Twelve Monkeys

From Academic Kids

Template:Infobox Movie

Twelve Monkeys is a 1995 science fiction time travel movie directed by former Monty Python member Terry Gilliam and inspired by the short film La Jetée. It deals with problems of time and memory, and features performances by Bruce Willis, Madeleine Stowe and Brad Pitt.



Bruce Willis stars as James Cole, who believes he has been sent to our time from a future in which apocalyptic events (initiated by a group calling itself the Army of the Twelve Monkeys) have killed 99% of humanity and forced the survivors into a bleak subterranean existence; his mission is to study the events leading up to the apocalypse. Alternatively Cole could be just plain insane.

On his arrival back in 1990 (he was meant to be sent to 1996 but sent to 1990 due to the time machine's malfunction), Cole is arrested and institutionalized, whereupon he encounters fellow inmate Jeffrey Goines (Brad Pitt) and also meets Dr. Kathryn Railly (Madeleine Stowe), an expert in insanity related to prophecy. Initially Railly diagnoses Cole as delusional, but as events unfold she begins to take him seriously.

Struggling with his own sanity, Cole, assisted by Railly, strives to unravel the mystery of the Army of the Twelve Monkeys. As Railly starts to believe his story, Cole begins to doubt his own knowledge of the future. In the end it transpires that Goines and the Twelve Monkeys were not responsible for the spread of the disease which afflicted mankind but another person altogether.

Coincidences with Fight Club

The Jeffrey Goines character is in some ways similar to Tyler Durden, a character that was also played by Brad Pitt in the 1999 film Fight Club. Jeffrey creates the Army of the 12 Monkeys just as Tyler Durden creates his own army of "Space Monkeys". Both strongly criticize the consumerist society they live in and want to destabilize the system and flip it upside down. Two particular scenes in the movies, in which Jeffrey kidnaps his own father in 12 Monkeys and in which Tyler kidnaps the police chief in Fight Club, are also both quite similar. In the novel of Fight Club, the narrator ends up in a mental institute, the same sort of location Jeffrey first appears in 12 Monkeys.


Towards the end of Twelve Monkeys there is a scene set in a movie theater. The film seen playing in the background of these shots is Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo, and the scene that appears is that of Scottie and Madeleine in Big Basin Redwoods State Park where Madeleine looks at the growth rings of a felled redwood and traces back events in her past life as Carlotta Valdez ("here I was born... and here I died"). As well as obviously resonating with larger themes in Twelve Monkeys, this scene can also be considered Gilliam's tip of the hat to Chris Marker, whose La Jetée inspired Twelve Monkeys. La Jete features images of tree rings in several museum scenes, and the connection between La Jete and the scene from Vertigo is also observed explicitly by Marker in his 1982 documentary montage Sans Soleil.

A "making of" documentary about the film, The Hamster Factor and Other Tales of Twelve Monkeys, was made by Keith Fulton and Louis Pepe.

External links

de:Twelve Monkeys fr:L'Arme des douze singes ja:12モンキーズ pl:12_małp sv:De 12 apornas arm zh:十二只猴子


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