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True Lies

Promotional poster for True Lies.
Directed by James Cameron
Produced by James Cameron
Stephanie Austin
Written by Screenplay:
James Cameron
Screen story:
James Cameron
Randall Frakes
Original screenplay:
Claude Zidi
Simon Michaël
Didier Kaminka
Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger
Jamie Lee Curtis
Tom Arnold
Bill Paxton
Art Malik
Tia Carrere
Eliza Dushku
Music by Brad Fiedel
Cinematography Russell Carpenter
Editing by Conrad Buff
Mark Goldblatt
Richard A. Harris
Studio Lightstorm Entertainment
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Universal Studios (select countries)
Release date(s) July 15, 1994
Running time 141 min.
Country United States
Language English
Budget $110,000,000 (estimated)
Gross revenue $378,882,411 (worldwide)

True Lies is a 1994 action-comedy film directed by James Cameron and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tom Arnold, Bill Paxton, Tia Carrere, Charlton Heston, and Art Malik. Eliza Dushku makes an early appearance in her acting career. The film is an extended remake of the 1991 French film La Totale !,[1] which was directed by Claude Zidi and starred Thierry Lhermitte and Miou-Miou.[2] True Lies was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects and it won a Golden Globe for Curtis's comedic portrayal of Helen Tasker.

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. True Lies was the only feature film collaboration outside of the Terminator series to feature Cameron, Schwarzenegger, and Brad Fiedel as director, actor, and music composer respectively.

Upon its release, True Lies was the most expensive movie ever made (not adjusted for inflation), costing anywhere from $110 to $120 million.[3]



Harry Tasker aka "Harry Renquist" (Arnold Schwarzenegger) leads a double life, performing dangerous covert missions for the United States Government's counter-terrorism agency The Omega Sector ("The last line of defense") with his support team of Albert "Gib" Gibson (Tom Arnold) and Faisil (Grant Heslov). Spencer Trilby (Charlton Heston) is their boss. His wife Helen (Jamie Lee Curtis), and daughter Dana (Eliza Dushku), believe him to be a boring computer salesman with Tektel Systems (which is a cover company for Omega Sector) who does a lot of corporate travel. Harry is unable to spend quality time with his family due to his secret identity, causing Helen to believe that he doesn't appreciate her, and Dana to disrespect him.

Harry's latest missions to Switzerland leads him to the trail of an Islamic terrorist organization known as "The Crimson Jihad", led by Salim Abu Aziz (Art Malik) aka "The Sand Spider". Harry suspects that an antiques dealer named Juno Skinner (Tia Carrere) has ties to Aziz, and after visiting her under the Renquist identity, he finds himself on a chase through the Georgetown Park shopping mall and the Marriott Marquis Hotel (actually filmed at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel ) from Aziz's men on the night of his birthday party, making Helen believe he is having an affair.

When Harry tries to surprise her the next day at her office to take her to lunch, he overhears a conversation she has with a coworker about her talking about "Simon" (Bill Paxton), a man she is seeing. This causes Harry to worry about her fidelity and their marriage. Using the Omega Sector's resources (including a GPS tracker and wireless microphone hidden in her purse), he tracks down "Simon", who turns out to be a car salesman posing as a spy to lure Helen; the irony is that Harry is a spy pretending to be a salesman. Helen is captured at "Simon"'s trailer and then taken into a room with a one way mirror with Harry and Gib on the other side. Harry questions her using a voice distorter about her relationship with "Simon" and about their marriage. She says that she wanted to have adventure in her life for once, since Harry never gave her that. Helen is then told that she can either go on a "mission" or be sent to prison. She chooses the "mission" and told that she will be contacted using the codename "Doris". Gib, using a voice distorter, calls Helen and tells her to pose as a prostitute named Michelle. She is to go to the Hotel Marquis and meet a suspected arms dealer and plant a bug by his phone. The suspected arms dealer is actually Harry and the room at the Marquis is used by the Omega Sector for their operations.

As Helen is about to plant the bug, she discovers it is Harry. As she storms out of the room, thinking that Harry was going to cheat on her with the prostitute, Aziz's men burst into the hotel room, taking both Helen and Harry hostage. They are taken to a private jet with Juno Skinner on board. They are then given a tranquilizer and flown down to the terrorist hideout in the Florida Keys.

Aziz reveals he possesses nuclear warheads hidden inside antique statues shipped by Juno, and plans to detonate one to demonstrate his force to the United States. Harry is forced, under the effects of a truth serum, to reveal his covert identity much to Helen's shock. Harry uses the opportunity to free both of them. Harry, while fighting Aziz' troops, appears to be killed in a gas tanker explosion, and Helen is captured and taken with Aziz, Juno, and the rest of his forces as they leave the island, the warhead soon to go off. Thanks to the GPS tracking device Harry had previously placed in Helen's purse, Gib is able to help locate and rescue Harry. Harry arranges for the help of two Marine AV-8B Harrier jets to attack Aziz' convoy as they cross the Overseas Highway bridges, and Harry is able to make a daring rescue of Helen from Juno's limo into a helicopter before the limo falls over part of the damaged bridge. Regrouping on the mainland out of the blast radius, Harry and Helen fall into a deep kiss as the nuclear explosion goes off in the distance.

Harry soon learns that Aziz, having arrived much earlier, has taken his daughter Dana hostage (having gotten Harry's home address and Dana's picture from Helen's purse) and has holed up in an office building in downtown Miami with one of the warheads. Harry borrows one the Harriers to go to his daughter's rescue. Faisil sneaks into the building as part of the requested news crew, and is able to provide a distraction to allow Dana to steal the ignition key and escape up to cranes on top of the building, Aziz following her. Harry arrives in time to catch Dana as she falls from the cranes, as well as Aziz, who eventually gets hung up by his clothes on one of the Harrier's AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles. Harry grins looks at Aziz and says "You're fired!", he then fires the missile with Aziz still hanging from it, sending it through the building and into the terrorists' helicopter on the opposite side, killing them all.

A year later, the Tasker family have strengthened their bonds after the events in Florida, though now Harry and Helen are partners as operatives in Omega Sector, with Gib and Faisil as their support team with Gib berating both of them for being stuck in the truck for years.



Upon its release in 1994, the film garnered mostly positive reviews. Based on 37 reviews collected by Rotten Tomatoes, True Lies has a 68% fresh rating and a weighted average of 6.3/10.[4] James Berardinelli from Reelviews gave the film 3.5 stars out of 4, saying "I have yet to decide whether True Lies is a better comedy or action film. It contains heavy elements of both, and plays them equally well. Unlike such failed attempts as Hudson Hawk and Last Action Hero, however, True Lies is a big, grandiose movie that has an immense amount of fun while never taking itself too seriously... Speed (which was released in the same year) and True Lies deliver a summer one-two punch that will leave viewers squirming with excitement and gasping for breath."[5] The film relies heavily on stunts, often performed by Schwarzenegger and Curtis themselves. The film earned $146 million domestically and $232.6 million abroad,[6] making it third best-grossing movie of 1994,[7] and also a comeback for Schwarzenegger following the disastrous Last Action Hero of the previous summer. For her performance, Jamie Lee Curtis received a 1994 Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Musical/Comedy.[8]

The film was criticized as sexist, or even misogynistic, for its treatment of female characters, such as the hero using his agency's resources to stalk and frighten his wife.[9] Others perceived it as conveying a strong anti-Arab or anti-Muslim prejudice.[10]

Possible sequel

Online news reports in 2002, quoted the actress Eliza Dushku as saying there was going to be a sequel reuniting the original cast with the writer/director James Cameron. Cameron originally planned upon making a sequel sometime in 2002, but he put his plans on hold once the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks occurred in New York City, saying terrorism was no longer something to joke about or to be taken lightly.[11] The film is referenced throughout The Kid & I where Tom Arnold appears as a character based on himself, but given a fictitious name, who starred in True Lies and is pursued to make a sequel by a fan, Schwarzenegger and Curtis cameo as themselves. James Cameron himself told in an interview that there were no plans for a new True Lies that he knew of but that he and Schwarzenegger had spoken about possibly working in a new project together when Schwarzenegger leaves office. [12]


True Lies
Film score by Brad Fiedel and various artists
Released July 19, 1994
Label Lightstorm/Epic Soundtrax
Track list
# Title Length
1. "Sunshine Of Your Love"    
2. "Darkness, Darkness"    
3. "Alone In The Dark"    
4. "Entity"    
5. "Sunshine Of Your Love (The Adrian Sherwood & Skip McDonald Remix)"    
6. "Main Title/Harry Makes His Entrance"    
7. "Escape From The Chateau"    
8. "Harry's Sweet Home"    
9. "Harry Rides Again"    
10. "Spying On Helen"    
11. "Juno's Place"    
12. "Caught In The Act"    
13. "Shadow Lover"    
14. "Island Suite"    
15. "Causeway/Helicopter Rescue"    
16. "Nuclear Kiss"    
17. "Harry Saves The Day"    

Songs appearing in the film not included with the release of the soundtrack


External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

True Lies is a 1994 action film about a secret agent who uses his intelligence resources to uncover his wife's affair.

Directed by James Cameron. Written by Claude Zidi, Simon Michaël, Didier Kaminka and James Cameron.
When he said I do, he never said what he did. taglines


Harry Tasker

  • You're fired! [while launching a Harrier missile, from which Salim Abu Aziz is hanging]

Helen Tasker

  • [narrating her story with Simon during the interrogation] I wanted to do something outrageous and it felt really good, to be needed, and to be trusted. It's just there's so much I want to do with this life and it feels that I haven't done anything. You know, the sand is running out of the hourglass, and I want to look back and say, [teary-eyed, points to wall] 'See, I did that, that was me, I was reckless and I was wild, and I fucking did it!'

Salim Abu Aziz

  • [making his videotaped message to the United States] You have murdered our women, and our children, and bombed our cities from afar, like cowards, and you dare to call us terrorists? Now, we have the ability to strike back at our enemies. Unless you, America, pull all military forces out of the Persian Gulf area, immediately, and forever, Crimson Jihad will rain fire on one major US city each week, until our demands are met. First, we will detonate one nuclear weapon on this uninhabited island as a demonstration of our power. But, if these demands are not met, Crimson Jihad will rain fire on one major U.S. city each week.


Albert Gibson: What's wrong, buddy? You look like you been gut-kicked.
Harry Tasker: Hel...Helen. Helen...
Albert Gibson: It's something about Helen, I'm guessin'...
Harry Tasker: Helen...
Albert Gibson: [prompting] Helennn...
Harry Tasker: having an affair.
[Pause, then Gib grins and hugs Harry]
Albert Gibson: Welcome to the club!

Harry Tasker: You tell on me, I'll tell on you.
Albert Gibson: What are you talking about? I'm as clean as a preacher's sheets. I'm clean as...
Harry Tasker: What about the time you blew a six-week operation because you were too busy getting a blow job?
Albert Gibson: You knew about that?
Harry Tasker: Uh-huh.
Albert Gibson: Okay, let's take Franklin, it's quicker.

Harry Tasker: The code name of your assignment will be Boris. And your code name will be...
Helen Tasker: [hopeful] Natasha?
Harry: No... Doris.

Simon: Okay, just ask yourself: What do women really want? You take these bored housewives, married to the same guy for years, they're stuck in a rut, then need some release! Promise of adventure, a hint of danger. I create that for them.
Harry: So basically, your lying your ass off the whole time. See, I can't do that.
Simon: What are you, a boy scout? No, no, no, think of it as playing a role as fantasy. I mean, you got to work on their dreams. Get them out of their daily suburban grind for a few hours.
Harry: But what about their husbands?
Simon: Dickless! I mean, let's face it, if they took care of business, I'd be out of business! You know what I mean? [laughs]
Harry: [fake laughs] Those idiots!

[Harry is reading the tapped phone conversations from Helen, and notices something, pulling over.]
Harry Tasker: Give me the page!
Albert 'Gib' Gibson: What?
Harry: This jumps from page 9 to page 11.
Gib: [looks at paper] Must be a typo.
Harry: [shouts] Give me the goddamn page! [smashes the passenger side of the window with his bare fist.]
Albert Gibson: OK. [Gibson looks at the window, and quickly grabs page 10 from his coat.]

Harry Tasker: First I'm gonna use you as a human shield, then I'm gonna kill this guard over there, with the Patterson trocar on the table. Then I was thinking about breaking your neck.
Samir: And how are you going to do all that?
Harry Tasker: You know my handcuffs?
Samir: Hmm...
Harry Tasker: [holds up his hands] I picked them.

Harry Tasker: The bridge is out!
Helen Tasker: What?
Harry: The bridge it out!
Helen: I can't hear you!
[Harry then points at the broken bridge.]
Helen Tasker: [panicking] Oh God! The bridge is out Harry! The bridge is out!

[Harry is commandeering a Harrier to rescue his daughter.]
Albert Gibson: Harry, do you realize it has been, in fact, ten years since you've been behind the wheel of one of these things?
Harry Tasker: If I break it, they can take it outta my pay.


  • When he said I do, he never said what he did.


External links

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