Rekall", a company that provide memory implants of vacation, Quaid opts for a memory trip to Mars as a secret agent. However, during the procedure, Quaid violently reacts before the memory is implanted. The company re-sedates him, wipes his memory of the Rekall visit, and sends him home. On the way home, Quaid is attacked by his co-workers and is forced to kill them. He then is attacked by armed thugs led by Lori and Richter, her real husband and Cohaagen's subordinate.

After evading his attackers, Quaid is given a suitcase containing money, gadgets, and a video recording. The video is of Quaid, apparently called "Hauser", who explains that he used to work for Cohaagen but learned about the artifact, and underwent the memory wipe to protect himself. The "Hauser" instructs Quaid on removing a tracking device, before ordering him to go to Mars and meet "Kuato". Quaid makes his way to Mars and follows clues to Venusville, the colony's red light district populated by a people mutated by poor radiation shielding. He meets Melina, the woman from his dreams, but she spurns him, believing that Quaid is working for Cohaagen.

Quaid later encounters Lori and Rekall's President, Dr. Edgemar. Edgemar insists Quaid is living out the implanted memories, and offers Quaid a pill that would wake him from the dream. Quaid however sees Edgemar sweating in fear, and kills him instead. Richter's forces capture Quaid, but Melina rescues him with Quaid killing Lori in the process. The two race back to the Venusville bar and escape into the tunnels with their taxi driver Benny. Unable to locate Quaid, Cohaagen shuts down the ventilation to Venusville, slowly suffocating its citizens. Quaid, Melina, and Benny are taken to a resistance base, and Quaid is introduced to Kuato, a deformed humanoid conjoined to his brother's stomach. Kuato reads Quaid's mind and learns that the artifact is a reactor that will create a breathable atmosphere for Mars when activated, eliminating Cohaagen's abusive monopoly on breathable air. Cohaagen's forces burst in, led by Benny, and kill most of the resistance, including Kuato, who instructs Quaid to start the reactor.

Quaid and Melina are taken to Cohaagen, who reveals the Quaid persona was a ploy by Hauser to infiltrate the mutants and lead Cohaagen to Kuato, thereby wiping out the resistance. Cohaagen orders Hauser's memory to be reimplanted in Quaid and Melina to be programmed to be Hauser's slave, but Quaid and Melina escape into the mines where the reactor is located. They work their way to the control room of the reactor, killing Benny, Richter, and the rest of his men.

While running away in the reactor, Cohaagen confronts them in the control room with a bomb. but Quaid accidentally sets it off, blowing out one of the walls of the control room, causing an explosive decompression. Quaid grabs on the wall, but knocks Coohagen out, which causes him to land on the surface of Mars, where he suffocates and suffers extreme radiation burns from the harsh Martian atmosphere, slowly killing him. Quaid manages to activate the reactor before he and Quaid and Melina are also pulled out. The reactor releases air into the Martian atmosphere, saving Quaid, Melina and the population of Venusville. As humans walk onto the surface of the planet in its new atmosphere, Quaid takes a moment to wonder whether he is still living the memory before turning to kiss Melina.


  • Arnold Schwarzenegger as Douglas Quaid, a construction worker who discovers that he is actually a secret agent formerly named Carl Hauser, and travels to Mars to uncover his true identity and why his memory was erased.
  • Rachel Ticotin as Melina, a beautiful woman seen as the partner in Quaid's Rekall memory program who turns out to be a resistance fighter seeking to overthrow Cohaagen.
  • Sharon Stone as Lori Quaid, Quaid's seemingly loving wife who is later also revealed to be an agent sent by Cohaagen to monitor Quaid. She is Richter's wife.
  • Ronny Cox as Vilos Cohaagen, the corrupt and ruthless governor of the Mars Colony and friend of Hauser who stops at nothing in the mining of turbinium ore which places innocent people at risk.
  • Michael Ironside as Richter, Cohaagen's chief lieutenant. He is domineering, sadistic, and has a seething hatred for Quaid stemming from a grudge against Quaid for sleeping with an undercover Lori. He relentlessly tries to kill Quaid several times, defying Cohaagen's orders to take him alive.
  • Mel Johnson, Jr. as Benny, a taxi driver and mutant on Mars Colony who befriends and later betrays Quaid and the mutants to Cohaagen.
  • Marshall Bell as George and as the voice of Kuato. George is a member of the resistance who has his brother Kuato, the resistance leader, attached to his abdomen. Kuato helps Quaid unlock the secret to his past and the mystery of a reactor built by an ancient Martian civilization. Kuato seemingly has clairvoyant powers.
  • Roy Brocksmith as Dr. Edgemar, one of the developers of Rekall who also serves as its spokesman. Quaid executes him with a pistol upon discovering he is in league with Cohaagen.
  • Ray Baker as Bob McClane, a Rekall manager and sales agent who convinces Quaid to buy an "Ego Trip" memory implant.
  • Michael Champion as Helm, Richter's acerbic right hand man.
  • Rosemary Dunsmore as Dr. Renata Lull, the lead memory programmer at Rekall who initiated Quaid's memory implant procedure that triggered his outburst in the lab.
  • Robert Costanzo as Harry, Quaid's workmate who is revealed to be an agent sent by Cohaagen to monitor Quaid on Earth and later had his neck snapped by Quaid when he and his henchmen tried to apprehend him.
  • Marc Alaimo as Everett, a Captain of the Mars Colony security force. He does not get along with Richter. Everett orders his men to arrest a disguised Quaid on Richter's orders, but Quaid escapes.
  • Dean Norris as Tony, a disfigured mutant who knew Quaid on Mars as Hauser, and dislikes him.
  • Debbie Lee Carrington as Thumbelina, a dwarf mutant who fought against Richter's mercenaries with Tony
  • Lycia Naff as Mary, widely known as the Three-Breasted prostitute.
Arnold Schwarzenegger films

Hercules in New York (1969)  · The Long Goodbye (1973)  · Happy Anniversary and Goodbye (1974)  · Stay Hungry (1976)  · Pumping Iron (1977)  · The Villain (1979)  · Scavenger Hunt (1979)  · Conan the Barbarian (1982)  · Conan the Destroyer (1984)  · The Terminator (1984)  · Red Sonja (1985)  · Commando (1985)  · Raw Deal (1986)  · Predator (1987)  · The Running Man (1987)  · Red Heat (1988)  · Twins (1988)  · Total Recall (1990)  · Kindergarten Cop (1990  · Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)  · Last Action Hero (1993)  · Dave (1993)  · True Lies (1994)  · Junior (1994)  · Eraser (1996)  · Jingle All the Way (1996)  · Batman & Robin (1997)  · End of Days (1999)  · The 6th Day (2000)  · Dr. Dolittle 2 (2001)  · Collateral Damage (2002)  · Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003)  · The Rundown (2003)  · Around the World in 80 Days (2004)  · Terminator Salvation (2009)  · The Expendables (2010)  · The Expendables 2 (2012)  · The Last Stand (2013)  · Escape Plan (2013)  · Sabotage (2014)  · The Expendables 3 (2014)  · Maggie (2015)  · Terminator Genisys (2015)  ·

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