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The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996)

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After being rescued and brought to an island, a man discovers that its inhabitants are experimental animals being turned into strange-looking humans, all of it the work of a visionary doctor.

Directors:

John Frankenheimer, Richard Stanley (uncredited)

Writers:

H.G. Wells (novel), Richard Stanley (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
2,458 ( 651)
2 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Marlon Brando ... Dr. Moreau
Val Kilmer ... Montgomery
David Thewlis ... Douglas
Fairuza Balk ... Aissa
Daniel Rigney ... Hyena-Swine
Temuera Morrison ... Azazello
Nelson de la Rosa ... Majai
Peter Elliott ... Assassimon
Mark Dacascos ... Lo-Mai
Ron Perlman ... Sayer of the Law
Marco Hofschneider ... M'Ling
Miguel López Miguel López ... Waggdi (as Miguel Lopez)
Neil Young Neil Young ... Boar Man
David Hudson ... Bison Man
Clare Grant ... Fox Lady
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Storyline

Set in the year 2010, Dr. Moreau has successfully combined human and animal DNA to make a crossbreed animal. Well, as usual, something goes wrong and David Thewlis must try to stop it before it is too late. Originally rated R, but cut by Frankenheimer to allow "a wider audience". Written by Kale Whorton <nikko11@mind.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The gates of hell are unlocked. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sci-fi violence, horror and gore involving mutant creatures | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Indonesian

Release Date:

23 August 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Island of Dr. Moreau See more »

Filming Locations:

Australia See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$9,101,987, 25 August 1996

Gross USA:

$27,663,982

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$49,627,779
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

New Line Cinema See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

SDDS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ron Perlman's character is blind. Perlman had lenses put over his eyes so he actually played the role blind. See more »

Goofs

When Douglas is first walking through the creature settlement, his shirt sleeves are rolled up. In the next shot from the same scene, his sleeves have gone down See more »

Quotes

Sayer of the Law: It is a hard way, the way of being a man. Sooner or later we all want a thing that is bad. To walk on all fours. To suck up drink from a stream. To jabber, instead of saying the words. To go snuffling at the earth, and to claw on the bark of trees. To eat flesh, or fish. To make love to more than one, every which way. These are all bad things. These are not the things that men do. But we are men, are we not? We are men because the Father has made us men!
See more »

Alternate Versions

The director's cut contains 4 extra minutes of footage including an expanded intro in the Java sea, a more gruesome end for 'The Father', and other small enhancements See more »

Connections

Referenced in Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations: Brazil (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Night Bird
Written by Eric Mouquet and Michel Sanchez
Performed by Deep Forest
Courtesy of 550 Music/Epic
By arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Go rent it! WAY better than the negative reviews...
3 September 2001 | by Eric-1226See all my reviews

You will have to chalk me up as belonging to that camp of viewers who actually *wanted* to see a truly horrid film (as based on all the negative reviews) only to discover to our delight that there was a gem of a movie hiding there all along.

For me, watching the film was a *great* escapist experience. I felt exactly what the character played by David Thewlis would have felt, had I been in a similar "lost in the middle of the ocean, end up on a strange island" sort of predicament. The movie did a superb job of instantly whisking me away to a strange and beautiful and ominous place - the Island of Dr. Moreau - and I found myself staying with the fantasy the whole way through.

The cinematography was just beautiful, and if you have ever been in or near the tropics, the filming and the movie setting did an awesome job of conveying that hot, thick, humid, teeming-with-life feel that can only be found in the tropics.

I really enjoyed the eery background music, it really added to the overall creepiness of the whole weird "mad-science-gone-amok" theme of the story. Plus that scene where David Thewlis first encounters Faruiza Balk, and she starts to dance to that utterly hypnotic and awesome Balinese music, was just too spine-tingling for words. I only regret that I haven't been able to locate any soundtrack information yet on the movie, so I don't know who played that song, but the whole scene was absolutely and truly memorable. I'd watch it again just for that song and dance scene alone.

I noticed that many people didn't like the acting or the characterizations. I, on the other hand, felt that the four main characters (Brando, Kilmer, Thewlis, and Balk) were flawless in their depiction of a familiar tale. Brando was admittedly "weird" - but hey, give the guy his due, he was SUPPOSED to be a weird, crazed scientist. What were you expecting, the Maytag Repairman? Kilmer was deliciously evil, can't say enough good about Val Kilmer, he's always been one of my very favorite actors, and he DID NOT disappoint in this film, either. Balk, as mentioned above, was just awesome (and I REALLY liked the scene where she and "father" Brando had their moment of emotional bonding). Thewlis was right spot-on with his interpretation of an innocent "sane" observer who barely made it off this mad-house of an island without totally losing his own sanity. I think I would have done exactly as he had done, in his circumstances. Well Acted! Bravo!

One scene that didn't work for me was early on when the man-beasts were shown to be delivering a hideous-looking baby from a hideous-looking beast-woman. I don't know, but somehow I felt that it should have been Dr. Moreau and Montgomery (Brando and Kilmer) who should have been the doctors doing the delivery. Nevertheless, it was a truly creepy scene.

Finally, I thought the movie was well-stocked with thought-provoking comments on the morality of scientific experimentation. The scene at the dinner table, where Brando expounds on his personal views, comes to mind, as does the final parting comments, voiced by Thewlis. I had to watch the movie several times just to hear those words. They will REALLY make you think. I truly believe this movie should be seen and actively discussed by students at high school or college level - not just in science prep classes, but philosophy and social science courses as well. I don't care what the naysayers have to say, this was by no means an empty or shallow movie.

So, go take a trip to the Island of Dr. Moreau. You won't come back unchanged....


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