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They Live (1988)

Roddy Piper , Keith David , John Carpenter  |  R |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (533 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Roddy Piper, Keith David, Meg Foster, George 'Buck' Flower, Peter Jason
  • Directors: John Carpenter
  • Writers: Frank Armitage
  • Producers: Larry Franco
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: French, Spanish
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • DVD Release Date: September 23, 2003
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (533 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000AOX0F
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,194 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "They Live" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Recommendations

  • Editorial Reviews

    They influence our decisions without us knowing it. They numb our senses without us feeling it. They control our lives without us realizing it. They live. Horror master John Carpenter (Halloween, The Thing) directs this heart-pounding thriller. Aliens are systematically gaining control of the earth by masquerading as humans and lulling the public into submission. Humanity's last chance lies with a lone drifter who stumbles upon a harrowing discovery - a unique pair of sunglasses that reveal the terrifying and deadly truth.

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    88 of 93 people found the following review helpful
    Format:DVD
    Wondering what you world would be like if it were run by aliens that were trying to control your minds through subliminal messaging? Well, look no further than John Carpenter's cult classic They Live. Wresting superstar Roddy Piper stars as Nada, a drifter that stumbles upon a pair of sunglasses that show him the truth about his society and the world he inhabits. He discovers that humans are not the only beings to be living on the planet Earth. Nada also knows what he must do to save the human race from complete invasion of these creatures. Does he have enough time and manpower to stop these culprits of communication or will Nada only help them enslave the human race? It will all teeter on the amount of "bubblegum" that he carries with him!

    Visionary director John Carpenter creates this world that is not unlike today's society. Glued to the television and void of independent thought, he shows us a human race that resembles cattle in the fields waiting for the farmer's next decision. Created well before The Matrix, Carpenter uses aliens to demonstrate the power of the media and the superpowers behind the scenes. In a world where we gather our truth from others and in the comfort of our own home, this film carries themes that are still relevant today. Carpenter shows us that we can live in a world, even a city, and not realize what is happening around us. How hidden are those subliminal messages in our culture? He also prods at the notion that only the wealthy can create the supposed truth, and that eventually the lines between wealthy and homeless with be much defined. There will be an elimination of the middle-class and humans would be at the bottom of the social order.
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    28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars They Live, we cheer January 15, 2004
    Format:DVD
    After spending the last few months expanding my collection of John Carpenter DVDs to the best of my ability without plunging into bankruptcy, I've come to the inevitable conclusion that, despite his inactivity and supposed "downfall" over the last ten years, he is still one of our best (and unfortunately most underrated) directors. With a classic film like "Halloween" on his resume, it's easy to overlook the rest of his films like they could never possibly measure up. Truth be told, what could? "Halloween" was, is, and will forever be the alpha and omega of slasher film horror. That being said, "They Live" is probably one of the best corporate satires of the past twenty years. Made in the latter years of Reagan's eighties, John Carpenter's film, based off the short story titled "Eight in the Morning," is a fun action ride that moonlights as a biting satire of the stranglehold of greed in America.
    Roddy Piper (how perfect is that?) stars as the man with no name (credited as "Nada" at the end), a drifter who finds work and friendship among a small habitat of homeless dwellers. He's also the man who eventually begins a quest for the truth behind a pair of special sunglasses that reveal the existence of alien lifeforms. Keith David plays the construction worker with a heart of gold who befriends Piper and they have some very interesting conversations.
    "It's all a big game. The name of it is 'Getting Through Life.' Everybody's trying to finish first and do you in at the same time. They put you at the starting line and now, here we are: You do what you can, but remember, I wanna do my best, too... blow your a$$ away..."
    Piper's laugh in response to David's diatribe about life in economic America might be simple in its form, but shattering in its true meaning.
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    70 of 79 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars MEN IN BLACK : THE SEARCH FOR THE GLASSES January 9, 2002
    Format:DVD
    Produced by Larry Franco and directed by John Carpenter in 1988, THEY LIVE never appears on the list of the best movies of the american master. I don't understand why. The carpenterian theme by excellence, the rebellion against the establishment, is the central theme of THEY LIVE, and, as far as it concerns action, the movie features one of the most impressing bare hand fights ever presented on screen.
    Furthermore THEY LIVE presents a good sci-fi cliché à la Philip K. Dick - they're among us and I'm the only one who sees them -, a theme treated with intelligence by John Carpenter who does have a lot of fun to criticize our contemporary society. One will recognize some of the ideas of the movie in another Carpenter opus directed 10 years later : ESCAPE FROM L.A.
    If you're a Carpenter fan, this DVD will soon be in your library but be aware that there isn't even a menu and that you're just allowed to surf into a scene access department. Shame on Image for their lack of respect. Great images and sound though.
    A DVD zone rebellion.
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    36 of 40 people found the following review helpful
    Format:DVD
    They Live was the last movie of the 80s made by John Carpenter; in many ways this was the end of an era. From 1976-1988 Carpenter had quite an impressive run of what are seen now as classics. The 76-88 era is very much Carpenter's golden era and he actually wrote or co-wrote most of these movies, which makes it even more impressive.

    What I love about They Live is the movie is mindless entertainment that isn't so mindless at all. There is a heavy does of social commentary and it's not subtle at all. John Carpenter doesn't hide his feelings at all. He had something he wanted to say and he doesn't hold back. Every movie becomes dated, but some hold up well. They Live is probably one of those movies that will almost always remain current. Even to this day the message delivered in They Live holds up to what's going on in the world.

    The screenplay was written by John Carpenter under the name Frank Armitage and overall the script was quite well done. What I love about Carpenter as a writer is his scripts have a simple idea and they work so well. Also I really love the characters in Carpenter's movies regardless if he wrote the script or not he really knows how to bring characters to life. They Live has a good script, though maybe weaker than some of his past ones, but overall it's quite well done. About the only real complaint I have is the first 30-minutes almost seem like fillers.

    While there is character development you can actually lose the first 30-minutes and not lose any of the plot or any of the character development and the movie would still work and not feel like anything is missing. That's not to say the first 30-minutes were bad or boring. They do work, but I just feel like some of the scenes were sort of filler scenes.
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    5.0 out of 5 stars Great 'B' movie
    Everyone should see this movie at least once in their life. If for nothing else then for the final scene ;-)
    Published 1 day ago by Jack Austin
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Great movie kind of shows you what like really can be like through a movie.
    Published 2 days ago by sharkattack
    5.0 out of 5 stars Scream factory.
    Love these scream factory releases.
    Published 6 days ago by Kathy P.
    5.0 out of 5 stars No wonder this Survived and Thrived in Spite of Hollywood's...
    It's amazing what happens to one's life (context) foundational narrative when well-engineered (well-funded) false assumptions are revelled. Read more
    Published 11 days ago by Latimer the Cat
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    It's just the real life
    Published 12 days ago by Beatriz Forshier
    5.0 out of 5 stars Good movie
    Good movie.
    Published 14 days ago by Sharp
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Great.
    Published 16 days ago by Kerrie Blair
    5.0 out of 5 stars Gimme That Old Time Conspiracy Religion
    This was conspiracy theory over a decade before Alex Jones made his reputation on the subject. There's action, appropriate acting for the storyline and most importantly A PLOT! Read more
    Published 16 days ago by knifemare69
    5.0 out of 5 stars The film is great fun ( 4
    This will be review of the Bluray itself. The film is great fun ( 4.5 stars out of 5 stars). The picture and sound quality are top notch considering how old this film is and the... Read more
    Published 19 days ago by Malachy
    5.0 out of 5 stars I suggest everyone see this film as we are quickly losing are human...
    A prophetic film, it is as though it were made in 2014 rather than 1988!! This film was a hit for two weeks when it was first released then shut down for it's controversial... Read more
    Published 20 days ago by Virginia Salas
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