- Men in Black (film)
Men in Black
Directed by Barry Sonnenfeld Produced by Walter F. Parkes
Screenplay by Ed Solomon Story by Ed Solomon Based on The Men in Black by Lowell Cunningham Starring Tommy Lee Jones
Music by Danny Elfman Cinematography Donald Peterman Editing by Jim Miller Studio Amblin Entertainment
Distributed by Columbia Pictures Release date(s) July 2, 1997 Running time 98 minutes Country United States Language English Budget $90,000,000 Box office $589,390,539
Men in Black is a 1997 science fiction comedy film directed by Barry Sonnenfeld, starring Tommy Lee Jones, Will Smith and Vincent D'Onofrio. The film was based on the Men in Black comic book series by Lowell Cunningham, originally published by Aircel Comics. The film featured the creature effects and makeup of Rick Baker. The film was released on July 2, 1997 by Columbia Pictures and grossed over $587 million worldwide against a $90 million budget. It was followed by a 2002 sequel, Men in Black II, an animated series titled Men in Black: The Series as well as a second sequel that will be released in 2012, Men in Black III.
Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) is a member of the Men in Black (MiB), a secret agency without ties to any government, whose goal is to maintain Earth as a "neutral zone" for extraterrestrial aliens seeking refuge, whom they disguise as humans around New York City. The agency maintains its secrecy by using a "neuralyzer" to wipe the memories of those that encounter either them or the aliens, and also the memories of former agents when they retire. Operating from a large underground base at a Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority ventilation station, they fund themselves by obtaining patents on alien technologies released for consumer consumption.
K's former partner, D, has just retired, but K identifies New York City detective James Edwards (Will Smith) as a potential replacement, due to his agility to follow a disguised alien. After putting Edwards through several tests, K offers him the chance to join the MIB, which Edwards accepts. Edwards' past identity is erased, and he becomes Agent J, assigned to K by the agency director, Zed (Rip Torn). K helps to orient J to the workings of the MIB; during this, they learn that numerous aliens refugees are trying to find a way off of Earth. MIB is contacted by an Arquillian fleet near Earth's orbit; the fleet warns that a "Bug," a member of a giant cockroach-like alien species that are currently at war with another alien race, has crashed down to Earth and is seeking an object known as the Galaxy that would turn the tide in favor of the Bugs. To prevent this, they are willing to destroy the Earth unless the MIB can secure the Galaxy before their deadline within a day.
K and J find the Bug has taken the human skin of a farmer, Edgar (Vincent D'Onofrio), as its disguise, and killed two Arquillians it believed to have possession of the Galaxy. The two bodies, along with a pet cat that refuses to leave its owner, are taken to a city morgue, where Dr. Laurel Weaver (Linda Fiorentino) discovers one of the Arquillians is barely alive; struggling with English, it mutters that "The Galaxy is on Orion's belt" to her before it expires. K and J arrive to help remove the alien bodies and wipe Dr. Weaver's mind, but not after learning of this message. On route back to headquarters, they realize that Orion refers not to the constellation, but to the cat, and the belt referring to its collar. Racing back to the morgue, they find the Bug there, having realized the same thing. It steals the Galaxy, a small charm, and kidnaps Laurel, getting away on foot while the MIB secure its spacecraft to prevent it from leaving the planet.
As the Arquillian deadline looms, the MIB attempt to determine how the Bug will leave the planet. J recognizes that the observation towers at Flushing Meadows are disguised spacecraft, and he and K race there, finding the Bug attempting to climb into the structures while still holding Laurel for a snack. Their arrival distracts the Bug, forcing it to drop Laurel, but it is able to enter the craft and start takeoff. K and J fire on the ship, forcing it to crash back to Earth. As the two face off against the Bug, the Bug reveals it's true form, devours their guns and knocks them away, preparing to board the second ship. K goads the Bug to devour him which it does; J provokes it closer to him by crushing some cockroaches from a nearby dumpster. Before the Bug can eat J though, K has found his gun while inside the Bug and shoots it from inside, splitting the alien in half. K is revealed to be safe and J acquires the Galaxy from within the Bug's stomach, and the news is relayed to the Arquillian fleet. However, Laurel realizes that the Bug is not dead and uses J's gun to shoot it, finally killing it.
As MIB cleans up the situation, and J prepares to neuralyze Dr. Weaver, K admits that he was not training J as a partner but as his replacement, as he is ready to retire from the agency. J acknowledges this, and neuralyzes him. In the epilogue, Laurel is shown to have become J's new partner Agent L, while K (now Kevin Brown) has returned to civilian life.
- Tommy Lee Jones as Kevin Brown / Agent K: J's grizzled and humorless mentor. Clint Eastwood turned down the part, while Jones only accepted the role after Steven Spielberg promised the script would improve, based on his respect for Spielberg's track record. He had been disappointed with the first draft, which he reportedly said "stank;" he felt it did not capture the tone of the comic.
- Will Smith as James Darrell Edwards III / Agent J: A former NYPD member, newly recruited to the MiB. Smith was cast because Barry Sonnenfeld's wife was a The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air fan. Sonnenfeld also liked his performance in Six Degrees of Separation. Chris O'Donnell turned down the role because he found the role of a new recruit too similar to Dick Grayson, whom he played in Batman Forever and Batman & Robin. David Schwimmer also turned down the part. Like Jones, Smith said he accepted the role after meeting with Spielberg and cited his success as a producer.
- Vincent D'Onofrio as Edgar the Bug: A giant alien insect who eats a farmer and uses his skin as a disguise. John Turturro was offered the role.
- Linda Fiorentino as Dr. Laurel Weaver / Agent L: A deputy medical examiner who has had a few run-ins with the MIB in the past.
- Rip Torn as Chief Zed: The head of the MIB.
- Tony Shalhoub as Jack Jeebs: An alien, posing as a pawn shop owner, who deals in illegal weapons.
- Siobhan Fallon Hogan as Beatrice: Edgar's wife.
- Mike Nussbaum as Gentle Rosenberg, Arquillian Jeweler: Guardian of the galaxy, which he has attached to his pet cat's collar.
- Jon Gries as Van Driver
- Sergio Calderón as Jose
- Carel Struycken as Arquillian
- Fredric Lehne as INS Agent Janus
- Kent Faulcon as 2nd Lt. Jake Jensen
- Richard Hamilton as Agent D: K's partner at the start of the film, he decides he is too old for the job and has K erase his memory so he can retire.
- David Cross as Newton the Morgue Attendant
- Tim Blaney as Frank the Pug (voice): A smart-talking pug-like alien.
- Scottie Ray as Mikey and additional alien voices
- Sylvester Stallone as Alien on TV (uncredited cameo)
The film is based upon the comic book The Men in Black by Lowell Cunningham. Producers Walter F. Parkes and Laurie MacDonald optioned the rights to The Men in Black in 1992 and hired Ed Solomon to write a very faithful script. Parkes and MacDonald wanted Barry Sonnenfeld as director because he had helmed the darkly humorous The Addams Family and its sequel Addams Family Values. Sonnenfeld was attached to Get Shorty (1995), so they approached Les Mayfield to direct, as they had heard about the positive reception to his remake of Miracle on 34th Street. They actually saw the film later and decided he was inappropriate. Men in Black was delayed so as to allow Sonnenfeld to make it his next project after Get Shorty.
Much of the initial script drafts were set underground, with locations ranging from Kansas to Washington DC and Nevada. Sonnenfeld decided to change the location to New York City, because the director felt New Yorkers would be tolerant of aliens who behaved oddly while disguised. He also felt much of the city's structures resembled flying saucers and rocket ships. Production designer Bo Welch designed the MIB headquarters with a 1960s tone in mind, because that was when their organization is formed. He cited influences from Finnish architect Eero Saarinen, who designed a terminal at John F. Kennedy International Airport. Being the arrival point of aliens on Earth, Welch felt MIB HQ had to resemble an airport.
ILM provided most of the special effects. Rick Baker led the special effects of the film, which was the most complex in his career to date. He had to have approval from both director Barry Sonnenfeld and executive producer Steven Spielberg: "It was like, 'Steven likes the head on this one and Barry really likes the body on this one, so why don't you do a mix and match?' And I'd say, because it wouldn't make any sense." Sonnenfeld also changed a lot of the film's aesthetic during pre-production: "I started out saying aliens shouldn't be what humans perceive them to be. Why do they need eyes? So Rick did these great designs, and I'd say, 'That's great — but how do we know where he's looking?' I ended up where everyone else did, only I took three months."
Filming began in March 1996. Five months into the shoot, the crew realized their ending was unexciting. It was originally meant to be a humorous existential debate between Agent J and the Bug, and five potential replacements were discussed. One of these had Laurel Weaver being neuralyzed and K remaining an agent. The change to a fight sequence annoyed Rick Baker, as their animatronic Bug had to be replaced with computer-generated imagery. Further changes were made during post-production to simplify the plotline involving the possession of the tiny galaxy. The Arquillians would hand over the galaxy to the Baltians, ending a long war. The bugs need to feed on the casualties of the war and steal it to continue the war. Through changing of subtitles, the images on MIB's main computer and Frank the Pug's dialogue, the Baltians were eliminated from the plot. Earth goes from being potentially destroyed in the crossfire between the two races into being possibly destroyed by the Arquillians to prevent the bugs getting the galaxy.
Two different soundtracks were released in the US: a score soundtrack and an album, featuring various songs. In the UK only the album was released, but the score is readily available for import.
Danny Elfman composed the score for the film, making use of his usual combination of orchestra and electronics. The score also makes prominent use of jazz for the M.I.B. theme, which consists of an ostinato, usually played on lower instruments.
Galoob released various action figures of characters and aliens in the film. An official comic adaptation was released by Marvel Comics. The official Men in Black game is a third-person shooter developed by Gremlin Interactive and released to lackluster reviews in October '97 for the PC and the following year for the PlayStation. Also a very rare promotional PlayStation video game system was released in 1997 with the Men in Black logo on the CD lid. Men in Black: The Animated Series was created by Sony Pictures Television, and also inspired several games. Men in Black was the inspiration behind the Men in Black: Alien Attack ride at Universal Studios Orlando, in which Will Smith and Rip Torn reprised their roles. A Men In Black roleplaying game was also released in 1997 by West End Games.
Men in Black won the Academy Award for Best Makeup, and was also nominated for Best Original Score and Best Art Direction. It was also nominated for the Golden Globe of Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy.
American Film Institute Lists
- AFI's 100 Years...100 Laughs - Nominated
- AFI's 100 Years...100 Heroes and Villains:
- Agent J & Agent K - Nominated Heroes
- AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs:
- Men in Black - Nominated
- AFI's 100 Years...100 Movie Quotes:
- "You know the difference between you and me? I make this look good." - Nominated
- AFI's 10 Top 10 - Nominated Science Fiction Film
- ^ a b "Men in Black (1997)". Box Office Mojo. http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=meninblack.htm. Retrieved 2007-12-14.
- ^ a b c d e f g David Hughes (2003). Comic Book Movies. London: Virgin Books. pp. 123–129. ISBN 0-7535-0767-6.
- ^ "Summer Movie Preview". Entertainment Weekly. 1997-05-16. http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,287928,00.html. Retrieved 2007-09-17.
- ^ Steve Daly (1997-07-18). "Men in Black: How'd they do that?". Entertainment Weekly. http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,288677,00.html. Retrieved 2007-09-17.
- ^ "Men in Black (1997) — Awards and Nominations". Yahoo!. http://movies.yahoo.com/movie/1800023362/awards. Retrieved 2007-09-17.
- ^ "Men in Black". Rotten Tomatoes. http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/men_in_black/. Retrieved 2009-11-16.
- ^ Jane Tallim (2002). "And Now a Word From Our Sponsor... Spend Another Day". Media Awareness Network. http://www.media-awareness.ca/english/resources/educational/teachable_moments/word_from_our_sponsor.cfm. Retrieved 2008-10-14.
Men in Black Comic booksThe Men in Black (1990–1997) Films TelevisionMen in Black: The Series (1997–2001) Music Video gameMen in Black: The Game (1997) · Men in Black - The Series: Crashdown (2001) · Men in Black II: Alien Escape (2002) Characters Related topics Films directed by Barry Sonnenfeld 1990s 2000s 2010sMen in Black III (2012) Steven Spielberg filmography 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010sThe Adventures of Tintin (2011) · War Horse (2011) · Lincoln (2012) Production
creditsI Wanna Hold Your Hand (1978) · Used Cars (1980) · Continental Divide (1981) · Poltergeist (1982) · E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) · Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983) · Gremlins (1984) · Back to the Future (1985) · The Goonies (1985) · Young Sherlock Holmes (1985) · The Color Purple (1985) · An American Tail (1986) · The Money Pit (1986) · *batteries not included (1987) · Harry and the Hendersons (1987; uncredited) · Innerspace (1987) · Empire of the Sun (1987) · Three O'Clock High (1987; uncredited) · The Land Before Time (1988) · Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) · Back to the Future Part II (1989) · Always (1989) · Dad (1989) · Arachnophobia (1990) · Back to the Future Part III (1990) · Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990) · Joe Versus the Volcano (1990) · An American Tail: Fievel Goes West (1991) · Cape Fear (1991) · We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story (1993) · Schindler's List (1993) · The Flintstones (1994) · The Little Rascals (1994; uncredited) · Casper (1995) · Balto (1995) · Twister (1996) · Men in Black (1997) · Amistad (1997) · Deep Impact (1998) · The Mask of Zorro (1998) · Saving Private Ryan (1998) · The Last Days (1998) · The Prince of Egypt (1998; uncredited) · The Haunting (1999; uncredited) · Wakko's Wish (1999) · The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas (2000) · Evolution (2001; uncredited) · A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001) · Jurassic Park III (2001) · Men in Black II (2002) · Catch Me If You Can (2002) · The Terminal (2004) · The Legend of Zorro (2005) · Memoirs of a Geisha (2005) · Munich (2005) · Monster House (2006) · Flags of Our Fathers (2006) · Letters from Iwo Jima (2006) · Disturbia (2007; uncredited) · Transformers (2007) · Eagle Eye (2008) · Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009) · The Lovely Bones (2009) · Hereafter (2010) · True Grit (2010) · Super 8 (2011) · Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011) · Cowboys & Aliens (2011) · Real Steel (2011) · The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn (2011) · War Horse (2011) · Men in Black III (2012) · Cloud Atlas (2012)
TelevisionNight Gallery (1970) · Columbo (1971) · Amazing Stories (1985–1987) · Tiny Toon Adventures (1990–1992) · A Wish for Wings That Work (1991; uncredited) · Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Vacation (1992) · Family Dog (1993) · seaQuest DSV (1993–1995) · Animaniacs (1993–1998) · ER (1994) · Pinky and the Brain / Pinky, Elmyra & the Brain (1995–1999) · Freakazoid! (1995–1997) · High Incident (1996–1997) · Toonsylvania (1998) · Invasion America (1998) · Band of Brothers (2001) · Taken (2002) · Into the West (2005) · On the Lot (2007) · United States of Tara (2009–2011) · The Pacific (2010) · Falling Skies (2011–present) · Terra Nova (2011–present) · The River (2012–present) · Smash (2012–present) Games Short filmsTummy Trouble (1989; played with Honey, I Shrunk the Kids) · Roller Coaster Rabbit (1990; played with Dick Tracy) · Trail Mix-Up (1993; played with A Far Off Place) · I'm Mad (1994; played with Thumbelina) See also Empire Award for Best Film 1996–presentBraveheart (1996) · Seven (1997) · Men in Black (1998) · Titanic (1999) · The Matrix (2000) · Gladiator (2001) · The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2002) · The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2003) · The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2004) · The Bourne Supremacy (2005) · King Kong (2006) · Casino Royale (2007) · The Bourne Ultimatum (2008) · The Dark Knight (2009) · Avatar (2010) · Inception (2011)
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) · Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1992) · Jurassic Park (1993) · Stargate (1994) · 12 Monkeys (1995) · Independence Day (1996) · Men in Black (1997) · Armageddon/Dark City (1998) · The Matrix (1999) · X-Men (2000) · A.I. (2001) · Minority Report (2002) · X2: X-Men United (2003) · Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) · Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005) · Children of Men (2006) · Cloverfield (2007) · Iron Man (2008) · Avatar (2009) · Inception (2010)
Complete list · (1972–1990) · (1991–2010)
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Men in Black (film) — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Men in Black. Men in Black Titre original Men in Black Réalisation Barry Sonnenfeld Acteurs principaux Tommy Lee Jones Will Smith … Wikipédia en Français
Men in black (film) — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Men in Black. Men in Black Titre original Men in Black Réalisation Barry Sonnenfeld Acteurs principaux Tommy Lee Jones Will Smith … Wikipédia en Français
Men in Black (Film) — Filmdaten Deutscher Titel Men in Black Produktionsland Vereinigte Staaten … Deutsch Wikipedia
Men in Black (film, 1997) — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Men in Black. Men in Black Données clés Titre original Men in Black Réalisation Barry Sonnenfeld Scénario Ed Solomon … Wikipédia en Français
Men Without Women (film) — Men Without Women Directed by John Ford Produced by John Ford Written by John Ford James Kevin McGuinness Starring … Wikipedia
Men of Steel (film) — Men of Steel Directed by George King Produced by Ray Wyndham Written by Edward Knoblock Billie Bristow Douglas Newton (novel) Starring … Wikipedia
Men at Work (film) — Men at Work Theatrical release poster Directed by Emilio Estevez Produced by … Wikipedia
Men at Work (Film) — Filmdaten Deutscher Titel Men at Work Produktionsland USA … Deutsch Wikipedia
Men in Black III — Teaser poster Directed by Barry Sonnenfeld Produced by … Wikipedia
Men in Black (disambiguation) — Men in Black or may refer to: Contents 1 People 2 Entertainment 3 Fictional characters 4 Other 5 See also … Wikipedia