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Characters / Cast

Jack Nicholson as
President James Dale and Art Land

Glenn Close as First Lady Marsha Dale

Annette Bening as Barbara Land

Pierce Brosnan as Donald Kessler

Danny DeVito as Rude Gambler

Lukas Haas as Richie Norris

Jim Brown as Byron Williams

Sarah Jessica Parker as Natalie Lake

Tom Jones as Himself

Sylvia Sidney as Florence Norris

Pam Grier as Louise Williams

Martin Short as Jerry Ross

Rod Steiger as General Decker

Michael J. Fox as Jason Stone

Joe Don Baker and O-Lan Jones as
Mr. Norris and Sue-Ann Norris

Jack Black as Billy-Glen Norris

Ray J and Brandon Hammond as
Cedric and Neville Williams

Natalie Portman as Taffy Dale

Paul Winfield as Lt. General Casey

Lisa Marie Smith as Martian Girl

Brian Haley as Mitch

Christina Applegate as Sharona

Jerzy Skolimowski as Dr. Zeigler

Barbet Schroeder as Maurice

Frank Welker as the voice of the Martians

Roger L. Jackson as the voice
of Dr. Zeigler's translator.


Mars Attacks! 1996

The President of the United States, James Dale (Jack Nicholson), is alerted when a number of spacecraft have been reported launched from the planet Mars, and are on a course to Earth. While General Decker (Rod Steiger) demands immediate Military deployment, Professor Donald Kessler (Pierce Brosnan) suggests that the General's protestations are uncalled for, claiming that they know very little about these aliens, and that this could be a new chapter for humanity.

The President eventually has a newscast televised, in which the world is made aware of the Martian's impending arrival. Professor Kessler is even brought onto a daytime news show, in which he is interviewed by newscaster Nathalie Lake (Sarah Jessica Parker). Nathalie's boyfriend Jason Stone (Michael J Fox) notes that she seems to be flirting with the Professor, when the news transmission goes out completely, and all television signals are blocked by a transmission from the Martians.

In the wake of this transmission, The President, Kessler, and several Generals hold a meeting in their war room to analyze what they know about the Martians. A scientist also brings a machine that he claims has translated the Martians' speech patterns...but the translations barely make any sense.

Eventually, it is indicated that the Martians will first land near the New Mexico town of Parump. A military escort is headed up by General Casey (Paul Winfield), a more quiet and docile general than the more outspoken General Decker. A number of spectators show up as well, as a ship lands. Emerging from the ship, are 2 armed martians, and one in a sparkling red cloak.

After it is translated that he is the Martian Ambassador, and General Casey gives a greeting, a new sentence from the Martians claims they 'come in peace.' This causes a group of hippies to release a dove...which is quickly shot down by the martians. The scene then dissolves into chaos as the Martians vaporize and kill almost everyone. The end up taking Nathalie Lake, her little chihuahua Poppy, and her handbag onto their ship, before leaving the massacre behind.

Back in Washington D.C., General Decker demands that immediate action be taken, but Professor Kessler feels that what they witnessed could have been a cultural misunderstanding, due in part to the dove. A message is sent out to the Martians, and a response is soon received. The Martian Ambassador claims to feel remorse, and would like to appear before Congress.

The request is granted, and one of the Martian's ships lands in front of the United States Capitol. The ambassador and two armed martians appear in Congress, and approach the podium. After reading what appears to be a speech, the Martian Ambassador draws a gun that vaporizes two branches of the government. Professor Kessler pleads for the ambassador to stop, but is quickly subdued, and eventually taken aboard the ship.

In the aftermath of the attack, General Decker once again demands that affirmative action be taken, but the President still chooses to go about the situation with no action taken against the martians...further infuriating the General. Aboard the Ambassador's ship, the martians have also conducted medical experiments on Nathalie, Poppy, and the Professor. Nathalie and Poppy's heads have been switched, with Nathalie's head now transplanted onto her chihuahua's body.

The Professor's body has been removed, with his vital organs still functioning, causing his head to remain alive. The Professor's disembodied head and Nathalie converse, and even in their strange bodily state, they both profess their love for each other. Meanwhile, back on Earth, a Martian has taken on the form of a beautiful woman, and seduces her way into the White House through Press Secretary Jerry Ross (Martin Short).

Jerry is soon incapacitated by the Martian, who then attempts to kill the President and his wife (Glenn Close). The Secret Service manage to kill the Martian. This attack causes the Martian Leader to finally declare all-out war on the Earthlings, and Martian ships soon show up across the country, wrecking havoc everywhere. The Military is finally called out to try and stop them, but even they do not seem to have the firepower to stop the Martians.

After invading Washington, the Martian leader and two of his soldiers enter the war room. They are first attacked by General Decker, who starts firing on the martians, before the Martian Leader uses a shrinking gun, that reduces the General to a few inches tall, before stepping on him. The Martians then shoot the remaining people, before the President gives a speech, hoping to quell the violence.

This seems to work, and the Martian Leader extends his hand...which turns out to be a mechanical spider, that impales the President. It is during a Martian attack on a small nursing home, that a young man named Richie Norris (Lukas Haas), discovers his Grandmother's favorite record, Slim Whitman's "Indian Love Call," is the key to defeating the invasion.

The high-pitched yodeling causes the Martians' heads to explode, and Richie employs the help of the remaining military to play the amplified music live and via satellite. The Martians explode, their ships crash and the planet is safe. The President's daughter presents the Congressional Medal of Honor to Richie and his Grandmother while the people of Earth rebuild.

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Mars Attacks

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