Men in Black


1h 53m 1997

Brief Synopsis

A hot-shot police officer gets mixed up in an alien invasion.

Film Details

Also Known As
Hombres de negro, MIB
MPAA Rating
Genre
Comedy
Action
Adaptation
Sci-Fi
Release Date
1997
Production Company
Thomas P Thoms; Tommy Louie
Distribution Company
Sony Pictures Releasing
Location
New York, New York, USA; New York City, New York, USA; Los Angeles, California, USA; New York City, New York, USA; New Jersey, USA; Robert Moses State Park, Long Island, New York, USA

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 53m

Synopsis

J and K, two federal agents aka "The Men in Black," are assigned to investigate all alien related phenomena. The agents uncover an intergalactic plot to assassinate two ambassadors from opposing galaxies who happen to reside in New York City. Jay and Kay's mission is to foil the plot by tracking down the terrorist, thereby preventing the Earth from being destroyed.

Crew

Brad Abrell

Puppeteer

Gino Acevido

Other

Alia Agha

3-D Artist

George Alcco-sima

Visual Effects

Kipp Aldrich

Video

Joseph S Alfieri

Construction Coordinator

Ed Alonzo

Puppeteer

Alexandra Altrocchi

Video

David Leroy Anderson

Makeup

Ernest Tron Anderson

Assistant

J. Todd Anderson

Storyboard Artist

Mike Anderson

Best Boy Grip

Connie Angland

Other

Henry Antonacchio

Foreman

Steve Aplin

Visual Effects

Audie Aragon

Dolly Grip

Joel Aron

Visual Effects

Carl Assmus

Grip

Pierce Austin

Hair Stylist

Al Bailey

Visual Effects

Mary Bailey

Script Supervisor

Brent Baker

Other

Kara Baker

Assistant

Rick Baker

Makeup

Florian Ballhaus

Camera Operator

William Barr

Key Grip

Michael Barry

Rerecording

Missy Barshay

Production Assistant

John Bartle

Assistant Editor

James Bartolomeo

Assistant Camera Operator

Carol Bauman

Visual Effects

Jeffrey Benedict

Visual Effects

Stacey Beneville

Dga Trainee

Adam Bennes

Other

David Benson

Other

Paul Berg

Puppeteer

Howard Berger

Puppeteer

Richard Berman

Other

Chuck Berry

Song

John Andrew Berton

Digital Effects Supervisor

Jim Blaney

Puppeteer

Patricia Blau Price

Other

Brent Boates

Storyboard Artist

Jean Bolte

Art Department

Patrick Bonneau

Animator

James Bonney

Screenplay

Roger Borelli

Other

George Borthwick

Best Boy Grip

Steve Bowerman

Boom Operator

Todd Boyce

Cgi Artist

Tommy Boyer

Wardrobe Supervisor

Becky Brake

Assistant Location Manager

John Branigan

Stunts

Barbara Brennan

Visual Effects

Patrick Brennan

Visual Effects

Eric Brevig

Visual Effects Supervisor

Eric Brevig

Unit Director

Jeff Brewer

Visual Effects

Daniel Brimer

Effects Assistant

Dan Bronson

Costume Supervisor

Rolland M. Brooks

Scenic Artist

William J Brooks

Visual Effects

Robert Brophy

Other

Ronn Brown

Visual Effects

Branch Marie Brunson

Best Boy

Bill Bryan

Puppeteer

Michael B Bunch

Foreman

Michael J Burke

Best Boy

James Stuart Burns

Assistant

Erika Wangberg Burton

Effects Coordinator

James Byrnes

Production Assistant

Denny Caira

Transportation Captain

John Cameron

Assistant Director

Susan Campbell

Animator

Casey Cannon

Audio

Michael Caracciolo

Camera Operator

Cheryl Carasik

Set Decorator

James Carson

Visual Effects

Brad Carvey

Visual Effects

Kam Chan

Foley Editor

Marjorie K Chan

Costumes

Ben Cheah

Foley

Peter Chesney

Special Effects Coordinator

Tom Chesney

Special Effects

Simon Cheung

Visual Effects

Ellen Christiansen

Set Decorator

Marc Chu

Animator

Christian Clarke

Production Assistant

Robert Clot

Other

Matt Codd

Visual Effects

Alex Cohn

Assistant Location Manager

Rob Coleman

Animation Supervisor

Kyle Collinsworth

Special Effects Supervisor

Kenneth R Conners

Rigging Gaffer

Joseph Conti

Visual Effects

Marko Costanzo

Foley Artist

Becky Cotton

Other

Steve Craft

Assistant Camera Operator

Christine Cram

Visual Effects

Janna Crawford

Art Department

Colin Cumberbatch

Assistant Production Coordinator

Lowell Cunningham

Book As Source Material

Gail Currey

Other

Ricardo Delgado

Visual Effects

Richard Demolski

Grip

David Deuber

Visual Effects

Mitch Devane

Art Department

Natasha Devaud

Visual Effects

Lee Dichter

Rerecording

Tammy Dickson

Production Assistant

Michael Diersing

Construction Coordinator

Lisa D. Disanto

Production Assistant

Dick Dova

Grip

Denis Doyle

Production Assistant

David Dranitzke

Assistant Stage Manager

Roderic Duff

Special Effects

Tom Duffield

Art Director

David Dunlap

Dp/Cinematographer

David Dunlap

Director Of Photography

Timothy Eaton

Editor

Robert M Edwards

Visual Effects

Danny Elfman

Music

Mike Elizalde

Other

Mike Elizalde

Puppeteer

Pamela Ellington

Assistant Production Accountant

Earl Ellis

Puppeteer

Russ Engels

Gaffer

Chrissie England

Other

Nick Esposito

Other

Raul Essig

Visual Effects

Ellen Evans

Script Supervisor

Joe Facey

Craft Service

Scott Farrar

Visual Effects Supervisor

Danielle Feller

Set Costumer

T Sean Ferguson

Assistant Director

Jose Fernandez

Art Department

Pablo Ferro

Main Title Design

Steven Ficke

Special Effects

Eric Fiedler

Puppeteer

Robert Finley Iii

Gaffer

Dan Fisher

Assistant Property Master

Jamie H Fishman

Assistant Production Coordinator

Brian Fitzsimons

Best Boy Grip

Judie Fixler

Extras Agent/Coordinator

Tim Flattery

Visual Effects

Claire Flewin

Art Department

Jon Foreman

Visual Effects

Thom Fountain

Puppeteer

Carl Frederick

Digital Effects Supervisor

Rick Freeman

Sound Effects Editor

Rob Freitas

Other

Todd Fulford

Visual Effects

Joe Fulmer

Other

John Kenneth Fundus

Boom Operator

Rick Galinson

Other

Rick Galinson

Puppeteer

George Gambetta

Other

Dennis Gamiello

Key Grip

Steve Gawley

Visual Effects

John Gazdik

Camera Assistant

Eugene Gearty

Sound Effects

Tim Geideman

Other

Peter Gelfman

Property Master

Cara Giallanza

Assistant Director

Thomas Gilliland

Other

Audrey Goetz

Other

Dan B Goldman

Visual Effects

Lewis Goldstein

Sound Effects Editor

Robert J Goldstein

Location Manager

David John Golia

Camera Operator

John Goodwin

Makeup

Melinda Sue Gordon

Photography

Glen Griffin

Other

Oscar Grillo

Consultant

Mark Gutterud

Assistant Camera Operator

Deborah Habberstad

Stunts

Jeff Habberstad

Stunts

Virginia G Hadfield

Hair Stylist

Stuart Hagen

Assistant Director

Mary Beth Haggerty

Visual Effects

Clifford Happy

Stunts

Jonathan Harb

Animator

Andrew Hardaway

Visual Effects

Terri Hardin

Puppeteer

Douglas Harlocker

Property Master

Tim Harrington

Animator

Travis Harrod

Production Assistant

Motoyoshi Hata

Art Department

Dorene Haver

Graphics

Sean Haworth

Set Designer

Joe Heffernan

Special Effects

Jurgen Heimann

Puppeteer

Jurgen Heimann

Other

Todd Heindel

Art Department

Scott Helgesen

Visual Effects

Pablo Helman

Visual Effects

John Helms

Visual Effects

Matthew Hendershot

Visual Effects

Andy Hendrickson

Other

Wendy Hendrickson-ellis

Visual Effects

Film Details

Also Known As
Hombres de negro, MIB
MPAA Rating
Genre
Comedy
Action
Adaptation
Sci-Fi
Release Date
1997
Production Company
Thomas P Thoms; Tommy Louie
Distribution Company
Sony Pictures Releasing
Location
New York, New York, USA; New York City, New York, USA; Los Angeles, California, USA; New York City, New York, USA; New Jersey, USA; Robert Moses State Park, Long Island, New York, USA

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 53m

Award Wins

Best Makeup

1997

Award Nominations

Set Decoration

1997

Best Score (Musical or Comedy)

1997

Articles

Men In Black - Men in Black


You know you're in for a different kind of science fiction comedy when the opening credits echo Pablo Ferro's opening titles for Dr. Strangelove (1963). Men in Black (1997) - not to be confused with the Three Stooges' Men in Black (1934) - is a blend of science fiction, buddy action thriller and Looney Tunes looniness. Directed by Barry Sonnenfeld, it starred Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith, and was based on the Aircel Comics (a subsidiary of Marvel) series The Men in Black, written by Lowell Cunningham. The much anticipated summer release was heavily marketed as a follow-up to Will Smith's huge success the previous summer in Independence Day (1996). And while it does again pit Smith against extraterrestrials, the two films could not be more different.

Independence Day was a global, DeMillian epic, with multiple characters and a slightly tongue-in-cheek approach despite its apocalyptic premise. Men in Black takes a much more sardonic tone regarding Earth's relationship with extraterrestrials, most of whom only want a hassle-free entry onto terra firma at customs. The focus of the story isn't really global. Most of the action takes place in Manhattan, the melting pot of inhumanity. While Independence Day and Starship Troopers (the other big sci-fi movie release in 1997) carried on the genre conventions of sci-fi films ranging from The War of the Worlds (1953) to Predator (1987), Men in Black takes many of its cues from movies like The French Connection (1971) and 48 Hrs. (1982).

Will Smith is James Darrel Edwards III, a New York City cop with physical prowess and street-wise sass. After impressively chasing down an elusive suspect that turns out to be an alien, James is recruited by "K" (the delightfully gruff Tommy Lee Jones), a veteran of an off-the-books government agency secretly policing the comings and goings of aliens on planet Earth. Nicknamed the "men in black" for their nondescript black suit and even more elusive agenda, K and the newly renamed "J" are assigned to recover a MacGuffin that's been stolen by an intergalactic terrorist (Vincent D'Onofrio). It seems the item is none other than a galaxy itself, and its theft has plunged humanity into the center of what's shaping up to become an interstellar wipeout, unless K and J can recover the galaxy and head off disaster for the blue marble planet sitting in the crossfire, the soon to be late, great planet Earth.

Men in Black was a box office smash, grossing over $250 million in the United States and over $326 million worldwide. Aside from the rapturous riches of financial success, it also inspired an animated children's television series, the sequel Men in Black II (2002) and a hit soundtrack album that featured a performance by star-cum-rapper Will Smith. The film was awarded and nominated for a plethora of accolades, including Oscar® nominations for Best Art Direction (Bo Welch) and Set Decoration (Cheryl Carasik) and Best Original Musical or Comedy Score for Danny Elfman. But the winner was make-up master Rick Baker who won the Best Makeup Academy Award for his terrific creature creations in Men in Black.

Much like the screwball comedies of the studio era, a strong stable of character actors make Men in Black an immensely enjoyable romp. Vincent D'Onofrio plays farmer Edgar, whose skin is appropriated by the villainous alien bug. D'Onofrio plays Edgar as if his body were rebelling with extreme Stranglovian prejudice. Even stranger, D'Onofrio reportedly based his vocalization of Edgar on filmmaker John Huston. Emmy winner and star of TV's Monk Tony Shalhoub is almost unrecognizable as the pawn shop proprietor Jack Jeebs. And Siobahn Fallon, an alum of "Saturday Night Live," gives Edgar's wife Beatrice a deadpan brilliance that makes the small role memorable and funny. Veteran actor and filmmaker Rip Torn is the no-nonsense head of MIB, Chief Zed. He tackles the surreal nature of his job in much the same way as K does, straight and matter-of-factly.

The script from writer Ed Solomon (one of the creators of the "Bill and Ted" movies) provides room for plenty of inside jokes and genre references, so much so that it would be a challenge to catch them all. Among the more humorous: one of the celebrity aliens spotted on MIB's wall of video surveillance monitors is the film's executive producer, Steven Spielberg. Among the more obscure: as he attempts to arrest an alien, K cites the alien's violation of the "Tycho Treaty"--Tycho was the crater on the Moon where the monolith was found in 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968).

Producer: Laurie MacDonald, Steven R. Molen, Walter F. Parkes, Graham Place, Steven Spielberg
Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
Screenplay: Ed Solomon; based on the comic by Lowell Cunningham
Cinematography: Donald Peterman
Film Editing: Jim Miller
Art Direction: Tom Duffield
Music: Danny Elfman
Cast: Tommy Lee Jones (Agent K), Will Smith (Agent J), Linda Fiorentino (Agent L), Vincent D'Onofrio (Edgar), Rip Torn (Chief Zed), Tony Shalhoub (Jack Jeebs).
C-98m. Letterboxed.

by Scott McGee
Men In Black - Men In Black

Men In Black - Men in Black

You know you're in for a different kind of science fiction comedy when the opening credits echo Pablo Ferro's opening titles for Dr. Strangelove (1963). Men in Black (1997) - not to be confused with the Three Stooges' Men in Black (1934) - is a blend of science fiction, buddy action thriller and Looney Tunes looniness. Directed by Barry Sonnenfeld, it starred Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith, and was based on the Aircel Comics (a subsidiary of Marvel) series The Men in Black, written by Lowell Cunningham. The much anticipated summer release was heavily marketed as a follow-up to Will Smith's huge success the previous summer in Independence Day (1996). And while it does again pit Smith against extraterrestrials, the two films could not be more different. Independence Day was a global, DeMillian epic, with multiple characters and a slightly tongue-in-cheek approach despite its apocalyptic premise. Men in Black takes a much more sardonic tone regarding Earth's relationship with extraterrestrials, most of whom only want a hassle-free entry onto terra firma at customs. The focus of the story isn't really global. Most of the action takes place in Manhattan, the melting pot of inhumanity. While Independence Day and Starship Troopers (the other big sci-fi movie release in 1997) carried on the genre conventions of sci-fi films ranging from The War of the Worlds (1953) to Predator (1987), Men in Black takes many of its cues from movies like The French Connection (1971) and 48 Hrs. (1982). Will Smith is James Darrel Edwards III, a New York City cop with physical prowess and street-wise sass. After impressively chasing down an elusive suspect that turns out to be an alien, James is recruited by "K" (the delightfully gruff Tommy Lee Jones), a veteran of an off-the-books government agency secretly policing the comings and goings of aliens on planet Earth. Nicknamed the "men in black" for their nondescript black suit and even more elusive agenda, K and the newly renamed "J" are assigned to recover a MacGuffin that's been stolen by an intergalactic terrorist (Vincent D'Onofrio). It seems the item is none other than a galaxy itself, and its theft has plunged humanity into the center of what's shaping up to become an interstellar wipeout, unless K and J can recover the galaxy and head off disaster for the blue marble planet sitting in the crossfire, the soon to be late, great planet Earth. Men in Black was a box office smash, grossing over $250 million in the United States and over $326 million worldwide. Aside from the rapturous riches of financial success, it also inspired an animated children's television series, the sequel Men in Black II (2002) and a hit soundtrack album that featured a performance by star-cum-rapper Will Smith. The film was awarded and nominated for a plethora of accolades, including Oscar® nominations for Best Art Direction (Bo Welch) and Set Decoration (Cheryl Carasik) and Best Original Musical or Comedy Score for Danny Elfman. But the winner was make-up master Rick Baker who won the Best Makeup Academy Award for his terrific creature creations in Men in Black. Much like the screwball comedies of the studio era, a strong stable of character actors make Men in Black an immensely enjoyable romp. Vincent D'Onofrio plays farmer Edgar, whose skin is appropriated by the villainous alien bug. D'Onofrio plays Edgar as if his body were rebelling with extreme Stranglovian prejudice. Even stranger, D'Onofrio reportedly based his vocalization of Edgar on filmmaker John Huston. Emmy winner and star of TV's Monk Tony Shalhoub is almost unrecognizable as the pawn shop proprietor Jack Jeebs. And Siobahn Fallon, an alum of "Saturday Night Live," gives Edgar's wife Beatrice a deadpan brilliance that makes the small role memorable and funny. Veteran actor and filmmaker Rip Torn is the no-nonsense head of MIB, Chief Zed. He tackles the surreal nature of his job in much the same way as K does, straight and matter-of-factly. The script from writer Ed Solomon (one of the creators of the "Bill and Ted" movies) provides room for plenty of inside jokes and genre references, so much so that it would be a challenge to catch them all. Among the more humorous: one of the celebrity aliens spotted on MIB's wall of video surveillance monitors is the film's executive producer, Steven Spielberg. Among the more obscure: as he attempts to arrest an alien, K cites the alien's violation of the "Tycho Treaty"--Tycho was the crater on the Moon where the monolith was found in 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). Producer: Laurie MacDonald, Steven R. Molen, Walter F. Parkes, Graham Place, Steven Spielberg Director: Barry Sonnenfeld Screenplay: Ed Solomon; based on the comic by Lowell Cunningham Cinematography: Donald Peterman Film Editing: Jim Miller Art Direction: Tom Duffield Music: Danny Elfman Cast: Tommy Lee Jones (Agent K), Will Smith (Agent J), Linda Fiorentino (Agent L), Vincent D'Onofrio (Edgar), Rip Torn (Chief Zed), Tony Shalhoub (Jack Jeebs). C-98m. Letterboxed. by Scott McGee

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Summer July 2, 1997

Released in United States on Video November 25, 1997

Released in United States August 1997

Released in United States 1998

Shown at Locarno International Film Festival August 6-16, 1997.

Shown at Cinequest 1998: The San Jose Film Festival January 29 - February 4, 1998.

Completed shooting July 27, 1996.

Began shooting March 14, 1996.

Released in United States July 1, 1997 (New York City)

Released in United States Summer July 2, 1997

Released in United States on Video November 25, 1997

Released in United States August 1997 (Shown at Locarno International Film Festival August 6-16, 1997.)

Released in United States 1998 (Shown at Cinequest 1998: The San Jose Film Festival January 29 - February 4, 1998.)

Released in United States July 1, 1997